As many as 248 journalists and other media people from 120 countries will attend the General Conference of the 31st meeting of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) presided over by His Highness Sayyid Asaad bin Tarik al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs and Personal Representative of His Majesty the Sultan, in Muscat from May 31 to June 3.
Salim al Jahwari, the representative of the OJA (Oman Journalists Association), said three distinctive features make the conference different from the previous editions.
"This is the first time that a GCC country is hosting the IFJ conference and 2nd country in the Middle East after Tunisia."
The Press Photo Award for Journalists, for the first time in the region, will be given every three years, followed by the visit of five media families to the Sultanate of Oman each year. Besides, close association with the Asia Pacific Association for Press which is coming to Oman for the conference is another milestone of the conference, which is, in turn, expected to give a fillip to the tourism sector.
The meeting, touted as an effort to make Oman the destination for global expertise in the field of journalism and media, to be held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, is considered to be an achievement for the country and for all journalists and media people.
The global gathering will highlight the overall achievements of Oman, and the IFJ's acceptance for the General Conference in the country is evidence of international appreciation for the Omani press, as freedom of expression is the fundamental criterion for a country to be able to host the conference, according to the organisers.