Oman ready, state-of-the-art venue

The inspection team in Muscat (left to right) Hans Westling, Gordon Kaye, Reto Bazzi, Sajad Al-Lawati, Jordi Serra and Mohammad Atoum (Photo: courtesy of Jordi Serra)

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The home earlier this year for an ITTF Challenge Series and ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament, Oman will host the 2022 World Veteran Championships; the projected dates are either early March or early May.

Venue for the tournament will be the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in the country’s capital city of Oman, a world class facility that has an auditorium which seats 3,200 delegates, over 55 meeting areas plus 22,000 square metres of flooring for competition.

Additionally, the JW Marriott five star hotel is linked to the Centre plus the four star Crowne Plaza and Ibis Styles, in addition to several three star hotels are within walking distance.

Located on the very east of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is very accessible; the flight times from most major European destinations is no more than seven hours, the same from such major Asian cities as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Further east an eight hour flight is the approximate time from Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo, the same from the eastern seaboard of the United States; from Latin America and Australia, flights vary from between 13 and 15 hours.

Entry to Oman is simple and straightforward, visa on arrival is the policy; moreover, the country is known and respected as a crime free destination. In fact the name Muscat means safe anchorage.

Furthermore, when not in the table tennis hall, there is plenty to whet the appetite; the country is steeped in history with some 500 forts and castles; old markets full of local handicrafts are present, in addition to modern day shopping malls. Notably the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the second largest such building in the world.

Also, you can go bird watching, caving, camping, diving, dolphin and whale watching; if you are brave enough you can also ride a camel!

Recently on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th November, alongside Gordon Kaye, Reto Bazzi and Hans Westling, Jordi Serra, ITTF Adviser, visited Muscat. The group met Sajad Al-Lawati, member of the Oman Table Tennis Federation and Mohammed Atoum, National Team Head Coach, as well as Abdullah Mohamed Bamakhalef, Chair of the Oman Table Tennis Federation and Troy Reynolds, Head of Events of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“We visited the iconic landmark for Muscat, the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre very good conditions!” Jordi Serra

A warm welcome was the order of proceedings, expect the same in 2022.