Running till Thursday at Sanghri-La Barr al Jissah Resort & Spa, the three-day conference is being attended by over 550 delegates from 35 countries. Around 64 leading speakers from a cross-section of industries will also share their insights on the challenges and opportunities around the aluminium industry.
H H Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, assistant secretary general for the Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, delivered the event’s keynote address, focusing on the role aluminium industry will play in the sultanate’s ongoing diversification efforts.
H H Sayyid Kamil said, “While Oman’s many natural resources have been harnessed with considerable success, we need vision to unlock their full potential. This is something Oman has been able to achieve within the global aluminium sector since its emergence as a player only a few years ago. Locally, the industry has boosted job opportunities and created a valuable knowledge base regionally and internationally, which has contributed significantly in raising Oman’s profile.”
“I am convinced that manufacturing industries such as aluminium production will become an engine of such diversification, benefiting from our youth dividend. Such industries can offer young Omanis the chance to explore non-traditional jobs and play full roles in helping the region to emerge as a producer of non-petroleum raw materials that complement its current role in the global energy market,” H H Sayyid Kamil added.
Eng Said al Masoudi, CEO of Sohar Aluminium and host of ARABAL 2017, said, “While like any industry we have our fair share of challenges, including rapidly changing market prices and a changing surplus within the market, today is the ideal opportunity to discover the most sustainable way forward.”
He said Sohar Aluminium was established in 2004 as part of Oman’s national strategy to diversify the economy. “Our beginnings, present and future, as a result, have always been linked to Oman’s ambitions to be a major business hub uniting African, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets. Ever since, we have achieved one major milestone after another in our journey to facilitate growth and significantly contribute to one of the world’s fastest developing industries.”
The schedule for the first two days of the conference includes presentations and discussion panels and day three features a site tour of Sohar Aluminium’s state-of-the-art facilities in Sohar.
Inaugurated alongside the conference was the ARABAL 2017 Exhibition, featuring a line-up of 43 companies - some of the world’s leading product and service providers in the aluminium industry and local downstream companies.