Complex Made Simple

Award -wining ‘Zaree’ project on track for further success

A year after its launch by Omran in November 2012, Zaree, the income generating all-female micro-tourism business based in the Wilayat of Khasab, has seen massive success and continues to be recognised for its accomplishments. Most recently, Zaree’s Team Leader, Iman al Salti, was named as ‘Best Tourism Ambassador for Al Batinah and Musandam’ by the Travelex Oman Tourism Ambassador Awards 2013. Zaree also received an Honourable Mention in the SME category at this year’s Al Mar’a Excellence Awards that honours the achievements and entrepreneurial zeal of women in the Sultanate and encourages them to challenge themselves. Earlier this year, Zaree won first place in the Entrepreneurship Award category as part of the Al Roya Youth Awards and Omran was acknowledged for its efforts towards Zaree with the ‘Women Empowerment’ accolade during the Singapore-based third Asia’s Best CSR Practices Awards.

The Zaree team provides tourists with various traditional Omani experiences through various paid packages that give an authentic glimpse of the local lifestyle in a family-friendly environment including the opportunity to try on traditional Omani garments, have henna applied, learn common Arabic phrases and sample the very best of local cuisine. As the first project of its kind in the Middle East, the programme’s progression has been encouraged through exhibition participation and support from Omran’s extensive network. Combining intensive training courses and real life experiences, the initiative has created new vistas for Omani women to become business owners and future entrepreneurial leaders in the tourism industry.

This rare insight into the lives of these Khasab ladies created a distinctive platform to bridge cultures and exchange ideas while creating jobs, generating revenue and promoting the characteristic beauty of the Sultanate. Originally offering tour packages exclusively to women, Zaree expanded to provide their services to male tourists as well. “This past year has seen an incredible amount of growth and success for us. From Zaree’s humble beginnings, we have worked together to learn, train, improve and share more of our culture and country in a way no other company has done. We provide the interaction between the people of Khasab and the people of the world to make their visit more memorable and meaningful and create a story for them to share with many along the way to help continue our business,” expressed Iman Al Salti, Zaree Team Leader.

She added, “My team and I are very grateful to Omran for giving us their full support that made our ambitions a reality.

With more than 40 cruise ships and potentially thousands of tourists disembarking to Khasab port during the annual high season that runs from November to April, there is a need to develop tourism in the area to interest people to leave the ship and explore the city. The demand for cultural and eco-tourism is increasing worldwide and the Sultanate is well prepared to cater to those individuals seeking a genuine Omani experience in the geographical paradise of Musandam’s mountains and beaches. The success of Zaree thus far is an inspiring indicator of the potential such programmes have with the majority of customers saying that Zaree’s tour was the most unforgettable event of their trip and one they would enjoy on their next visit.

The all-female initiative, ‘Zaree’, takes its name from a type of thread, usually made of fine gold or silver that is used in intricate brocade work. Like the thread, Zaree is a sparkling addition that enriches the experience of tourists, travellers and other visitors to the Wilayat of Khasab. Fulfilling its promise to create memorable destinations and experiences, Omran, Oman’s leading tourism-related development, hospitality management and investment company, established Zaree in association with the Ministry of Tourism and a group of local women. By providing the required seed funding, know-how, training, and marketing support in addition to selecting strategic partners and creating a five-year business plan for Zaree, Omran was able to create this sustainable program to deliver long-term benefits to local communities and the national economy.

For more information:
Shaza Taher
Sr. Media Relations Manager
TRACCS Oman
Tel: +968 24 649099