Ultra-luxury all-inclusive Club Med Resort to open in Musandam in 2028

Middle East's first hotel from inventors of the all-inclusive concept is headed for the tiny Omani exclave

Club Med is the original creator of the all-inclusive concept, with outposts around the world such as in Lijiang, China. Photo: Club Med
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Known for its craggy mountains and wild fjords, Musandam will soon be home to the first Club Med resort in the Middle East.

Club Med Musandam is set to open in the coastal Omani exclave in 2028.

Beyond the UAE’s northern coast, the exclave is reachable from Dubai in less than three hours and is a five-minute boat ride from Khasab.

“We always try to offer travellers incredible locations, so the Middle East is inevitable for us,” said Anne Browaeys, chief executive of Middle East and Africa markets at Club Med.

She told The National: “Recently, we’ve seen a 250 per cent growth in our Middle Eastern clients going to our international resorts, so we want to have a resource in the Middle East.”

Club Med Musandam will have 600 metres of wild beachfront and 300 luxury rooms, multiple food and beverage options, leisure facilities, entertainment spaces and more.

As the original creator of the all-inclusive concept, Club Med is promising the ultimate family getaway with a “world-class” kids club – open to babies as young as four months – and unique sports, games and activities. The beach resort will also offer travellers a holistic well-being experience complemented by the region's pristine coastline and fjord-filled landscape.

“When we were looking for a site, we want space,” explained Browaeys. “And as well as space, we want connection to nature, we want cultural heritage – we are incredibly demanding.”

At over 215,000 square metres, Club Med Musandam will offer travellers lots of space.

What's so special about Musandam?

Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, minister of heritage and tourism in Oman, described the collaboration with Club Med as “an important step” towards achieving the objective of bringing 11 million tourists to the country by 2040.

In a region filled with world-famous tourism destinations like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Musandam – one of Oman's least visited destinations – is not an obvious choice.

But for Browaeys, that’s one of the reasons the Omani exclave is perfect for a Club Med resort. “At Club Med, we are either in super well-known destinations – think the Seychelles, or the Alps – or we go for unchartered places where we are the first ones.”

With excellent snorkelling and scuba-diving opportunities, as well as untouched nature, Musandam has many of the things required to attract tourists.

“The flight connectivity is amazing,” added Browaeys. “People can have a stopover in Dubai and then come to Musandam, where we will offer luxury, disconnection, nature and incredible wellness opportunities.”

It is not only about attracting tourists. Club Med plans to repurpose Musandam as a go-to destination for local residents. “There’s a two-sided aspect to it,” explained Browaeys. “Bringing international clientele to Musandam, and offering a completely new experience to the locals who will be able to enjoy the free-spirited nature of Club Med.”

Recognising the beauty of Musandam, Browaeys said Club Med is committed to preserving it. Operations will adhere to Green Globe standards, one of the world’s most respected independent sustainable tourism certifications, and ditching plastic water bottles and single-use plastics is part of the plan, as is reducing food waste – something Club Med has committed to lower across all resorts by 2030.

Preserving Musandam’s stunning surrounds is also a priority for the Royal Court Affairs and Oman's tourism development company, Omran, both of which are partners in the development.

Hashil Al Mahrouqi, chief executive of Omran Group, said: “Our mission is to bring Oman’s beauty, peace and warm hospitality to the eyes of tourists around the world. We are proud to support the growth of the tourism industry in Oman and Club Med Musandam will contribute to deliver this vision.”

The all-inclusive resort will also boost the local economy, creating about 400 direct and 800 indirect jobs.

Club Med to open six resorts in the Middle East

Club Med Musandam will be part of the company’s Exclusive Collection – a premium product from the brand that currently consists of 20 properties around the world. That list includes five Exclusive Collection Resorts, plus villas, chalets and a sailing yacht.

While Musandam is the brand’s first foray in the region, it will not be its last. “We plan to open six resorts in the region in the next 10 years,” confirmed Browaeys. “We’re working with the authorities of different countries in the GCC.”

Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are all under consideration, but Browaeys is most excited about a site in Saudi Arabia's eastern province, one that ticks the company's unchartered territory box.

What exactly is Club Med?

“Club Med is over 70 years old and we were the inventor of the all-inclusive,” explained Browaeys.

The company was the first to offer a premium all-inclusive concept and operates with a vision of making things carefree for families by providing everything needed for a perfect holiday.

“What makes us different is our quality. We created the original concept, and it’s been copied, which is good – being copied means we had a good idea – but it’s always good to innovate.”

In Musandam, these innovations are expected to be visible in a variety of 15 different sports, each of which will come with optional tuition, including padel tennis, sailing and scuba diving.

For children, the Club Med Kids Club is world-renowned and one of few globally to offer a baby club that accepts infants. It also offers a petit club – for children aged two to three, a mini club for littles aged four to 10 and a teens club. Children can take part in organised activities, learn new skills like sailing and water-skiing, and even enjoy spa treatments specifically tailored for kids.

The new resort will also offer a musical residency, giving local artists the opportunity to spend a week at Club Med Musandam and showcase their talents in live performances.

Browaeys added: “Club Med is all about creating incredible memories, our priority is families – creating your family legend – and allowing that reconnection with your family through joint first times. When you’re staying at one of our resorts, you’ll have many, many first-time memories, no matter whether you’re on a snow holiday in Europe, or in the Maldives on a flying trapeze.”

Updated: May 02, 2024, 3:31 PM