Oman


More than 6,000 tourists from Oman visited Singapore in 2013


Zakariya Hamed Al Saadi, Oman’s consul general in Singapore

Singapore/Muscat: More than 6,000 Omanis visited Singapore in 2013, but the Sultanate's cooperation with the would-be first 'smart nation' in the world is not restricted only to tourism.

A few years ago, the two governments made arrangements to ease visa restrictions and now visas are issued on arrival for both Omani and Singaporean tourists, Zakariya Hamed Al Saadi, Oman's consul general in Singapore told the Times of Oman in an interview.

There is no direct flight between the two countries. Still, more than 6,000 Omanis visited the Southeast Asian country last year, Al Saadi said.

The Omani official added that apart from tourism, there are many areas in which the two countries can strengthen their cooperation, including the information technology (IT) and logistics, technology transformation and infrastructure development.

According to Al Saadi, the annual bilateral trade between Oman and Singapore has surpassed $2 billion and will continue to increase, given the 'important' free trade agreement between Singapore and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which came into effect in September 2013.

Investment opportunities
Several tenders have been awarded to Singaporean companies, he said, adding that there are many investment opportunities in the two friendly countries.

Al Saadi was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with members of Omani IT delegations visiting Singapore to attend the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX), Asia's largest infocomm and media event.

"Singapore is very advanced compared to other Southeast Asian countries and is considered an IT hub. The whole world recognises the importance of Singapore, and Oman is always keen to use the expertise and experience of well-developed countries," the consul general noted.

He said that Singapore has been cooperating closely with several bodies in the Sultanate, including the Royal Oman Police, Knowledge Oasis Muscat, and Oman's Information Technology Authority.

To get in touch: elham@timesofoman.com

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