The Suhar Investment Forum, organised by the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OOCI) branch in North Batinah Governorate, commenced on Monday at Radisson Blu Hotel, Suhar under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Fahr bin Fatik Al Said. The event was attended by several esteemed dignitaries, officials from the public and private sectors, and representatives from over 20 countries.

The primary objective of the forum is to showcase the economic and infrastructural potential of North Batinah Governorate. The region possesses a fertile and attractive investment environment, making it capable of attracting both local and foreign investments, as well as investors from around the world. The aim is to position North Batinah Governorate as a compelling investment destination.

In his opening speech, Eng. Saeed bin Ali Al Abri, Chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry branch in North Batinah Governorate and Chairman of the forum’s Organising Committee, emphasised the crucial role played by the Chamber in enhancing Oman's position as an appealing investment destination. He also highlighted the importance of supporting the private sector in capitalising on various investment opportunities.

The forum serves as a platform to bring together leaders, officials, businessmen, and investors. It aims to shed light on the latest developments in the investment landscape of the governorate, as well as leverage its numerous advantages and benefits. Al Abri emphasised that the Sultanate of Oman possesses unique capabilities and qualities that position it as an attractive destination for international investments. This will contribute to strengthening Oman's presence on the global investment map, attracting investments and seeking growth and expansion opportunities.

Al Abri further emphasised that the comprehensive two-day program of the Forum would serve as an ideal platform for interested investors to gain insights into the investment system and economic developments in the Sultanate of Oman, with a specific focus on North Batinah Governorate. The program would also highlight the rapid progress in the city of Suhar and its surrounding areas.

The first day of the forum featured numerous speeches, working papers, presentations, and discussion sessions. Government officials, industry experts, and representatives from various sectors of the business community actively participated in these sessions. Al Abri highlighted that the forum aimed to foster in-depth and extensive dialogues on the topics. Additionally, bilateral meetings were arranged to facilitate interactions between investors and relevant authorities, businessmen, and officials involved in the investment sector in Oman.

The forum included keynote speeches delivered by esteemed individuals such as His Excellency Mohammed bin Sulaiman Al Kindi, Governor of North Batinah, Her Excellency Ibtisam Ahmad Al Farouji, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion for Investment Promotion, and His Excellency Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers.

At the forum, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Abri, Director of the Studies and Research Department at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, highlighted the investment opportunities facilitated by the OCCI. The presentation covered 104 investment opportunities in North Batinah Governorate, along with feasibility studies, amounting to a total capital of approximately RO1 Billion. The investment opportunities spanned eight key sectors, including industry, logistics, circular economy, mining, food security, tourism, information technology, and healthcare. These opportunities are projected to generate around 9,000 job opportunities.

The Forum also saw the signing of business agreements of over RO100 million between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, Madayn, Sohar Port and Freezone and various entities for forthcoming projects. These will pave the way further growth of the North Al Batinah Governorate. 

The forum included a panel discussion entitled "Incentives, opportunities and the promise of Suhar as an investment destination," which was attended by HE. Eng. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Vice Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ), H.E. Ibtisam bint Ahmad Al Farouji, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion for Investment Promotion, Eng. Said Al Masoudi, CEO of Sohar Aluminium, Omar bin Mahmoud Al Mahrizi, CEO of Sohar Freezone and Deputy CEO of Sohar Port, and Eng Alaa bin Hassan Mousa al Lawati, CEO of Nama Electricity Distribution. The panel discussion was moderated by Faisal bin Rashid Al Hajri, CEO of Oman Aluminium Rolling Company.

The forum also witnessed the presentation of several working papers by Eng. Ibrahim bin Hamoud Al-Waeli, Head of Oman National Spatial Strategy, Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, Harssha Shetty, CEO of Jindal Shadeed Steel and Iron Company, Eng. Said Al Masoudi, CEO of Sohar Aluminium, Hilal bin Mohammed Al-Adawi, Executive Manager Strategy Affairs at Sohar Port and Freezone, and Dr. Said Al Karaimi, Director General of Development and Investment at the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ).

The forum also witnessed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding. On the sidelines of the forum, an accompanying exhibition was organised that included several government and private institutions concerned with the investment sector in the Sultanate of Oman. The day also saw participants tour several key sites and landmarks in Sohar.

The forum is supported and partnered with several prestigious institutions, including Jindal Shadeed as the Title Sponsor, OQ Group and Sohar Port as the Strategic Partners. Sohar Aluminium & Vale are the Gold Sponsors, Omantel is the Technology Partner, ADVARIO is the Silver Sponsor; BankDhofar is the Banking Partner, while C. Steinweg Oman LLC is the Bronze Sponsor.