The Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) is preparing to resume services by hosting a series of events following the approval from the Supreme Committee on COVID-19 to restart the conferences and exhibitions sector.
Hailing the decision, Saeed al Shanfari, CEO of the OCEC, said, “The centre will offer an appropriate venue to hold events in partnership with local, regional and international event organisers, who are looking forward to hosting these exceptional events through a new set of services and facilities.”
He stressed that the OCEC will be committed to ensuring the safety of attendees and guests by adopting strict health and safety standards in all operations, and preventive measures will include temperature checks before entering, and social distancing in waiting and meeting places.
He pointed out that the reopening of the centre will be accompanied by the introduction of a wide range of new services and facilities for customers, including a set of new and improved audio-visual equipment and processes.
“Arrangements will be made to host events where public can attend in limited numbers, while live broadcasting facilities will be offered for larger events.”
The Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OCCI), too, has welcomed the decision. Its Exhibitions and Conferences Committee held several meetings with stakeholders in the last few months. The meetings discussed the issue of financial compensation, and committee members urged Oman Development Bank (ODB) to provide companies with reasonable guarantees to mitigate the effects that exhibition and conference organisers faced due to the pandemic.
The committee demanded exemptions in government fees, rents and tax, in addition to discounts from the OCEC when activities resume.
The committee suggested the exhibitions sector be included in ODB and Raffd Fund for loans to SMEs to help these companies get financial ompensation.
Redha bin Jumah al Saleh, chairman of the Board of Directors of the OCCI, had tweeted, “The exhibitions and conferences sector is a significant element of economic diversification, and plays an important role in the development and enhancement of the national income. It achieves the goals of sustainable economic development. We’ll support the sector according to the available investment opportunities.”
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