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Oct 24, 2023

ENVI Lodges partners with Oman’s Ministry of Defence Pension Fund

to develop brand’s first ecolodge in the Sultanate

Located in Al Jabel Al Akhdar, the sustainable lodge supports Oman’s tourism development strategy focused on culture, nature and adventure.

GCC-based luxury ecolodge brand and management company ENVI Lodges has partnered with Oman’s Ministry of Defence Pension Fund to develop a sustainable mountain lodge in the heart of Al Jabel Al Akhdar.

Marking ENVI’s foray in the Sultanate, the ecolodge will provide a unique mountain stay experience while promoting environmental conservation, a brand proposition aligned to Oman’s National Tourism Strategy 2040’s target of 11.7 million visitors and 80,000 hospitality keys focused on nature, adventure and sustainable initiatives.

The Ministry of Defence Pension Fund’s representative said: “Partnering with ENVI Lodges to open the first ecolodge of its kind in Oman, is a strategic move that contributes to the responsible development of the Sultanate’s tourism industry. The lodge will appeal to the growing number of travellers seeking eco-friendly accommodation and authentic destination experiences, reinforcing Oman’s reputation as hotspot for nature and adventure.” 

When it opens in 2025, ENVI Al Jabel Al Akhdar will feature 40 luxury expedition tents designed by Tenthouse Structure, a renowned South African architect of tented wilderness developments. Each unit will overlook the Hajar mountain range and offer guests an elevated adventure experience while minimising environmental impact. These precision-engineered, hand-crafted tents will be insulated and include a heating system for the winter season, ideal for Al Jabel Al Akhdar, which sits at 2,000 metres above sea level.

Facilities will include a farm-to-table restaurant, some private pools, fitness and wellness centre, library, guest arrival area, an Insta-worthy swimming pool, a kids club, and kitchen garden, while an adjacent events space will host community activities such as markets and food trucks. The lodge will offer guests the chance to explore nearby villages, interact with local farmers and hike to discover the hidden treasures the famous Omani mountain holds.

ENVI Lodges co-founder Chris Nader said: “Oman has always been a priority market for us given the destination’s natural and cultural beauty. It is a privilege to develop our first project in the Sultanate in collaboration with Oman’s Ministry of Defence Pension Fund and to support Oman’s tourism ambitions. Our guests will appreciate the unique blend of outdoor luxury, adventure and sustainability that the lodge will offer.”

With ENVI Lodges committed to preserving the natural beauty of the destination, the construction of the ecolodge will have minimum impact on the site, with each tent and facility sitting on decks anchored to the ground using special eco-friendly anchors. Extensive rewilding efforts will also be conducted to regenerate the environment which had been damaged in recent years. Initiatives involving and promoting local communities will also be a priority.

Paul Jordaan, Head of Operations at ENVI Lodges, who previously managed one of the Sultanate’s flagship resorts, added: “I am very excited to bring the ENVI lodging philosophy to Oman, a country that is close to my heart. Our unique ecolodge concept will not only immerse guests in Oman’s authentic splendour but enable them to actively participate in our mission to make a positive impact on the environment.”

Oman’s tourism sector is growing at pace, with visitor arrivals reaching 2.9 million in 2022, up 348% on 2021 figures, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has said tourism numbers are expected to bounce back to 2019 levels (3.5 million) by 2024, buoyed by increased investment in new hospitality projects, destinations and attractions.

With GCC citizens accounting for more than half (1.6 million) of arrivals visiting Oman last year, ENVI’s growing portfolio of lodges in the GCC will play a key role in creating brand awareness and attracting the regional market to experience Al Jabel Al Akhdar in new and authentic ways.