With new management, new rules often follow. Unfortunately many managers want “to make a name for themselves” and so they often come up with crazy new (money making) rules so people will take note that “there’s a new man on campus”. Such seems to be the case at Al Sawadi Beach & Resort. There is a new (German) general manager who has been there for 2 months. Now, suddenly there is a new entrance fee for anyone entering the gates! Imagine the surprise of many visitors who have become accustomed to driving down to Sawadi from Muscat (like me and the wifey today!) for a bite to eat at the restaurant, a walk along the beach and a quick visit to the giftshop only to be greeted by 3 security guards with almost no English abilities whatsoever telling us that we must pay a 5 OR entrance fee PER PERSON! The entrance fees look suspiciously like pool entrance tickets but they don’t care if you have no intention of going to the pool. Pay up or forget entering. Of course it’s no big deal if you’re staying there or if you go before 8am (not likely) or anytime after 7pm (again, not likely). I asked to speak to the general manager but as he was in a meeting I was greeted by the coordinator. She tried to explain the new exorbitant entrance fees with this explanation: “Now I don’t want to sound racist (my experience is that most people starting with this expression continue to say something extremely racist!)…but this new fee is intended to protect fine visitors such as yourselves. Such fees make sure that Omanis and Indians will not bother our guests as they tend to just hang around the pool bothering tourists…and often bags go missing in such cases.” Hmmm…On our previous visits we saw and met plenty of fine Omani and Indian families who entered the resort for the same purposes as we had-to enjoy an hour or so eating fine food and strolling along a beach!
Anyway, we will take our business elsewhere if that’s the attitude of Al Sawadi. Al Nada Resort is a much shorter drive from Muscat, has better restaurants, has a better pool, has a better understanding of service and they don’t believe in milking tourists just for entering their gates.
Most people who follow this blog know that I try to remain positive (for the most part 🙂 ) but I think people also need to be warned about such situations as the one we encountered today when arriving at Sawadi.