Muscat: Education and a wealth of amenities will be the key to nurture the Sultanate’s growth and to achieve the objectives of the National 2040 Education Strategy, according to a recent report released by the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa).
With 18 public colleges, 20 private colleges, a state university, and seven private universities, Oman is well on its way to fully implementing its long-term development goals for both general and higher education, according to a report titled, “Briefings From Oman: Education, Talent, Work”.
The report stated: “International and local businesses are far more likely to base their location decisions on the skills of the local workforce than they are on Oman’s tax regime. Also, higher-skilled labour attracts employers with more skilled jobs. In other words, if we educate them, they will come.”
It further read: “The availability of amenities plays an important role in individual location choices and is, therefore, closely linked to the economic success of countries and cities. Amenities are diverse and include elements of the natural environment, such as weather conditions, beaches and mountains, as well as the built environment, such as restaurants, cinemas, shopping malls, housing, office spaces, and visually appealing buildings.
“Many ask why cities such as Boston or London attract international talent despite the high cost of living. The answer lies in their wealth of amenities. It is clear that developing amenities should play a role in Oman’s talent attraction and retention policies.”
Harvard Professor Edward Glaeser found during research that cities with a lot of amenities tend to grow faster. And while certain natural features, such as good weather, are beyond the influence of the government, others are much more malleable.
For example, Omani cities can help connect their urban landscapes with waterfront promenades, urban bicycle lanes, and parks.
Further, the Sultanate’s built environment can play a prominent role in location decisions of younger, qualified, and international talent. Indeed, Oman’s cities do not have to be big to do well in this regard. Small US cities such as Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, have enjoyed significant success in attracting and retaining highly qualified and entrepreneurial talent.