Sultanate’s handicrafts hailed, artisans honoured

MUSCAT, MARCH 3 – The number of Omani craftsmen witnessed an increase in 2018 by 1.96 per cent to reach 21,557, of whom 88 per cent are women, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information. The Governorate of Dhofar has the highest number of artisans (6,531) followed by Al Sharqiyah North Governorate (4,495). The Sultanate celebrated on Sunday the Omani Craftsman Day which falls on March 3 every year.  The celebration was held at the Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI) headquarters under the auspices of its chairperson Shaikha Aisha bint Khalfan al Siyabiyah.
Pointing out the great interest of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos in the sector which has strengthened the growth and efficiency of national handicraft industries, Shaikha Aisha said in her speech that PACI follows the royal directives of His Majesty to preserve handicrafts and promote traditional professions. “The authority is keen on achieving these objectives as we are constantly following up implementation of projects, programmes and initiatives to achieve the growth of the sector. We seek to implement forward-looking visions in which handicraft industries contribute as an active sector to the overall development with high productivity and profitability”.
During the event, the PACI and Oman Post launched commemorative stamps of five types of Khanjars. Welfare schemes for craftsmen of all wilayats along with the names of beneficiaries were announced at the ceremony. The recipients of artisanal support for 2019 include 288 craftsmen from different governorates. The winners of eight international awards were also honoured at the event. Commenting on the awards, Ghada Hijjawi, president of World Crafts Council-Asia Pacific Region, said: “It is my pleasure to receive an invite from the Sultanate to hand over the World Crafts Council’s certificates of professional excellence to the outstanding Omani craftsmen. Out of 507 participants, eight Omani handicrafts have won top awards.”