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Hopes 2020

As a new year begins today, a cross-section of people express their hopes for the year ahead

As a new year begins today, a cross-section of people express their hopes for the year ahead – hopes for sustained growth, for political and financial stability, a vibrant younger generation, a progressive future for Oman with strong international relations around the globe and more

Al Warith al Harthy

International bodybuilding judge

The recent economic changes have posed challenges. In 2020, these can be confronted by adapting ways to strive to diversify the economy from its dependence on natural resources. The strategies that have been adopted recently are based on the proactive role of the private sector to create a business environment attracting direct foreign investment. It is focused on strengthening the tourism and logistics sectors to create job opportunities for the growing educated young. Developing human resources is the key challenge to be addressed to reduce the market imbalances in terms of mismatch of skills.

The Ministry of Commerce is launching a Foreign Capital Investment Law effective from January 2, 2020. Applied to all non-Omanis investors who would use their own capital and assets to establish a project that is economically feasible to attract direct foreign investment, the introduction of this law comes as a move to ensure the stability of foreign investment in Oman.

Ali al Barwani

Strategy manager, Oman LNG

We have closed the chapter for 2019 and opened a new one.  The signs of change are clear – everyone aspires for sustained peace and increased pace of growth.

There are changes everywhere, but if we don’t ride the right waves of  changes, we’ll most likely will be left behind or reach an undesired destination.

My aspirations for my beloved country Oman, its leaders and decision-makers in all sectors, is to work together under one vision and strong goals. For this to happen, they must create or maximise opportunities for a truly competitive advantage for its people.

In today’s dynamic world, we must start a new journey of transformation. This is what I pray for in Oman in the new year. I hope it brings a mega transformation, improving the country in all sectors and raising the standard of life of the people of Oman who deserve only the best.

Azra Aleem

Social worker and former director of Pakistan Social Club

I’ve been living in Oman for the last 30 years and in this time have seen rapid development of the nation under the inspired leadership and wise guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. I hope in 2020, and beyond, we can see further developments like a railway system which would make it easier to travel long distances and also benefit the tourism and trade sectors, besides providing opportunities for citizens and expats alike. I pray the country continues to be a model state for other nations. May Allah shower his blessings upon His Majesty the Sultan and the people of Oman.

Maryam al Zadjali

Chairperson, Omani Society for Fine Arts

As the year ends, I wish His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said a healthy and long life with prosperity. His Majesty the Sultan will be completing his 50th anniversary of steering Oman on a successful path this year. This means that we, as individuals, should aim to contribute to this success story of Oman.

The year 2020 is one that will witness a lot of changes, especially with the emergence of the Ministry of Art Affairs. This will definitely provide new windows of employment for Omanis.

The number of graduates passing out keeps increasing every year which poses a challenge in employing them. Therefore, encouraging the tourism sector and helping the youth to open their own businesses are ideal solutions to meet this challenge. I hope the youth will always strive to continue the successful strides of the nation with their own innovative contributions.

Jane Jaffer, MBE

Author and founder of Let’s Read Programme

My hope for 2020 is that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said will enjoy the 50th National Day celebrations. What a fantastic achievement! I pray for world peace and an end to hunger and poverty. I hope we will all come together to save our beautiful planet, Mother Earth.

On a personal level, I hope we can find sponsorship in order to continue the Maktabati mobile library project to promote the love of reading among children in Oman.

Padmini Atal

Convenor, Indian Social Club – Charity Wing

Oman – what can we say about you? Sparkling blue seas, craggy mountains, and golden sands define your beautiful face. Aflaj are the lifeblood in your veins. Wadis and oases are the dimples in your cheeks. You are beautiful, and you are home. My dream is that you remain the way you are.

I hope that your hills are not cut down to construct shopping malls and parking lots; that your golden sand dunes are not removed to make way for tall buildings and your seas choked with supermarket plastic bags. I hope that you embrace change gently and enter 2020 while still retaining your innate beauty, charm and wonderful hospitality.

Tariq al Barwani

Founder of Knowledge Oman

We are a country of peace and wish to remain the same. My hopes and aspirations for Oman in 2020 are to continue to have a healthy environment and prosperous relationships with all the countries around the world. This will help us maintain and also further our gains in various sectors including, but not limited to, health, technology, education, communication and social services since the beginning of the Blessed Renaissance in 1970, all thanks to the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Johnny Oommen

CEO, Al Jenaibi International Automobiles

I believe that Oman has immense untapped potential on several counts: non-oil diversification towards establishing a stronger base in other industries, boutique tourism, and a young and capable workforce across sectors. As the year 2020 ushers in Oman’s 50th year of the Blessed Renaissance, it is only apt that major strides continue in the direction already identified by way of Vision 2040. I hope 2020 brings in a fresh wave of optimism for the people of Oman and kickstarts a decade of growth and prosperity without adversely affecting the sultanate’s intrinsic strengths – its uniqueness, heritage, traditions, cultural richness and friendly disposition.

Dr Sami al Zadjali

Specialist in social marketing

Hopefully, 2020 will be the year everything changes for Omanis. I hope 2020 will be a new phase of development for Oman, when we continue building a thriving country and unlocking the potential of our youth.

I also hope for more opportunities of investment and partnerships, so our economy will grow further. I expect better opportunities for Omanis through employment initiatives in the health, housing and entertainment sectors.

Hamdoon Sultan

Adventurer

To list my hopes and aspirations for Oman in 2020 and the coming years, I’ll require several pages. But most importantly, I hope for and wish the best to all Omanis who are training for and participating in various races and playing a role in promoting the country. I hope the youth stay motivated to follow a healthy lifestyle. May this year be filled with remarkable achievements when history is re-written and may Oman continue to prosper and have peaceful relations with the world. I pray to God to bless His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said with good heath and a long life.

Dr Shao Longnan

General manager, Hongtong Duqum Pipe Company

As a Chinese expatriate living in Oman for 19 years, in 2020 I expect to see more progress and achievements in the economic field, more so in the industrial sector. The past few years have seen many factories come up. The development of a country depends on its level of industrialisation. Citizens and residents will always be the first beneficiaries of industrialisation of a country. I wish Oman every success in the future.

Robin Banks

Morning Show presenter – Hi FM

Truly, I love it here in Oman, just love it! So it’s a carry on carrying on from me. My little girl made a wish for ‘continued happiness’ for everyone when she blew out her birthday cake candles this year and made a wish, which I thought was just so beautiful. So in her spirit, whoever you are, if you listen to us or Merge, us or whoever, I wish everyone reading this happiness and peace. And of course I do wish everyone will listen to Hi FM next year! But no amount of wishing could get that right?