A Renaissance year full of accomplishments
July 22, 2015 | 3:52 PM
by Mohammed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi

As this year marks the 45th anniversary of the Renaissance Day and the ascension of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to the throne, it is worth reflecting over the marked developments our country has achieved in the economic, social and political arenas. It is also important to remind ourselves that this year the Sultanate of Oman has started to implement its strategic vision and developmental plans with a number of projects that will contribute to the well-being of generations to come.

As a nation we shared a precious occasion this March, gathering to celebrate the return of our beloved leader back to his home and family. He returned fully empowered through the hopes and prayers of Omani citizens for further prosperity and for a future of peace and security in the Arab world.

Renaissance Day truly reflects the beautiful bond between the Omani people and their leader, one that is based on transparency, trust and justice for all. It is indeed proof of how a shared vision and passion for progression can translate into tangible results, when paired with the right combination of planning and hard work. With the current turmoil taking place in the region, our country has shown unique stability and steadfastness thanks to the wisdom of our leadership. A country’s true renaissance is a reflection of its people’s ability to coexist regardless of religions, sects, or schools of thought.

Furthermore, we have continued working on crucial projects despite the economic challenges that the world and region are facing, including the decline in oil prices that has led nations to reconsider their budgets for the coming years. Oman has always paid close attention to the various aspects that shape its future, in addition to economic goals. The future of our citizens is a top priority, and as a result we are anticipating the implementation of a variety of projects in key sectors, such as transportation, trade, industry and healthcare.

Under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the Sultanate has reiterated its effective role in many regional and international issues. Our nation has always been a catalyst of security and for resolving complicated issues thanks to the excellent relations it enjoys with other countries regionally and internationally.

On Renaissance Day, Oman proves to the world that dialogue among nations and people can be an effective tool in achieving peace, and that wars and conflicts only lead to destruction and chaos. Our country emphasizes time and again the importance of dialogue and prudence in handling issues, especially with the ongoing conflicts in many of the Arab countries.

With his comprehensive vision, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has constantly enlightened us with the fact that not joining any alliance, while forging strong relations with all countries, is an excellent path to stability. Therefore, Oman adopts a policy that is based on credibility, honesty, transparency, rationality, and logic, while also seeking to achieve peace, enhancing relations with neighbouring countries, and not intervening in internal issues. This policy has considerably improved the country’s leading position and made it a role model, and a common point of reference globally.

Today, we should be proud of our accomplishments under the auspices of our leader. The city of Nizwa has been named Capital of Islamic Culture due to its vital contributions in areas like culture, literature, arts, sciences, and Islamic knowledge. Oman is also ranked second among Arab countries in the World Happiness Report. The Omani people are a global role model for tolerance and coexistence.

Such accomplishments would not have been possible had it not been for the wise vision of our leadership. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has always put his people ahead, caring for them like a father cares for his beloved children. We wish His Majesty a life full of health and happiness, and continued prosperity and stability for Oman.

The author is the Chairman of National Bank of Oman and an International Advisor to the Brookings Instituition. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman

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