Press Release

OMRAN Group and SMEs Development Authority Sign MOU to Create Opportunities in the Tourism Sector

8 December 2021

Taking a collaborative approach towards boosting In-Country Value (ICV), the SMEs Development Authority recently signed an MoU with Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN Group). The strategic collaboration aims at enhancing the joint efforts to provide further opportunities to SMEs working in the tourism sector, through various programmes and initiatives.

The agreement was signed by H.E. Halima bint Rashid Al Zari, Chairperson, SMEs Development Authority and Eng. Mohammed bin Salim Al Busaidi, Chairman of OMRAN Group. The signing ceremony took place in the SMEs Authority Headquarters and witnessed the presence of several officials from both parties.

The agreement seeks to strengthen ways of cooperation between the two sides in various areas that include the enhancement of In-Country Value, Empowering SMEs to leverage business opportunities in OMRAN Group’s portfolio and developing the craft sector. The agreement also aims to provide impetus to the role of tourism incubators and areas related to operating facilities, as well as creating products and services, that are viable for the SME ecosystem in this sector. Additionally, the Authority will provide OMRAN Group with a database of the companies operating in the sector to maximize their business opportunities. OMRAN Group will also raise awareness about the digital platform of the National Travel Operator ‘VisitOman.om’ and encourage SMEs to capitalize on the benefits it offers.

As part of the agreement, both entities will jointly cooperate on setting a framework and a common vision to develop innovative incubators that support the development and establishment of SMEs specialized in the tourism sector. Additionally, the Group’s senior officials will visit handicrafts centers in Bahla, Samail and Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar to analyse their capabilities. OMRAN Group will further explore means of support to enhance the facilities and tourism activities in the sites owned by the Authority.

“The Authority and OMRAN Group will collaborate in delivering training and capacity building prgrammes for entrepreneurs in the tourism sector. This will equip them with the necessary skills to work in the tourism sector, provide opportunities for handicraft projects and overcome the challenges faced by SMEs. The tourism sector will open prospects for SMEs due to the Sultanate’s great tourism potentials,” said H.E. Halima bint Rashid Al Zari.

Commenting on this fruitful collaboration, Hashil Bin Obaid Al Mahrouqi, CEO of OMRAN Group said: “We are delighted to join hands with the Authority. Through this agreement, we aspire to boost our partnership with this vital segment to maximize the potential of the country’s value chain and generate sustainable community benefits. This will be done by providing promising opportunities for the development and establishment of specialized companies in the tourism sector that support the national economic diversification efforts, grow the sector’s contribution to the GDP, and ultimately strengthen the economy.”

“This agreement resonates with the objectives of OMRAN Group’s ICV strategy that aims to enable the national products, create potential opportunities for Omani SMEs in tourism industry, and create direct and indirect job opportunities.  The group’s mandate is in line with Oman Vision 2040 and the National Tourism Strategy and the priorities of the Oman Investment Authority in promoting integration with the private sector and the small and medium-sized enterprises sector to further stimulate the tourism sector as one of main economic pillars for the Sultanate’s bright future,” he further stated.

The Authority, in cooperation with the Group, seek to streamline the efforts to find effective initiatives aligned with the latest practices in the field of ICV and social investment, within the geographical scope of OMRAN’s various tourism projects and assets. This helps increase local spending, support domestic supply chains, enhance partnerships and investment opportunities with the local community, and create direct and indirect job opportunities for Omanis.