Omani tech start-up to launch DNA testing service

A high-tech Omani start-up is gearing up to roll out a first-of-its-kind DNA testing service that offers citizens and residents the opportunity to enhance their health and well-being by unlocking the secrets of their unique genetic code.

The initiative, planned to be launched under the brand name ‘Shafra’, has won the backing of Oman Technology Fund (OTF), the Sultanate’s premier venture capital investment fund.  Conceived and developed by an all-Omani team of professionals, Shafra is set to exemplify a new era in tech entrepreneurship currently being fostered in the Sultanate.

“We will be offering a DNA testing service using the most accurate gene sequencing technology,” said Dr Raya al Maskari, Chief Scientific Officer – Shafra.me.

“The kits are user-friendly and delivered to our client’s doorsteps. Our clients will receive personalised recommendations to help them optimise their wellness and make informed lifestyle choices based on their unique genetic code. The insights provided are backed up by the latest scientific research and will include reports on nutritional needs, food sensitivities, diet and fitness recommendations, sleep habits and many more… so stay tuned!”

In a recent tweet, the government-backed Oman Technology Fund said Shafra’s anticipated launch would eventually pave the way for the Sultanate’s entry into a global DNA testing market currently valued at around $3 billion.

“We are grateful for OTF’s investment opportunity and the world-class support and mentoring that we have received through the Techween accelerator program, which helped us understand the market and develop our idea,” Dr. Al Maskari noted.

Asked for a timeline for the planned launch of the service in Oman, the Chief Scientific Officer added: “While we cannot provide an exact date of launching our services, we would like to thank our enthusiasts and assure them that we are eagerly working on a few technical aspects to optimise our operations. We are also working on the necessary legal procedures to ensure our full compliance with regulations and international standards with regards to protecting personal data.”