In another significant initiative demonstrating their commitment to youth development in the Sultanate, Omran in partnership with Ithraa has announced their participation and support of Muscat Youth Summit 2014 for six consecutive years. As a part of its commitment to the summit, and as an active participant, two mentors from Omran conducted two workshops, respectively titled ‘Creating Green Salalah Accommodation’ and ‘Salalah Made Art’.
Commenting on the participation with the Muscat Youth Summit, Eng. AbdulWahid Al Farsi, Acting Chief Communications Officer at Omran said, “Omran is pleased to once again support the Muscat Youth Summit this year. Such youth development programs are essential to the growth and development of the tourism industry in Oman. Not only do they offer the talented young Omanis a broader insight and knowledge on various key topics on the tourism sector, but also provides us with an opportunity to share our insights and experience with them. Doing so provides participants with a valuable field experience while fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship within the group.”
The summit has been split into seven projects – Discover Salalah; Marketing Oman’s Travel & Tourism Sector to Millennials; Creating Green Salalah Accommodation; Adventure Tourism Activities; Salalah Made Art; Slow Food; and Salalah Youth Festival. Two of these projects, ‘Creating Green Salalah Accommodation’ and ‘Salalah Made Art’ will be headed by two mentors from Omran – Eng. Muyasser Al Kamzari and Ms. Dalida Abdulnour respectively. All seven MYS projects are aimed at Millennials - the generation born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, who are now the largest generation on the planet.
The ‘Creating Green Salalah Accommodation’, headed by Eng. Muyasser Al Kumzari, an Architectural Engineer at Omran, is a project that involves researching, designing and promoting novel, engaging and memorable Salalah-based, Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certified tourism accommodation – whether that is wood cabins or re-engineered mobile shipping containers – the accommodation will embody Salalah’s nature and be a beautiful, living, breathing extension of it.
“This program provided us with a great opportunity to do such a project in a place as beautiful as Salalah. Its sandy beaches, green mountains, especially in the Khareef season, coupled with its rich heritage, culture and architecture lent itself perfectly to the project. With the MYS there is a huge opportunity to introduce some new concepts that can effectively develop the tourism sector in the region whilst still maintaining the highest ‘green’ building standards. At the same time, this project provides the participants with valuable knowledge and an experience which can seldom be found elsewhere,” said Eng. Muyasser Al Kumzari.
The ‘Salalah Made Art’, headed by Ms. Dalida Abdulnour, Omran Brand Manager with over ten years of experience in brand development, worked to identify a Salalah outlet to stock, promote and sell the iconic art products produced. On completing the designs, the group will provide the selected outlet with the required stock plus a digital catalogue of all available artwork for sale. In order to create the required products, the group surveyed the community and identified local iconic assets that can be used to promote Salalah through art.
Commenting on the project Ms. Dalida Abdulnour said, “The MYS is a great opportunity to meet the youth, share and gain knowledge in a friendly and energetic environment. The project I am mentoring is focused on forge a relationship with a Salalah-based art group and using local icons and produce various products that celebrate Salalah’s heritage, art and culture. I am glad to use my experiences in the field to expand the participating youth’s understanding of the topic, and provide them with the knowledge and know-how that they can use and implement in the future.”
This year marks the sixth edition of the summit and looks to attract 100 Omani youth to join in the event. To be hosted in Salalah, the MYS is scheduled to take place from 13-18 December 2014 and will run under the theme ‘The Outdoor Economy: Opening Minds & Borders’. The participating youth will look to develop, create and market sustainable business ideas to attract Millennials to the Sultanate; with a focus on the untapped potential of an outdoor economy and capitalize on market trends in ‘ecotourism’ and ‘adventure tourism’.
Launched in 2009, The Muscat Youth Summit (MYS) attracts 100 participants to Oman each year aged 18 to 24 from Asia, Europe and North Africa. It is an annual, five-day residential program that blends social interaction with cultural, economic and entrepreneurial components to create an exciting and cohesive residential experience that promotes enterprise, cross-cultural youth dialogue and socially responsible leadership.
The sponsorship of the MYS falls under Omran’s long term commitment to local youth development. Omran strongly believes the youth of the nation and their empowerment through training strategies, is beneficial to the country as a whole. As such Omran, has sponsored as well as organized many similar programs; each of which have been incredibly successful and as a result, has witnessed an increase in the number of trainees and participants in each event with every passing year. Such programs will no doubt facilitate the growth of the tourism sector in Oman as a whole.
The Travel and Tourism sector in Oman has been experiencing exponential growth in recent years and is expected to lead the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector in 2014 with 10.2% growth amounting to $2.8 billion over the 2013 figure of US$2.5 billion. Furthermore, by 2024, the total contribution of travel and tourism sector to Oman's GDP is expected to rise by 5.5% per annum to reach US$10 billion, 8.2% of GDP. The growth in the travel and tourism sector will also result in the creation of more job opportunities in the sector. Having already provided employment to 72,000 people in 2013, the sector is predicted to offer 79,500 jobs by the end of 2014, an increase of 10.6%.