Times of Oman
OmanPride: The Lounge, a new co-working space to help local businesses
July 11, 2017 | 7:48 PM
by Salim Al Afifi
The main concept of the project is to help business owners cut rental costs.
 
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Starting a new business in Oman has become a sought-after concept, where a tonne of people dream of kickstarting their projects and become household names in the market, but there are challenges that new entrepreneurs face, including lack of financial resources to keep their businesses afloat.

For this reason, the first ever co-working space called “Al Rudha” (which means ‘the lounge’) has been created to minimise or eliminate some of these challenging factors for young Omanis, who are struggling to keep up with steep rental prices for commercial spaces.

Al Rudha’s Marketing Manager, Mohammed Al Gharibi, said the project came to life after the realisation that a massive number of young Omanis, especially given the current economic crisis, are choosing to go down the road of entrepreneurship, but challenges, such as lack of funds and networking skills end up blocking them from succeeding and establishing their business, which has ignited the idea of creating a space where these folks can rent, hold meetings and workshops, and even have their own private office in an environment that provides them with the necessary tools to further develop their business amidst like-minded people. Due to the current circumstances in the region, this is, without a doubt, one of the best options.

Al Rudha is simply a space equipped with computers, internet access, seminar rooms, smart rooms, and dedicated work spaces for individuals or groups to utilise. The main concept of the project is to help business owners cut rental costs by offering them space for as low as OMR80.



The space can be rented using a subscription for a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual membership, giving SMEs a cost-friendly ground for their ventures.

Al Rudha also offers workshops and training sessions that aid people in perfecting business skills. “The main objective of these workshops is to also help them acquire the necessary skills required to flourish in the world of business as events and seminars are organised to help them during the different stages of development, and to materialise their ideas and make them a reality,” said Mohammed.

In the last two years, the project has already contributed and assisted in kick-starting 2,000 potential projects from a variety of fields. Today, Al Rudha has more than 70 members and counting.

“What makes this space unique is the fact that it aims to build a society that supports creation and innovation under one roof, by working together as individuals and as a group,” said Mohammed, adding that, “these spaces provide priceless opportunities, and offers young entrepreneurs with an innovative and creative environment”.

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