Visitors to Oman are drawn to the country thanks to its stunning nature and cultural traditions. Nevertheless, between classic houses, local souqs, and incredible forts, Oman is an exceptional Arab country that is developing quickly. Here are nine different ways that explain how Oman is modernizing.
Oman is all about nature. The country is home to many delights including wadis, mountains, golden and white beaches, crystal turquoise waters, oasis, deserts, sands dunes, waterfalls and caves among others – and all are essential to the unique identity and culture of Oman. Sultan Qaboos has a clear vision to preserve that beauty and set punishments for those who don’t oblige. Beside signing global agreements and confirming to environmental principles, Oman has devoted a special day for the environment, which takes place on January, 8 every year. On that day, Oman celebrates its new environmental projects, raises awareness about future environmental strategies, and honors companies and individuals who make exceptional efforts to preserve the environment.
Did you know that Oman is becoming the most sustainable country in the Gulf region? The Sultanate has been planning for different sustainability projects to preserve its environment and to decrease its dependence on natural gas and oil. As it collaborates with regional and global nations, Oman is starting its own wind and solar power plants. These projects are considered the biggest in the region, and are expected to increase the country’s reservation of natural gas and oil. Subsequently, this is expected to decrease CO2 emissions, and to help slow down the greenhouse effect.
Another interesting fact about modern Oman, is that it is only 47 years old. However, both the nation and its people have developed a lot over the years and in a short period of time. Omanis are a crucial part of the development of their country as they participate and support the improvement strategies of the future. They work and succeed in different technical and political fields that they never knew about before. The country is also starting to set training programs and workshops to get younger generations involved in different aspects of their country’s development, a process known as ‘Omanization’.
Meanwhile, Omanis succeeded in preserving their traditions, norms and virtues as a much-cherished part of their culture. They take pride in their heritage and culture, thanks in large part to Sultan Qaboos’s love of celebrating and proudly reflecting the country’s history and traditions.
Nonetheless, it has been said that some Omani communities have suffered because of the country’s modernization. Some Bedouins, for example, are abandoning their challenging lifestyle and are moving to cities for easier life and more stable jobs. This is decreasing the cultural diversity of the country, and has proven to be a point of contention for tourists who travel to explore unique culture and unusual lifestyles.
This is such a great time for Omani women to seek their dreams and to prove themselves. Although Sultan Qaboos has called for women participation and emphasized their crucial role in the country’s development since the first day of his ruling, some women didn’t have enough expertise and knowledge to take on their role. Nevertheless, as education is now available for everyone, and opportunities are created especially for women, the country is seeing increased participation in every aspect in the Omani job market. In every field, there are impressive examples for leading Omani women who inspire others and call for change to a better Oman.
The younger generation is the central pillar that is holding Oman together and keeping it strong and going. During school years, college and work, Oman continuously develops programs, training, projects and competitions to encourage creativity and unique individual capabilities. As the years go by, young Omanis get more and more involved in their country’s development, and there are lots of inspiring role models appearing every day.
Omanis are the essence, heart and soul of their country. Sultan Qaboos believes that he can never develop his country without them. That’s why he made sure that they have the required tools and knowledge to help him in his mission. So, education in Oman is mostly free, and some families are given grants and other types of material support to help them educate themselves and their kids. Healthcare is another important sector that is made available for Omanis. The government develop plans, awareness campaigns and programs to help people remain healthy.
Oman has been known for its five-year and ten-year plans of development in different sectors, and tourism is no exception. Because Omanis have deep pride in their culture, traditions and heritage, tourism of handicrafts, costumes and local products, they are included as a new section to be developed in the country’s tourism efforts. Oman is the perfect destination for a unique diversity of culture, communities, traditions and historical stories. Promoting this concept set Oman apart as a destination where heritage and modernization come together – a combination rarely found in the world today.
Villages are turning into towns, small towns are turning into cities, and regions are becoming independent governorates. This reflects how Oman is quickly developing and connecting, all thanks to the successful vision and implementation of strong infrastructure, road development and town planning. Walking through the streets of Oman today, is very different from how it used to be five years ago. It is exciting to see what this lovely country will look like in the next few years.
Technology must be included in every modernization step in any country. In Oman, this can be seen through the changes and improvements taking place in governmental services, and public and private buildings. Even schools and universities in Oman are implementing new developments in technology and communication to provide the best for their citizens and visitors. The new international airport in Muscat is a great example for these fantastic changes.