Sunday, April 02, 2023 | Ramadan 10, 1444 H
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Using traditional Omani elements in modern business ventures


You won’t probably have any idea where to go if someone asks you to visit ‘Kadm’ now but in the earlier history of Oman, people would have no trouble locating it as, at one point, the city of Kadm was the name of Oman’s capital.

This is according to young Omani entrepreneurs Salmeen bin Al Sabaa al Mahrouqi and Amjad bin Nasser al Jadidi who shared that in around 3000 BC, the capital of Oman was called as such and to revive this interest in history, has become the eponymous name to their current venture — a coffee place that not only evokes traditional Omani style but a welcoming place for everyone looking for a chill place to hang out.

“Kadm is a name once given to an area located between the wilayats of Al Hamra and Bahla. We love to evoke history in what we do and so we decided it to become the name of the cafe’’, Slameen and Amjad shared.

Making sure that we honour not just the name, many of the cafe’s elements can trace back their origin to ancient Omani heritage. This is what make’s this coffee shop different from others’’, they explained.

The duo shared that one of the primary things they considered was the location. Before Covid-19, the Bahla Fort is one of the most visited attractions in the country as not only is it an important archaeological destination it is also one of the country’s prized Unesco Heritage sites.

The duo hoped to bank on the location’s history knowing fully well how important storytelling is in marketing the business.

They also made the best use of their site incorporating Omani heritage houses and Omani external decorations to stay true to the spirit of the old, charming Oman.

They both understand also the importance of modern comfort which is why they’ve decided to set up rooms where decorations combine contemporary with authentic Omani heritage hoping to be able to capture the different tastes of their guests. The duo believes that bridging the gap between the old and the new would work well for both their local and expatriate guests coming to visit.

“For instance, when you visit the cafe, we have the “Majlis” room where we set up the room to showcase what an old Omani majlis or sablah looks like. You’d find interesting decors including old furniture mixed between old musical instruments and old televisions the way the old setup their traditional homes’’, Slameen shared.

“As we shared, we try to cater to different tastes with the traditional Omani style the dominant feature. The different rooms available have themes which include Bohemian, Bahraini, Greek, Abstract and Al Barza rooms’’, Amjad shared.

Located in one of Oman’s historical places where customs and traditions shape the day to day living of the locals, Slameen said the rooms paid respect to the local’s need for privacy.

“We wanted to provide guests with safe spaces where they can be seated in each room and can share a good afternoon rendezvous with friends without worrying of prying eyes’’, he added.

‘We want to make the customers live a unique and new experience as a coffee shop’’, Slameen said.

The duo is both proud of what they started and is urging other youths like them to not be afraid to try to come up with innovative ideas for business.

Slameen added that young Omanis hoping to establish their own business should not shy away from using elements of their culture as usually, it is this very historical feature that will attract guests to what they do.

“Being confident with your identity and blending past and present in a creative way is one of the best ways to move forward. Small projects and businesses needed a creative push and this holds a lot of promise for those who are willing to take the risk’’, Slameen said.

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