It is summer now in Muscat and the Holy Month Ramadan is approaching. This year the Royal Thai Embassy will welcome this season and assist the Omani people in the preparation for their fasting by organising Thai Festival 2014. This event will be held at Muscat Grand Mall from June 18 to 21.
Thai Festival 2014 will offer Omanis an opportunity to buy agricultural produce and products, including fruits, mulberry tea, Thai silk, etc. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for businessmen in Oman to meet their Thai counterparts for business deals since some Thai companies will showcase their produce and products during that period. The Thai companies would be more than happy to familiarise themselves with the potential and opportunities the Omani private sector may wish to propose and discuss for mutual benefit.
A few days preceding the event, the Thai delegation led by a Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand is scheduled to meet its counterpart to discuss the way forward, especially how to further strengthen the relationship between the two ministries in the field of agriculture and fisheries.
Like last year, Thai Airways International will have its booth to promote new recipes to be served on board Thai flights. I recall that visitors had enjoyed Thai food and the simplified methods of preparation. It is worth mentioning that even though Thailand is a non-Muslim country, 'halal' meat in Thailand has met the international standard and requirements. So far, I have never heard any complaints from Omanis over the availability of halal food in Thailand.
Apart from agriculture, visitors may obtain tourism information relevant to their requirements to enjoy themselves in Thailand from the Thai Tourism Authority (Dubai and Middle East Office). This year the Royal Thai Embassy would like to share with the public that agro-tourism is the new theme that Thailand is promoting, in addition to medical tourism, due to the abundance of agricultural produce, plantations and orchards throughout the country.
For those who may be reluctant to visit Thailand due to the political situation in the country, the Embassy takes this opportunity to reassure the tourists that the overall situation is back to normal. So far, there is no report of tourists or foreigners being harmed as a result of the implementation of the martial law. At least, no travel advisory has been issued by the Sultanate to the effect that would cause any alarming sign to discourage the visit to Thailand. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the friendly gesture in this regard.
I would like to conclude this article by expressing my sincere thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand for the joint organisation of Thai Festival 2014. My appreciation goes to Muscat Grand Mall for the facilities accorded throughout the Festival. On top of that, I commend the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Sultanate of Oman for their kind assistance and support prior to and during this event.
I hope Omanis and non-Omani visitors will enjoy the Thai Festival 2014 at the Muscat Grand Mall.
(Dr.Pornchai Danvivathana is the ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Sultanate of Oman)