Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has signed an agreement allowing women from its Banat Oman social project to sell their handmade products to passengers arriving at the Port of Salalah.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Salalah Port Services Company SAOG will enable the women to showcase a range of artisan goods – such as bags, cushions, perfumed mini dishdashas, T-shirts, bowls and bookmarks – to visitors from cruise and military ships.
The Banat Oman programme aims to empower Omani women through structured vocational training, as well as establishing a strong retail network for its broad range of Omani craft products across the Sultanate.
More than 200 women have so far been trained through the PDO-funded project in skills such silver work tailoring, embroidery, dairy and bakery product manufacture and camel bone carving.
The MoU was signed by Mohammed Hardan Al Mashani, Port of Salalah Senior Public Affairs Manager, on behalf of Ahmed Akaak, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Salalah Port Services Company, and PDO’s External Affairs and Value Creation Director Abdul-Amir Al Ajmi who said: “This agreement provides a wonderful opportunity for the women of the Banat Oman project to retail their products to an international clientele.
“As part of PDO’s determination to be a good corporate citizen, we have provided vocational training and marketing support to the ladies so that they can forge rewarding careers or generate new income for themselves and their families.
“We thank the Salalah Port Services Company for their support which will give further momentum to this valuable corporate social responsibility initiative.”
Mr Akaak said: “The agreement will enable Banat Oman to showcase their products to thousands of cruise passengers who come through the port. Last year, we received more than 29,000 tourists and this in return will definitely secure a good income to the Banat Oman project.”
PDO has been developing new retail opportunities for the Banat Oman project, including with visitors to Oman. Last September, marines and sailors from the American amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage LPD 23 purchased many Banat Oman goods when they visited Port of Duqm.