MAi AL ABRIA –
It’s a news that has been well-received not by craftsmen and even tourists and residents of the country. “Having your counter at one of the liveliest spots in Oman is a big deal,” said Hamyar al Amri, a local craftsman. The Public Authority for Crafts Industries (PACI) has established a few outlets in Muttrah Souq in line with the celebrations of the 14th Omani Craftsmen Day.
“This is important as not only does it introduce the identity of a country but at personal level, it allows local craftsmen to market pure Omani products. This is something that I would call, a chance that won’t be repeated,” he added.
Establishing these stalls for Omani crafts is part of the efforts of PACI to provide a comprehensive support for the Omani craftsmen engaged in different craft production. This is in addition to securing and enhancing sites dedicated for local craft products manufactured locally.
As PACI supervises and enhances these craft centres, they ensure that the products hitting the local product are of superb quality. By helping out local craftsmen this way, small business owners are also given an opportunity to market their products well aided by the latest machinery and up-to-date technologies.
This year, PACI adopted a series of initiatives designed specially to realized the organization’s vision of encouraging craft industries to contribute to the local income. These craft centres will be available at Muttrah Souq until March 11, 2017 for all tourists and visitors of the souq.
Roa al Zadjalia, Assistant Director of Marketing and Investment Department at PACI, assures that the authority seeks through these marketing platforms to provide many educational and marketing events related to crafts industry sector besides showcasing the innovative products for craftsmen.
Al Zadjalia explained that this allows visitors from inside and outside the Sultanate to view a variety of models of Omani developed crafts.
The assistant director added that this also highlights the role of the Authority in supporting artisans in their search for modernity while retaining the identity of the Omani heritage and traditions. These centres also highlight PACI’s efforts to encourage artisans to continue developing their sector and improve their national capacity to produce more.
Al Zadjalia stressed that local crafts products and their accessibility and availability to tourists and locals alike showcase the culture of the Omani society. In addition, it demonstrates the support that is given to the craftsmen. By establishing the centres in Muttrah Souq, the craftsmen are given great opportunity to be seen and noticed as Muttrah Souq is one of the liveliest tourist destinations in the Sultanate.
John, a tourist visiting Oman from Austria, thinks that the Omani products carry impressive and attractive shapes that make them easy to like. He added that the products he has seen have characters unique to Oman.
“They are good choices to carry as gifts as it they introduce the Omani culture to others,” he noted.
The participating craftsmen expressed their satisfaction in the number of turn out especially from tourists who are interested to know all the tiny details about the displayed products.
“This Souq is traditional and even historical and has been known as the ideal platform for different items and souvenirs. PACI’s idea to establish these outlets here is productive”, Noora al Batashia, a crafts woman, said.
German tourist Hammer Hank was astonished to see Omani women getting involved in the centres and it didn’t escape him that there are businesswomen in the crafts trade.
“This is my first visit to the Sultanate and I was really amazed with the efforts exerted by the Omani women in these outlets. The feminine touches were evident in their works making the items aesthetic pleasing. The items are also carefully made and they really are of best quality,” he said.