The people of Oman celebrate today, November 18, the 48th National Day, to continue the modern renaissance process and achieve further progress and prosperity in all fields under the leadership of Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
The achievements made during the past 48 years in all sectors reveal the amount of efforts made during the renaissance path.
In its transition from the 1970s to the 21st century, Oman actively contributed to its own peace, safety and stability and that of the region, focusing on economic and social achievements, by a great development in the standard of living of the Omani citizens in all its aspects.
The basic law of Oman and its amendments embodied all these aspects in order to ensure rule of law and deep co-operation between the executive and legislative institutions within the framework of equality, independence of judiciary and facilitation of justice for citizens.
Regarding support extended to the youth sector, which receives special and continuous attention from the Sultan, more than 33,000 job-seekers were appointed in private sector in collaboration with the government until late May. Last October, Sultan Qaboos ordered the promotion of Omani citizens of the State employees’ batch of 2010.
The number of citizens benefiting from the fuel subsidy programme implemented by the government has also been expanded and a sum of OR100mn has been allocated to this year’s budget in 2018 to ease the burdens of citizens.
Within the co-operation and co-ordination between the council of ministers and the council of Oman (State Council and Shura Council), a joint meeting was held between the council of ministers and the council of Oman on 2 May. It is significant that the Omani people and the various organs of the state have demonstrated a practical degree of cohesion and co-operation in the face of the climatic conditions in the governorates of Dhofar and Al Wusta that were hit by cyclone ‘Mekunu’ last May and the storm ‘Laban’ last October. This was commended by the council of ministers and many regional and international environmental organisations.
On the developmental level, Oman’s modern development process is proceeding at a confident pace to achieve further progress and prosperity for the Omani citizens and to improve living standards for them continuously, while providing all that can make the Omani economy achieve its objectives in terms of growth and diversification of sources of income and reduce dependence on oil as a major source for government revenue, along with implementing the projects in the main sectors adopted in the 9th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh) and the preparation of a vision strategy for Oman 2040 to expand the Sultanate’s economy, and transform Oman into a regional logistics centre, especially with the completion of the projects of the Duqm Economic Zone during the coming period.
While the new Muscat International Airport was inaugurated on November 11, 2018 and the Duqm Commercial Airport opened on 17 September, several projects are being planned, including oil refinery and petrochemical industries project, the Chinese city project with its large investment, and the smart city project agreed upon with South Korea in July.
While the government continues to work to reduce public spending, increase resources and revenues, reduce the deficit in the general budget of 2019, along increasing foreign investment and revitalise the tourism sector, the Omani government is also keen on developing health, education and social welfare services for Omani citizens, in line with continuous economic and social development witnessed by the Sultanate.
The Sultanate has achieved advanced levels in many indicators released by international institutions in different aspects. For example, the Sultanate ranked first in a number of international competitiveness indicators such as indicators of the occurrence of terrorism, the terror-free index, the index of reliability of police services, the independence of the judiciary, the road quality index, the efficiency index of port services, the index of open data, etc., which reflects the great effort exerted by the government in various economic, social, service and other sectors.
Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman expressed his satisfaction and appreciation at the continuous efforts exerted by the government, taking into account the economic and social aspects, when he chaired the Cabinet meeting on February 7 this year.
The government of the Sultanate seeks to give a great impetus to programmes that develop the abilities and skills of young people, both through the programs prepared in this area, including the National Program for Youth Skills Development, which was launched this year by the Diwan of the Royal Court, or through encouraging and supporting small and medium enterprises and providing them with more facilities to encourage young people to establish their own projects due to the importance of these types of projects for the national economy and its future development.
This is accompanied by programmes to stimulate tourism and investment in tourism projects in the various governorates of the Sultanate and work to invest the tourism assets enjoyed by the Sultanate in this area.
The e-tourism visa was issued and Muscat International Airport was fully operational in March 2018 to become an important addition to Oman’s tourism promotion. The Muscat Festival and the Salalah Tourism Festival were further developed and attracted more tourists.
On the other hand, the national exercise “Al Shomoukh 2” and the Omani-British joint military exercise “Swift Sword” between the Sultan’s Armed Forces and the British Royal Armed Forces were carried out last October. The practical demonstration of the two exercises with live ammunition was carried out on November 3.
At the same time, the national exercise “Al Shomoukh 2”, in which units of the Sultan’s armed forces, the Royal Guard of Oman, the Royal Oman Police, and other military, security and civil forces have demonstrated the readiness of all military, security and civilian institutions, and the close co-operation of one command to face any developments, the joint Omani-British joint Express Sword 3 has clearly affirmed the high combat efficiency of the armed forces of the Sultan and the efficient planning, execution and discipline of our brave children and the ability to work in close harmony with the friendly British armed forces Oman.
It is certainly no coincidence that the forces of the Sultan of various kinds of this high level of competence and skill and combat ability to use Modern weapons and advanced fighting techniques due to the high standing patronage of the organisation by the Supreme Commander.
Oman, which is strong with its leadership and its people, has been and will continue to be a safety valve and a pillar of security, stability and peace in the Gulf, the Arab region and the Middle East, and the Sultanate has witnessed the movement, communications and visits at the highest levels and its good endeavours to contribute to solving the current problems and conflicts in the region through dialogue and peaceful means, which is very important, the most important of which is the great appreciation and prestige of the sultan of Oman, at all levels including official and popular, and the keenness of many in the region and the world to listen to his assessment and vision of the various developments and benefit from his wisdom to push the paths of peace which the people of the region are looking forward to today, not only for the Palestinian cause and the need for a just and comprehensive solution within the framework of the two States but also for the various problems and crises in the region that have suffered by their people.
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