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Brand Oman participates in Shanghai World Expo

2009. 14 July

( The arts tend to be marginalised as enjoyable but not very useful. However, according to His Highness Sayyid Faisal Al Said, CEO, Oman Brand Management Unit (OBMU), the arts are intrinsic to our national identity and need to be taken as seriously as scientific research and inward investment.

At a recent Shanghai World Expo 2010 presentation held at the Omani Society for Fine Arts, OBMU's Taleb Al Makhmari argued that study and training in the arts will provide Oman with the high-level skills required to sustain an increasingly knowledge-based society and economy, at a relatively low cost.

'These disciplines represent an efficient and economical investment, as well as contributing to Oman's cultural, intellectual and social enrichment and well-being. The arts lead the way in promoting and understanding Oman's history and culture. In fact, they help sustain and promote our unique national identity,' he said.

According to Sayyid Faisal, who with his team, will co-ordinate the Sultanate's participation at the Shanghai World Expo, 'Oman has a dynamic and growing arts scene and we believe that our national reputation in the cultural and creative sectors is vital to our overall international standing and in this regard it's critical that we have a strong arts presence in Shanghai next year.'

Runing from May to October 2010 and covering 5.28 square kilometres, HE Mohsin Al Balushi, Adviser at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Commissioner General of the Sultanate's participation at Shanghai 2010 described the event as a cultural and commercial extravaganza and promised Oman's pavilion will draw international attention to the Sultanate's rich culture and history as well as promote Oman's artistic talent.

The theme for Shanghai World Expo is better city, better living and according to Sayyid Faisal the arts, urban development, the environment and sustainability are all intrinsically linked.

'Thousands of new homes will be built in Oman over the next decade and more and more people will live in cities. Given this growth in our urban development people are asking whether consideration has been given to water supply for these new communities. But I would ask a further question about arts supply to go with the water. We've all seen communities built with soul and those built without it and you don't have to look particularly hard to see the difference. In my view, water is essential to survival. The arts are essential to living,' Sayyid Faisal added.