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Celebrating 49th National Day

49 HALLMARKS OF OMAN

On the occasion of Oman’s 49th National Day, seven professionals from seven different walks of life in Oman point out seven attributes each which give the sultanate its unique, endearing status in the world. These are the 49 hallmarks of Oman:

Path of pride

The journey towards success was never an easy one but the way forward is the real challenge, says Hatim Abdissalaam, motivational speaker and life coach

Hatim Abdissalaam

Every nation has its own special traditions that are cherished and, in Oman, we grew up with the tradition of celebrating National Day which is unique and worth mentioning. As young children, we never knew the real value of this day; to us, it was just another happy day away from the long school hours. With maturity, we came to realise that during the past few years, a lot has been done which has to be recognised.

National Day celebrations come every year to remind us of the progress Oman has made and to give us an opportunity to do more in upcoming years. Success can come in various forms and many nations succeed in one or two areas only. However, when we look at the journey of Oman, we take pride in a long list of achievements that couldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the grace of Almighty God on us, the wisdom of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, and the hard work, dedication and loyalty of the citizens.

Oman has prospered and excelled in many areas, but if we are to narrow them down to just three, then they would definitely be: wiping out illiteracy, establishing a world class healthcare infrastructure and being a pioneer in political stability.

It is important to learn from the experiences of our forefathers on how they were able to reach their goals and transform a barren land with very limited resources and education opportunities into a modern state that plays a vital political role in the international arena.

His Majesty the Sultan had a vision for Oman, and part of his vision was to develop the citizens of Oman through modern healthcare, a solid education system and a ‘peace’ strategy in the region. The people of Oman believed in this vision and worked sincerely with His Majesty the Sultan to make the dream a reality. While other nations are still struggling today in accepting differences, Oman thrives and exports tolerance and coexistence to the rest of the world.

There is no doubt that the journey towards success was never an easy journey but the way forward is the real challenge where we need to sustain what we achieved in the past few decades. It is our responsibility to honour the efforts of His Majesty the Sultan and those who sacrificed their lives to build the Oman we see today, by working hard and making sure that, whatever happens in the world, it should never change us, especially in our ethical beliefs and traditions.

We can develop ourselves in many different areas and become a leading modern state but this should not restrict us from continuing our message of peace to the world. Many out there never knew Oman or maybe knew very little about us, but recently the sultanate was on the map and nations looked up at our country and recognised the many efforts for peace that are done behind the scenes.

Next year, the 50th National Day will elevate us as a nation and align us with other leading nations. The road is to be paved for the coming generations to strive and be pioneers in development and prosperity. The entire world will surely look up to a nation like Oman if we can prove that we are mature and are ready to take up any challenges that the future withholds.

It makes us proud to be citizens of Oman and to live under the wise leadership of His Majesty the Sultan. May Almighty God give His Majesty the Sultan health and prosperity and more development for the people of Oman.

7 aspects of sports in Oman

There is much untapped potential in Oman which we will see in the near future as children learn the value of sports and opportunities in and around sports –

H H Sayyid Khalid al Busaidi

Chairman, Oman Olympic Committee

1.Professionalism: Professionalism is one of the main pillars of sports and will lead the way forward for better international performance. After the introduction of the Oman Professional League by the Oman Football Association, positive results came about very quickly.

  1. Pride: We have a strong portfolio of impressive athletes who have represented Oman on the international stage and continue to be a great source of pride to all Omanis and expatriates.
  2. Passion: Omanis have always demonstrated a genuine passion for sports, especially football. This will always be my favourite sport and I look back at my time with OFA very fondly.
  3. Sportsmanship: Nothing pleases me more than seeing good sportsmanship. It builds character, teamwork, discipline and teaches respect.
  4. Potential: We have so much untapped potential in Oman which we will see in the near future as more of our children learn the value of sports for their development and physical fitness. There is also a lot of opportunity in and around sports such as job creation, hosting events and promoting Oman as an unrivaled location for adventure sports, including hiking, kayaking, abseiling, rock climbing and, in recent years, Tough Mudder.
  5. Participation: Oman female participation in sports continues to rise. Mass participation is increasing by all age groups.
  6. Aspirations: We have great future aspirations for the World Cup Qatar 2022, Olympics 2020, 2024 and beyond.

7 aspects about the business climate in Oman

Oman’s strategic location, political stability, modern infrastructure and friendly business environment are set to make it an international hub –

Anvwar Al Balushi

Chairman, Anvwar Asian Investment

  1. Strategic location: Oman is known as a gateway for its geographic location which gives an easy excess to the Gulf, Europe, Asia and the African market. This makes Oman a trade hub in the region.
  2. Political stability: Oman has stable and peaceful diplomatic relationships with other countries. The sultanate plays a vital role as a neutral power in the region, therefore it has long served as a mediator between countries with strained relations.
  3. Modern infrastructure: Oman has invested heavily in infrastructure which caters logistics and tourism in the country. The sultanate has a world-class road network which links ports, airports, free zones and industrial zones. It also maintains three ports that serve emerging markets in India, East Africa, Iran and Gulf countries integrated with its free zones.
  4. Friendly business environment: The government has introduced an ‘easy invest’ policy to ease the business registration process for foreign investors. The government has created free trade and an open market under which it has also committed some emerging factors for potential investors by providing infrastructure facilities with free transfer of commodities, services and capitals – eg to industrial estates, Sohar Industrial Port, free zones etc.
  5. Well-regulated stock exchange: The Capital Market Authority law governs all the listed companies in Oman. Muscat Securities Market is the stock exchange of Oman which is further classified into three separate entities – the Capital Market, the Stock Exchange and the Muscat Share Registration & Depository.
  6. Mining and minerals: After oil and gas, Oman has a huge potential in mining and minerals. Oman is known for its reserves in chromite, dolomites, zinc, limestone, gypsum, silicon, gold, metals, industrial rocks etc. Mining and mineral investment opportunities in Oman are set to capitalise on Oman’s rich mineral resources.
  7. Tourism: Oman has a very old history and is known to still have undiscovered treasures. It has centuries old castles and forts along with beautiful wadis, deserts, beachesand mountains. It has multinational communities residing in it which makes the country more colourful.

7 factors that keep Oman peaceful and politically stable

There are a number of interconnected factors that have made Oman a politically stable and a peaceful country. Here are seven factors –

Dr Nabeel al Rawahy

Head of Department, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, SQU

  1. Foreign policy: In recent times, His Majesty the Sultan engineered the Omani foreign policy to be based on mutual respect and non-interventionism. This wisdom is characteristic of the Omani leadership throughout history and it has shown its fruition in Oman’s international status as a respected peace maker and mediator.
  2. Equal opportunity: Internally, His Majesty the Sultan set the roots for a modern state that is based on equity and equal opportunities and to exterminate any reason for division or disintegration among the Omani people. His Majesty the Sultan has insured that all spectrums of the people are represented in the different governmental bodies.
  3. Hospitality: The Omani people extend their character from their Arab culture and religion of Islam which both foster peace and hospitality. In fact, Omanis are known for their hospitality in Arabia since the time of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), when he praised them: “If you had come to the people of Oman, so would they neither have insulted nor beaten you,” which was a recollection statement he said to a messenger of his after being ill-treated by a tribe.
  4. Adherence to Islam: Islam, which preaches peace, unity and tolerance found a fast way to Oman, since these values are part of our culture, besides our craving for independence and autonomy. Oman was one of the nations fastest to adhere to Islam. Oman rejected any extremism in Islam and maintained tolerance and understanding of others. This was the result of His Majesty the Sultan’s wisdom and was supported by the religious scholars in the country.
  5. Sense of pride: The rich history of the sultanate gave Omanis a unique confidence and pride of their status. It is something that Omanis feel their responsibility towards and that they have not to give it away. This history provided them with self-confidence and shaped their philosophy of unity for survival and stability.
  6. Lessons learnt: History has given Omanis lessons about the consequences of any division and intolerance among them. The ongoing turmoil in the region has even strengthened the belief in unity and craving for peace amongst Omanis. So Omanis feel obliged towards maintaining this stability which led to how Oman stands out as a peaceful, stable country.

7. Geography: Geographical location is another factor Oman has been blessed with. Its location has made Oman interact with different civilisations and people which has significantly impacted how Omanis view the importance of interaction and coexistence not only for survival but also for prosperity. The long history of trade and relationships with different civilisations has made Omanis develop stronger awareness of their identity and alsocontributed to their tolerance of others which all contributed to the peace and stability Oman is known of.

7 aspects of the field of medicine

Dr Amira Abdul Mohsin Saleh al Raidan

Head of Mental Health Section, Department of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health

  1. Development of health curriculum in Oman: From the time I joined the field of medicine, I witnessed a dramatic development in the teaching skills and enhancement in medicine curricula that resulted in having a variety of specialities that we have now.

2. Empowerment of Omani doctors: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said encouraged Omanis to take part in the development process and in the responsibilities towards better health services in Oman.

3. Growth of health services: I’m proud to be part of it where I see access of services all over Oman through primary health care centres, polyclinics and specialised care in hospitals.

4. Equal opportunities: Equal opportunities for both men and women in Oman is part of building the capacity of the workforce in the country.

5. Innovations in surgical interventions: This has enabled Oman to be a pioneer in the field of medicine among other countries.

6. Research and strategic planning: This has helped address the challenges in the field of medicine in Oman and work towards improving the quality of services.

7Professionalism and leadership: Professionalism and leadership taken up by Omani doctors has brought recognition to Oman internationally to be one of the well known countries. The field of medicine taught me to be a leader in my field and take part in decision making for the better future of Oman.

 

7 aspects about IT in Oman

Tariq al Barwani

Founder, Knowledge Oman

  1. Assistive infrastructure: No more are we restricted by space and/or location for our data and Information Technology  (IT) requirements on a fast network (4G and soon 5G), thanks to various local Cloud services with and in different Data Centre providers in the country that work hand in hand with telecom providers.

2. e-Government platform: We have efficient, improved and, indeed, better access to public services around the clock, thanks to e-government technologies.

3. International training locally: You no longer require to travel to get specialised emerging technical training due to various certified local centres with partnership to international agencies.

4. Security systems: Special entities with processes in place are focused on sharing  (as awareness) programmes and combatting external cyber threats.

5. Technology hubs: Hubs and platforms specifically created to provide space and/or funds for technology projects to start, grow and flourish.

6Technology embedded in schools: Many schools incorporate and use technology to educate students which, as a consequence, builds future-ready technology experts.

7Savvy e-citizens: Whether it’s a child, parent or even a granny, technology is no longer a black box. Everyone knows, is influenced to some extent, and uses technology to work, communicate and collaborate, too.

7 bright sides about adventure in Oman

I have been on numerous adventures in Oman and in other countries and I can confidently say that adventure in Oman has many benefits. Here are seven main aspects of adventure:

Ahmed Harib al Mahrouqi

SQU researcher and adventurer

  1. Independence: First of all, adventure teaches one to be independent. It makes one discover one’s own potential and hidden talents. By doing things all by yourself, one learns to be not just independent but also humble and thankful for all the benefits the Almighty has bestowed upon us.

2.  Time management: Adventure is a leisure activity but it is very important to manage your time efficiently. One needs to set goals, draw up plans and strategies and work them within set deadlines. It, therefore teaches one to value every second of each day and to make the most of it.

3. Knowledge of the country: Adventure in Oman is a good way of getting to know the country. One learns the names and characteristics of different wadis, villages, jebels, etc and get close to varied terrain and people. Adventure in Oman’s desert needs one to carry supplies of water, which is not necessary elsewhere.

4. Fitness: For adventure, one needs to be fit, physically and mentally. Some tasks require physical strength and some require mental resilience. It also improves one’s overall fitness and endurance quotient.

5. Socialising: Taking up adventure in Oman is a good way of socialising and meeting people. It is also a means to understand the lifestyle and mindset of the local populace.

6. Cultural exchanges: Adventure is a means of cultural exchange. In Oman, people of different cultural backgrounds come together to explore not just the sultanate but also to hear about the experiences of people of other cultures. I have myself learnt a lot by interacting with people from around the world who wish to explore Oman.

7. Problem-solving: Lastly, adventure teaches you to meet challenges and to overcome them. Unlike life in the city, one cannot evade or escape from problems while exploring Oman. You need to confront each challenge and solve it in order to move on.