Handicraft expo opens in Salalah, aims at marketability

By Kaushalendra Singh — SALALAH: March 28 – Women entrepreneurs and handicraft designers took part in a three-day exhibition of Omani handicraft products on Tuesday. To give the entrepreneurs more visibility and marketability of their products, the exhibition has been organised in one of the hypermarkets in Salalah. Opened under the auspices of Ahmed bin Ali al Amri, Adviser to Technical Affairs Office of the Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar, the exhibition attracted participation from a large number of women entrepreneurs, who have their own house museums or shops in several parts of the city. The well-kept museums serve multi-purpose roles of handicraft outlets, training centres and custodians of Omani heritage and culture.
967733The women entrepreneurs exhibited wide range handicraft products at Lulu Hypermarket like basket weaved with date palm leaves, different types of frankincense burners and potteries, which are one of the most commercial traditional industries. Omani potters are renowned for the beautiful designs of their hand-thrown pots. Some women had exhibited textile items done in traditional Omani style.
Lamset Hanan is an entrepreneur, who inherited the craft knowledge from her mother and keeps a house museum in New Salalah. Happy with her engagement, Lamset has a wide range of products at her museum. They range from earthen frankincense burners to perfumes, beauty products and authentic Omani souvenirs.
“I am happy with what I am doing because I have been helping my mother in making handicraft since my childhood. As a child, I was doing all those stuff for fun. I did not have inclination of becoming a craftswoman and making some income out of it. I am lucky to have a skill that I got without any much effort from my mother. She is my mentor till today and helps in designing products giving me time to take part in exhibitions like this,” she said.
Lamset admitted that the passion keeps her engaged with some financial support. Khareef, according her, is the best-selling season for her products.
Fatma Salim, who keeps a shop in the famous Land of Frankincense Museum, explained about many beauty products that she was keeping at her stall.
“All these products are homemade and hardly have any side effects. We use beneficial herbs and frankincense for hair oil, face cream etc. Besides, I have a wide range of souvenirs at my shop. They are widely appreciated by the international tourists visiting the museum.”
Dhofar, according to PACI sources, has about 5,000 registered artisans and there are 19 private house museums spread over many wilayats of the Dhofar Governorate.
967731Most of the registered artisans are women and take active participation in training programmes, awareness drives and other such activities being taken by several authorities time to time. House museums served the twin purposes of marketing and exhibition.
The PACI provides craft care and support initiatives that include providing artisans with modern craft equipment, as well as contributing to the marketing and promotion of the outstanding craftsmen and engage them in local, regional and international exhibitions.
The Crafts Authority supports craftsmen according to their geographical and environmental needs through the development of specialised crafts in the wilayats. There are craft training and production centres in every wilayat to support the artisans. All the participants liked the idea of organising the exhibition at the hypermarket, as it drew good visitor response, and many of them showed interest in visiting their house museums or shops in respective localities.