In an ongoing effort to strengthen the cultural and economic ties between the Netherlands and Oman, HE Salim al Mahrooqi, the Undersecretary of Heritage visited the Netherlands on 15 and 16 June. He was welcomed by Peter van Ees of the Stichting Foundation Oman Netherlands (SNOF), the foundation that was set up for the film Expedition Oman. The main area of interest was to see how museums in the Netherlands are being managed.
On the 29th of May a covenant was signed between a group of Dutch companies and the Dutch government to carry out joint activities in the field of vocational education for the next three years in Oman. The Embassy will support the group where possible in the coming three years.
As already mentioned in our message earlier this month the visa section is currently faced with an extreme high number of visa applications. In fact the number is so high that we have come to the conclusion that we will in no way be able to facilitate all the demand.
Last Thursday, 9th of May, staff of The Netherlands Embassy had the pleasure of meeting with a total of seventeen students who have all been selected to study in The Netherlands through the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Scholarship Program. The students, all professionals, will follow short courses varying in length from two to twelve weeks with the aim to further enhance their professional capacities.
These are busy days at the visa and consular section; we are fully booked with appointments for almost the entire month of May. We are doing our utmost to process as many applications as we can but there are limitations to the number of applications the staff can handle.
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On April 16 an Omani-Dutch poetry night was organized in Muscat. Dr. Mohamed Al Araimi, Head of the Society of Writers and Literati hospitably hosted the Poets’ evening in close cooperation with the Cultural Club in Al Qurm.
9 Netherlands Embassy organizes meeting between Robert Kaplan and representatives of Omani Small and Medium Enterprises
Robert Kaplan, Chief Geopolitical Analyst for Stratfor, Named by Foreign Policy Magazine as among the world’s most influential “100 Global Thinkers”, author of the book “Monsoon” (which contains a chapter on Oman) and journalist, visited Muscat last week. During his visit the Netherlands Embassy organized a meeting between Robert Kaplan and several Small and Medium Enterprises who are active in Oman. The event was kindly hosted by the Directorate General for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises. The attending Small and Medium Enterprises and Robert Kaplan discussed the different aspects of setting up a business in Oman. They talked about the opportunities for SME and the position of SME in Oman. Both Robert Kaplan and the SME representatives indicated afterward that the exchange was valuable as well as interesting.
Ambassador Stefan van Wersch recently attended the opening of a new small and medium enterprise in Athaiba, a chocolate and delicacies lounge, an initiative of young entrepreneurs Hamza and Salman al Lawati. Guest of honour was H.E. Eng. Ali al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry. Oman and the Netherlands signed a Memorandum of Understanding on SME’s in January 2012 during the State Visit of Queen Beatrix.