MUSCAT -The annual Ramadhan Souq Al Wathbah, organised by the SMEs Development Authority and Bank Muscat witnessed an exceptional participation from entrepreneurs, small enterprises owners as well as visitors. The Souq, which was held from April 6-8, 2023, at Bank Muscat Head Office, Airport Heights, comes as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Bank Muscat with participation of more than 160 entrepreneurs and SMEs. Over a period of three days, the Souq saw a great turnout from visitors who toured the different pavilions for shopping and purchasing the Omani products encompassing fashion, beauty, health and food as well as services at competitive prices.
Speaking on the occasion, Ibrahim Khamis Salim Al Bulushi, Senior Assistant General Manager – SME, at Bank Muscat, expressed his pleasure with the success of Souq Al Wathbah which reflects the bank’s strategy to contribute to the development ofthe business’s sector in the Sultanate of Oman as one of the vital sectors. He stressed on the importance of enhancing partnership between the public and the private sectors to support MSMEs through various programs and initiatives. Ibrahim Al Balushi said “Souq AL Wathbah constitutes a great importance as it creates an avenue to successfully market these small business’ products and is an opportunity to network with successful entrepreneurs and exchange experiences. The bank will continue to provide the best banking services and facilities to meet customers’ and these institutions’ expectations”. From his side, Khalfan Said al Khatri, Assistant Director of the Marketing and Events, SMEs Development Authority, extended his appreciation for the successful annual organization of Souq Al Wathbah which is a great opportunity for SMEs and startups to showcase their products and services. He said “A variety of goods and commodities with competitive prices are displayed every year amid wide participation of visitors. Having the event held at Bank Muscat Head Office is a perfect choice as the building is well-equipped with service and facilities. Thanks to Bank Muscat for its pioneer role in promoting business’s owners throughout its various initiatives”. Khalfan AL Khatri also noted that the role played by MSMEs is of a great significance to foster economic stability through supporting youth who are an integral part of Oman Vision 2040.
A number of entrepreneurs expressed their happiness to participate in this year’s edition of Souq Al Wathba. Ahmed Khalid Al Malki, business owner of Basmat Ragul, said: “I am pleased to participate in Souq Al Wathba which witnesses excellent participation from the first day. Such initiatives are really important as they provide support to SMEs. We hope this important initiative will continue to provide support to entrepreneurs.”
Dina Issa Al Zain, business owner of Tekkeya, said: “Souq Al Wathba is a very important souq and it witnesses wide participation each year. It provides an opportunity to introduce different home-based projects and showcase their different products to visitors. I strongly encourage such initiatives because they serve a lot of people and bring together different businesses and projects under one roof.”
Bank Muscat has adopted various other initiatives to benefit entrepreneurs including the Al Wathbah Academy etc. The bank’s Al Wathbah SME department offers a comprehensive suite of tailor-made finance solutions and non-financial services targeted at small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Credit facilities, both funded and non-funded in nature, are available to all sectors. Further support is extended through non-financial services in areas of education, coaching, networking opportunities and workshops. Bank Muscat is continuously partnering with both government agencies and the private sector to promote entrepreneurship in Oman.