Its diminutive existence belies its humongous power and influence to unleash even a communication revolution as it did way back in the 1840s. The good old postage stamp is still loved and respected for “the persistence with which it sticks to its job” as observed by Napoleon Hill.
If the postage stamps have survived the onslaught of the digital technology, which has consistently maintained a condescending attitude towards the postal system, it’s because they are much more than a sticky affair; they carry the humankind’s cultural and historical legacies.
And, among the myriad special days we celebrate is the one for the postal system, named the World Post Day, which is observed on October 9. The day is an occasion to enhance awareness of how the postal sector connects with the everyday lives of people and businesses, and thus acts as a driver of social and economic progress of countries.
STAMPED BY HISTORY!
Oman is a country where the postal service thrives in all its glory. The first post office in the Sultanate was established in 1856 in Muscat, and its first recorded postage stamps date back to the 1860s. However, the official postal stamp of the Sultanate was issued only in 1966. And, after a long gap the Oman Philatelic Society was formed in 2014 with the objectives of documenting Omani postage stamps and studying their cultural features, apart from representing the Sultanate in philatelic exhibitions.
The Sultanate’s national postal operator Oman Post was established in 2005, and has since introduced several value-added services powered by digital technologies and solutions so as to keep up with the demands of the times and remain competitive and appealing to the new generation.
GUIDE OF OMAN
Oman Post is keen to promote the cultural and touristic highlights of the Sultanate with innovative projects that inspire people to be partners in progress. Its photography contest held in association with the Salalah Tourism Festival is one such initiative. Stamps carrying the winning images are sure to go a long way in popularizing the rich natural diversity and charm of the Sultanate across the world.
Oman Post recently issued two new commemorative stamps with augmented reality features that allow people to explore the majestic Muscat International Airport upon scanning the stamps using the Oman Stamp smart-phone application. The integration of augmented reality in Oman Post stamps reflects its commitment to stay relevant and smart by using advances in technology.
Another recently released stamp has been a commemorative one celebrating Oman’s presidency of the Arab Women Organization. The stamp honours the key contributions by women towards the region’s progress.
Last year Oman Post launched 15 stamps featuring the amazingly beautiful Dhofar Governorate and its geographical attractions. All the images printed on those stamps were by Omani photographer Hamad al Busaidi.
In fact, Oman Post regularly issues commemorative and special stamps such as National Day stamps as part of its strategy to promote national milestones and achievements as well as aspirations.
Oman Post released a stamp in 2016 highlighting the strong bio-cultural links that Omanis developed with the date palm trees. In the same year it issued a stamp on the famed Arabian Oryx of Oman, which is an endangered species.
In a significant victory that thrilled countless hearts in the Sultanate, the Oman Football National team won the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup in 2017 defeating the Emirates. Oman Post joined in the celebrations by releasing commemorative stamps that captured the excitement of the game and the multiple dimensions of the prestigious win. The stamp carrying the vibrant image of the Omani goalkeeper swinging deftly to prevent a goal is quite an artwork.
The Sultanate has been a trailblazer in ensuring children’s rights, and guaranteeing that every child has access to health and education. Oman is ranked first at the Gulf level in the Children’s Rights Index published by the International Children Rights Foundation ‘Kids Rights.’
The Oman Post stamp on Children’s rights issued in 2017 showcases this achievement.
Apart from issuing stamps that celebrate milestones, Oman Post has been keen to revamp its services to cater to the needs of the new generation. Its e-postal services are considered the best at the global level in terms of innovation, efficiency and customer service excellence.
Thus true to its founding principles, Oman Post continues to engage with the people of the Sultanate by reflecting their aspirations and highlighting their (and the country’s) achievements and assets through remarkable stamps, and offering them unmatched services that are driven by state-of-the-art technologies.