The winners of Hirfati, a competition aimed at empowering Oman’s craftspeople in digital marketing, were announced last night at an award ceremony held at the Grand Millennium Muscat. A partnership between Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMCO), The Ministry of Technology and Communication (MTC) and the Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI), Hirfati encouraged 10,000 of Oman’s traditional handicraft artists registered with PACI to effectively market their businesses and art on social media. The contest forms part of MTC’s Community IT Training Project (CITT) to accelerate Oman’s digital transformation and support progress towards an innovation-based and sustainable knowledge society. The winners were awarded in cash prizes while 100 entrants will receive training in photography, marketing and the open-source graphics editing software known as ‘GIMP’.
"Hirfati has energised artists within our communities, challenged them to build their skills and focus on how to market their business in a rapidly-evolving digital world. The winners now have a wonderful opportunity to embrace new technologies and expand their reach both locally and globally. As we continue the shift to a digital Oman, supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and talented artists is a crucial component of our corporate social responsibility programme and to the overall development of the Sultanate’s economy,” said David Kalife, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Oil Marketing Company.
Launched in October 2019, the competition received innovative entries from a wide range of traditional artistic disciplines which reflect Oman’s rich culture and the local environment. Using techniques passed down through the generations, artists created and marketed products including pottery, woodwork, basket weaving and jewelry making. Judges assessed each entry based on how well each artist promoted their product on Instagram, focusing on creativity of shared content, ability to attract followers, and how well the creator communicated with customers.
Oman Oil Marketing Company’s contribution to Hirfati underlines the company’s long-term promise to offer ‘more and better’ across the Sultanate. Its rigorous corporate social responsibility programme focuses on empowering communities and delivering In-Country Value. With a focus on the development of strategic partnerships and supporting initiatives, the company aims to position itself among the top five fuel marketers in the GCC by 2025.