Eid for most Omanis is well described at Dhofari Gucci.
Photo: An Aussie Businessman
Meanwhile, I was pondering the natural advantages Oman has (and hasn't). For example, in Australia, there is a huge surfing and beach culture, so they also are home to many top businesses serving surfers - clothes, boards, etc.
Same for say, skiing in the Alps of Europe. Again, these countries host locally major international winter sporting goods manufacturers, export ski and snowboard instructors, host resorts.
So, what is Oman good at? Where is our local equivalent of Billabong or Atomic? What's our Ricardian natural advantage? How can Oman compete with countries like Vietnam, despite having a population with, shall we say, a totally different work ethic?
It should be. The fishing used to be AMAZING in Oman. Of late one hears tales from Expat and Omani alike of a dearth of good big fish, excepting the offshore Dhofar perhaps. But shouldn't we be manufacturing really good fishing gear? Running more fishing oriented tourism? Exporting talent, in the way of Arabic speaking Captains for the (much bigger) Red Sea or Mediterranean markets? Processing fish properly here to export direct to prime markets like Japan, USA and China? Are we even properly running our fisheries? Are we world experts on running a fishery? Marine Biology?
- Trauma care.
This is a no brainer, definitely.
Oman has one of the world's highest rates of death and injury on the roads. We should have a specialist Trauma and Emergency Surgery Teaching hospital here. ET and Military surgeons from all over the world could train here. We can export trained expert Omani Doctors and Nurses (again, who speak Arabic and English). At the rate we seem to be going, there is no danger of running out of stupid Omani boys in really fast cars who don't know how to drive responsibly and safely. Already, Koula Hospital is world famous for having lots of fantastic wet work and gets a lot of visiting surgeons.
We could be developing medical equipment, treatment, etc.
What else? Goats and dates, obviously. I've commented on the business opportunities for dates previously. The opportunities are not huge, but hey, people need cereal.
- Oh, Sand and surf, obviously.
Hence OMRAAN, Blue City, the Wave, BAJ, Asian Games, etc, etc, etc. If only the people building these Hotel and Tourism developments, and working there and living in them, were Omanis. We would also need to be exporting trained F&B and Tourism staff, not importing them.
But then why drop the ball on the America's Cup, have few good marinas, and hardly support the local sailors? How many of our victorious crews in Catamaran sailing are Omani? Could Oman become a 'New Zealand of the Middle East' for Sailing? Maybe. But not the way its going. Again, can you really forsee Omanis building world class racing boats, or tourist craft? Heck, even our local fishing boats are imported from the UAE. Pathetic.
Then, I started to run out of ideas. There's lots of things we know we aren't good at, [Education, Media, growing food, ...] - I think we import waaaaay too much, of everything. But I'm not talking about basic import substitution (although I think we need to do a hell of a lot more of that too).
Where is that expertise, the professionalism? A thing where people all over the world, people with money, would eventually say,
"Oh, look at that, Omani. Excellent choice. That is really good shit. "
Perhaps a School of Government, like the ones in New York, France and UK?
Readers? Any thoughts?