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Big boost for Oman tourism as joint initiative by MoT, Bank Muscat to host social media icon pays rich dividends

MUSCAT, 24th August 2016 – A joint initiative by the Ministry of Tourism and Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, to promote Oman as a distinct tourist destination has paid rich dividends. The programme, aimed at unleashing the potential of social media in showcasing the country's diverse tourist attractions, hosted Sheikh Majed Al Sabah, renowned social media celebrity, on a unique 'Discover Oman's Beauty' programme as the country's appeal swept across to grab the attention of social media enthusiasts across the world. During the week-long stay, Sheikh Majed explored Oman to discover the country's well-kept secrets covering natural attractions, vibrant heritage and culture.

Sheikh Majed discovered out-of-the-ordinary people and places as he embarked on the trail of adventure and excitement across Oman, covering the National Museum, Majlis Al Jinn cave, Bedouin settlements in Al Sharqiyah sands, Dhofar mountains and the Royal Opera House. Sheikh Majed's spectacular portrayal of Oman evoked tremendous response among social media followers. 

An avid traveller, Sheikh Majed has over six million followers on social media channels, especially Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. During travels, Sheikh Majed engages in open communication with people through social media posts to highlight unique Arab traditions and values as well as remarkable social and economic developments across the world.

Bank Muscat hosted a reception in honour of Sheikh Majed at the head office, attended by dignitaries led by H.E Maitha al Mahrouqi, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, senior Management Team of the bank, social media enthusiasts and bloggers.

The event showcased the country's folklore music, traditional crafts and costumes, offering the opportunity for Sheikh Majed to interact with veteran craftsmen pursuing some of the country's popular traditional crafts. Fashion designers engaged in designing traditional costumes for men and women also presented their latest offerings at the event. In his characteristic vibrant style, Shaikh Majed exchanged courtesies with the audience to whip up an air of friendship and bonhomie.

Commenting on the visit of Sheikh Majed, H.E Maitha al Mahrouqi said: "Oman is proud to host Sheikh Majed Al Sabah whose lively impressions and unique coverage of the country have helped to capture the attention of millions of people across the world. Such initiatives open up new avenues to attract the world to the Sultanate to experience the distinct tourist attractions and vibrant heritage and culture. It was a great opportunity to partner with Bank Muscat and Sheikh Majid to showcase Oman, which undoubtedly will give the Sultanate's tourism promotion added value on social media. We are confident that this initiative will continue to yield rich dividend in promoting Oman as a unique tourist destination in the region."

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “Bank Muscat in association with the Ministry of Tourism is delighted to organise the visit of Sheikh Majed within the framework of promoting the Sultanate's sustainable tourism industry. Bank Muscat is closely involved in the country's tourism development projects, complementing the government endeavours to promote Oman as a unique destination and boost the national economy."

AbdulRazak Ali Issa added: “With the entry of social media, the dynamics of communication has changed dramatically. Social media plays a significant role to connect people across the world, facilitating exchange of information on important developments. Bank Muscat pursues an active social media policy to engage with the largest banking family in Oman. We believe social media has a unifying role as evident from the portrayal of the country by Sheikh Majed. We thank him for accepting the invitation to visit Oman and showcasing the country in a league of its own."

Rated among the most influential personalities in social media, including Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, Sheikh Majed engages with his followers in a fun-loving way. With his charming and witty personality, Sheikh Majed has changed the perception of using Snapchat. His “snaps" are fun and informative and his views as a world explorer help followers gain knowledge from different cultures around the world. Due to his active participation on Snapchat, he was selected as one of the 50 most effective personalities worldwide.

Sheikh Majed belongs to the Kuwaiti Royal Family and is a businessman. He owns one of the most successful fashion businesses called “Villa Moda", and the well-known TFK brand of perfumes, which led to his collaboration with Tom Ford to create the famous “Arabian Wood Oud".

Sheikh Majed said: “Despite time constraints and long distance between the regions, I enjoyed the excellent programme and scenic beauty of Oman. I am overwhelmed by the Omani hospitality which is not strange to this country and its people. As for the organisation, I must say it was excellent. What caught my attention in the Sultanate is its geographical composition and diversity of scenic attractions comprising majestic mountains, golden beaches and sand dunes as well as the green oasis of Salalah. The arrangements to visit the various attractions were superb and the experience richly rewarding, especially in some of the most luxurious properties in Oman from Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton Hotel in Muscat to Al Fanar in Salalah and Alila Jabal Akhdar."

Sheikh Majed thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Bank Muscat for facilitating the unique opportunity to experience the wonderful Omani hospitality and discover the country's unique attractions, rich heritage and culture.