Outward Bound Oman's first centre will teach youth life-changing skills
March 7, 2018 | 8:54 PM
by Times News Service
The courses of Outward Bound Oman's first national training centre in the Sultanate have been cited by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations as one of the world’s leading civil society initiatives. Photo-Supplied

Muscat: Outward Bound Oman officially inaugurated its first national training centre in Al Qabil, offering thousands of youths a perfect base in the desert to learn essential life-changing skills.

The unique structure, located in the heart of the Al Sharqiyah Sands, provides youths from Oman and abroad, as well as members of the corporate sector with an ideal site to explore the world’s oldest university, the desert.

Mark Evans, Founder of Outward Bound Oman, said at the opening ceremony: “There are lessons you can learn in this desert that you cannot learn anywhere on earth.”

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, the event was attended by His Highness His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al Said, Patron of Outward Bound Oman, and a number of sheikhs and corporate representatives.

Evans stressed on the diversity of the centre’s role in Outward Bound Oman’s growing portfolio of courses.

“In the last few months, we have delivered courses for government school students from Jahlan, for young people recovering from drug-related mishaps, and for the disabled. We’ve welcomed international schools from Bahrain and the UAE and we’ve worked with young job seekers trying to enter the world of work. All these courses have taken place in this centre in the past months,” Evans said.

Building bridges

Evans detailed the extraordinary work his organisation has done to promote peace and intercultural relations. Through its “Connecting Cultures” initiative, Outward Bound Oman unites youth leaders from 18 different countries for a life-changing, five-day experience in the Al Sharqiyah Sands. The courses have received UNESCO endorsement and were cited by the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations as one of the world’s leading civil society initiatives.

Sharing her experience, Oman’s representative during the last course, Dahlah Al Anqudi, said, “We spent five days in the desert away from distractions and busy life schedules, talking without boundaries about life, our wishes, goals, challenges, and the many misunderstandings we had about other cultures. The girls kept asking me about Oman and our culture. I felt really proud to be representing a very peaceful and beautiful country.”

One-of-a-kind facility

Located 12km from the nearest blacktop road, the centre took 13 months to be constructed and features a highly iconic and eco-friendly design that has already won several architectural awards. The building is among the first in Oman to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy. All water used in the facility is treated and re-used on the site.

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