Muscat: Some of the best photographers from 10 different countries will capture the beauty and culture of Oman when they participate in 'Oman in Focus' later next month.
'Oman in Focus', a project conceived by local photographer Maisa Al Hooti, will bring together acclaimed international photographers who will tour different sites in the country, cameras in hand, for a week. Following their explorations, there will be an exhibition featuring three photos from each participant.
Maisa Al Hooti
Al Hooti was inspired to start 'Oman in Focus' after spending time photographing Rajasthan, India. She realised that her perspective was different from the local photographers there, and thought bringing fresh eyes to Oman would result in new images and interpretations of the people, culture, forts and landscape here.
"There are many things for photographers here, and there are many photographers from Oman, but they are taking the same pictures. I have to take Oman to the world, not just have it photographed locally," Al Hooti explained.
A group of 15 photographers from as far away as Canada, Switzerland and South Korea, who were selected from a pool of 100 applicants, will join 'Oman in Focus'. Al Hooti aimed to bring together photographers "who are driven by a taste for adventure and the same passion for enriching experiences".
Some of the locations they will have the option of visiting include Nizwa, Jabal Shams and Jabal Akhdar, the Wahiba Sands, Sur, several wadis and beaches, the Damaniyat Islands, and Muscat, with its many architectural landmarks.
Jabal Akhdar. Photo - Sarah MacDonald/Times of Oman
The beautiful Wahiba Sands of Oman. Photo - Sarah MacDonald/Times of Oman
Wadi Bani Khalid. Photo - Sarah MacDonald/Times of Oman
The photographers will also get to experience Omani hospitality at a variety of hotels and resorts, such as the Shangri- La Hotel, the Millennium Resort in Musannah, Jebel Shams Resort, Sahab Hotel at Jabal Akhdar, Sur Beach Holiday Resort and the Intercontinental Hotel, Muscat.
"They will be in groups of two or three and they will be able to walk around and explore. We don't want them to take typical tourist photos. They will find something interesting with their own eyes," explained Rosy Abdo, one of the organisers.
Some photographers have already expressed an interest in certain subjects, such as the people of Oman, and camels, Abdo added. The organisers will try to accommodate individual requests and specialities whenever possible.
Al Hooti hopes the photographers will also be able to exhibit their work in their home countries and talk about the project in their local media, bringing more attention to Oman.
The project will also be followed by international media organisations, including Al Jazeera, France 24 and Al Arabia, so Oman will benefit from wide international exposure.
"I think this will highlight the beauty and richness of Oman internationally," Abdo said.