Acknowledging the contribution of the craft industries to Oman’s economy and to the enhancement of its ‘national identity’, the sultanate is all set to celebrate the Omani Craftsmen Day today.
The celebration of the event this year reaffirms the significance of the initiatives made to support contributions to the national craft industries, said H E Eng Ibrahim Said al Kharousi, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, a day ahead of the event, which is celebrated every year on March 3.
“Such contributions target enhancing artisans’ source of income, due to the fact that craft industries serve as focal components that countries seek to conserve,” H E Eng Kharousi added.
The sultanate boasts a wide range of craft industries spread across all governorates of which 14 vocations are common to all.
Cotton weaving is one of the most practised crafts in Oman, with more than 7,674 craftsmen and women actively engaged in the industry.
The least practiced is the crafting of musical instruments, with only 20 artisans taking it as a profession, a statement said.
H E Eng Kharousi underscored the importance of crafts in developing social and economic projects.
“This is in addition to their effective role in providing society with highly prized and artistic products carrying symbolic values that enhance the national identity,” he explained.
He added that the sultanate’s celebration of the event furnishes a context for protecting typical craft industries, developing them, promoting and marketing their products within the sultanate and abroad – a mission entrusted to the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism under a Royal Decree (No 91/2020).
Haleema Rashid al Zar’ei, chairperson of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, said that the number of artisans in the sultanate till the end of 2020 stood at 24,000; 88 per cent of them were women.
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