‘Discovering Oman’ to woo UK tourists

Muscat, Nov 20 – Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) has partnered with not-for-profit foundation Outward Bound Oman on a unique project that will raise awareness of the Sultanate as a tourist destination in the UK. Over the past 12 months, Outward Bound Oman and OMRAN have been working closely on an online educational resources — one specifically about the Rimal al Sharqiya (Sharqiyah Sands), and the second that compares Oman and the UK, called ‘Discovering Oman.’ The project will create a series of online teaching resources tailored to the UK National Curriculum for use in the classroom to build a long-term understanding of the Sultanate and the Middle East region amongst school students in the UK.
The first phase of the programme saw a team of geography teachers from the UK visit Oman for one week in January 2018. Working in partnership with the award-winning team of geography teachers at The British School Muscat, the team visited Outward Bound Oman’s recently completed national training centre in the Rimal al Sharqiya. They also spent time in Muscat meeting key officials before returning to the UK to design their lesson plans, that will be linked to the teaching curriculum. On September 26, the first phase of the plans were launched at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London, where workshops were delivered to show teachers how to use the resources.
From 1985 to 1987, leading scientists from Oman worked alongside a team from The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to undertake an extensive biological and geographical survey of the sands, making them one of the most intensively studied arid environments on earth.
In 2017 the Society’s online resources for schools were in high demand, with the school web pages being viewed in excess of one million times over the course of the year.
British Ambassador to Oman, Hamish Cowell said, that ‘this project is another great example of the breadth and depth of UKs long-standing relationship with Oman. These resources will help embed knowledge of Oman into young people’s educational learning, and help promote Oman as a tourist destination for British holidaymakers.’
Qais al Hosni, Head of Government and Corporate Affairs at OMRAN, said: ‘“As the executive arm of the government for the development of the tourism sector in Oman, OMRAN plays a key role in driving the growth of tourism in the Sultanate. A key element of that growth is increasing people’s awareness of Oman as a destination, and the Discovering Oman project will help embed and promote Oman year on year in one of our key markets.”
Phase 2 of the project will see a team of teachers visit Oman early in 2019 to undertake their own data collection, and produce their own lesson plans targeting older students. Outward Bound Oman works at a grassroots level to build the capacity of the human resource of the nation.