Outdoor training centre in Sharqiya Sands

Outward Bound Oman (OBO) achieved another milestone with the completion of the Sultanate’s first purpose-built outdoor training centre in Sharqiya Sands.
A celebration to mark the occasion was held under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki al Said, Patron of Outward Bound Oman, in the presence of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York KG.
The dignitaries included ministers, partners of OBO in the government and private establishments and others.
Located about 12 km into the Sharqiya Sands, the centre is unique with self-sustainability in every aspect, including solar panels to generate energy, and a bio-digester to treat waste water on site.

“In addition to being a hub for our Outward Bound training courses, the centre will act as a base for field and environmental research,” said Hilal al Malawi, Chairman of OBO.
An automatic weather station located on the roof will enable students and researchers inside and outside of Oman to monitor the local conditions at any time, day or night.
“With a capacity to accommodate 70 people, the building is the first of its kind totally powered by renewable solar energy and fully equipped with audio and video room, meeting rooms, four learning pods, majlis and medical room,” said Hilal.
Designed by Muscat-based architects 23 Degrees North, the centre is already being nominated for international design awards.

In addition to being a centre for Outward Bound operations, the centre has been designed to act as a residential environmental field study centre with the aim of making the Sultanate a global hub
for arid environment research.
Outward Bound, a global leader in outdoor learning, started in the United Kingdom in 1941, where the Duke of York acts as the chairman of trustees.
The Oman branch, which opened in 2009, has experienced sustainable growth during the years.
Employing 25 full-time staff presently, the OBO imparted 96 courses to nearly 2,000 participants to enable them to get work in leading companies in Oman.
In 2019, OBO will host the Outward Bound International World Conference in Oman.
By 2010, it will be working with and training more than 4,000 people per year.
The courses to be offered include basic life skills, to work ethics and ethics and employability and focused leadership development.

SAMUEL KUTTY