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Preserving Omani culture, identity important priority

3 Jan 2022

Muscat – Preserving Omani identity, heritage and culture is an important priority area in the 10th Five-Year Development Plan (2021-25).

The Ministry of Economy (MoE) released the ‘Strategic Programmes Folder’ for the 10th Five-Year Development Plan (2021-25) recently, which focuses on 14 national priorities and 430 strategic programmes chosen as per the priorities of Oman Vision 2040.

Under the many priorities detailed in the Strategic Programmes Folder, ‘Citizenship, Identity, Heritage and National Culture’, which has 45 programmes, targets the preservation and promotion of Omani identity as well as its cultural heritage over the course of the next five years.

Omani Identity

Some of the important programmes lined up under the ‘Citizenship, Identity, Heritage and National Culture’ priority include promoting Omani culture through participation in international forums, organising ‘Oman Day’ exhibitions and events in leading museums across the world. Creating ‘Oman Corner’ in famous museums, making World Heritage Sites ready and easily accessible and establishing an integrated centre to preserve documents, archives and docume- ntary reserves of intangible cultural heritage are also planned.

The programme will focus on documenting and promoting Omani arts globally, establishing a Centre for Omani Civilisation Studies, the Omani Encyclopedia of Traditional Arts as well as creating a Unified National Index for Omani Manuscripts and the ‘Yashhadoon’ programme for documenting oral history.

There will be impetus to promote traditional games and create sports league. Omani identity will be preserved through a platform – ‘Urban and Bedouin Programme: Our Identity is Citizenship and Ethics’.

Cultural heritage

The five-year plan outlines measures for sustainable investment in Oman’s cultural heritage. Among the plans is one to establish new museums and develop existing ones, as well as develop private museums in castles and forts. Also envisaged are cultural centres in the wilayats of Khasab and Buraimi.

Restoration and maintenance of archaeological and historical monuments and preserving and documenting Omani antiquities are the areas identified for preservation of Omani cultural heritage.

An incubator will be established to encourage investment in heritage, crafts and arts. Tourism will be promoted by developing tourism heritage sites and adding cultural components.

Creative economy

A National Programme for the Development of the Crafts Sector and Craftsmen will be developed to focus on having a creative economy. This will be in addition to the establishment of a Fine Arts Centre and formation of a national centre for research, experimentation, innovation and design for the development of craft industries.

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