SQU tourism students gather experience in Germany

SQU tourism students gather experience in Germany

Five students from the Tourism Department of the College of Arts and Social Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University are currently undergoing summer training with INTEWO in the Teutoburger Forest Nature Park, Germany.

In the frame of an official cooperation between Oman and German governmental and non-governmental organizations, the summer training has been offered for the fourth year in a row.

The training in one of Germany’s most beautiful Nature Parks will last for six weeks. Next to a language course at the University of Paderborn, focusing on tourism related issues; the students will be trained in environmentally friendly tourism practices, destination management, nature conservation and the promotion and concept of UNESCO World Heritage. To undergo training in Germany, a key source of tourists visiting Oman, is a precious experience for the student’s professional future in the tourism sector.

The training program receives financial support from SQU, as well as intellectual, financial and logistic support from INTEWO (Germany), Gulf Jewels Tours (Oman) and the Nature Park Administration. The cooperation between Oman and Germany is a vital contribution towards the rapprochement of cultures and the exchange of knowledge. Henning Schwarze, Managing Partner INTEWO, and Khalid Al Tobi, CEO Gulf Jewels Tours, takes the lead with this important international program.

Along with the tasks of the training, the five students from Oman will also participate in cultural events. E.g. they received an invitation from INTEWO to attend a football match with the Bundesliga team SC Paderborn 07.

INTEWO | World Habitat Society GmbH, headquarted in Germany, has operations in Oman and Ethiopia providing environmental services and sustainable tourism solutions. Gulf Jewels Tours is an Omani destination management company, specialized in Geotourism.

Virtual Museum of Geology

Virtual Museum of Geology
Friedel Heuwinkel (Chief of the Lippe District), Khalid Al Tobi (ESC), H.E. Maitha Al Mahruqiyah (MoT) and Henning Schwarze (INTEWO) at the ceremony in Berlin

During the ITB Tourism Trade Show in Berlin H.E. Maitha Bint Saif Al Mahruqiyah, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Tourism, inaugurate the “Virtual Museum of Geology in Oman” (VMO). The launch of the VMO homepage marks the starting point for a new project to exhibit the unique geological heritage in the Sultanate of Oman.

With the support of 360° panorama pictures, galleries and videos, visitors can explore geological attractions throughout the country. In this initial stage the museum features the Duqum Stone Park, the ophiolite rocks in the heart of Muscat, ripple marks and other fascinating locations.

The geological heritage of Oman provides for a wealth of knowledge that will be valuable in understanding geological phenomena. Oman is considered as a hot spot among international geologists and is considered an “open book” of geological and geomorphologic education. The VMO is a joint project in the frame of the German-Oman cooperation “Tourism and Education for Sustainable Development”, which, among other things, is focusing on the promotion of the geological heritage and Geotourism activities in Oman.

The museum has been developed by INTEWO, Germany, and Earth Secrets Oman, in cooperation with the Media Agency RLS Jakobsmeyer.

The project has been awarded with the FORD Middle East Environmental Grant in 2011, a conservation program with support from UNESCO.

Following this initial launch the VMO will be regularly extended with new locations and attractions. In the future other themes like tourism, culture and history will be implemented, leading towards a comprehensive virtual museum for Oman. The Ministry of Tourism is looking forward to enrich Oman’s tourism marketing through the virtual museum concept.

Visit the museum: www.oman-museum.com

Ford Environmental Grant

Dr. Benno Böer (UNESCO Doha), Mr. Khalid Nassr Al-Toubi (INTEWO) and Mr. Hussein Murad (Ford Middle East) during the award ceremony in Dubai

INTEWO | World Habitat Society GmbH and National Earth Secrets LLC have been awarded with the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grant 2011. „The Geological Heritage of Oman“ is the title of the project, which is among this year’s laureates of the prestige Environmental Grant.

Since 2009 the German and Oman companies cooperate in different activities, developing sustainable geotourism and environmental education in the Sultanate. The comprehensive concept is aiming towards promoting and conserving the unique geological heritage in Oman, with performing different project features. Key elements of the project include the development of a GPS-based geotourism guide for the Muscat region, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism; the support of a cooperation between partners from the Nature Park Teutoburger Wald / Eggegebirge, promoting tourism and education for sustainable development; an annual student exchange with tourism students from Sultan Qaboos University; a geological movie project in Oman, in cooperation with the University of Applied Science Ostwestfalen-Lippe; and other activities supporting the rapprochement of cultures and promoting the German-Oman cooperation.

With support of the Ford Environmental Grant another ambitious project will be initiated. Key geological attractions in Oman will be exposed in a „Virtual Museum of Geology“. With support of latest technology high quality panorama images of selected geological hot spots will be produced and exhibited in an online museum, where one will be able to discover the hidden secrets of geology. Complemented with comprehensive information, the virtual museum will allow access to inaccessible locations and will provide knowledge about fascinating geological and geomorphological processes.

Ford‘s Conservation & Environmental Grants programme has become an annual event in the Middle East. Since its inception in 2000, the GCC/Levant chapter of the grants programme has supported at least 130 projects with more than US-$1 million granted to date. The programme has seen support from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities including the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Emirates Wildlife Society and the Arab Forum for Environment & Development (AFED). In 2011, the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants programme joined hands with the UNESCO, providing support to creative projects focused on Conservation Engineering, Protection of the Natural Environment and Environmental Education.

The award ceremony took place in Dubai and was performed by representatives from the UNESCO Doha Office and Ford Middle East. The keynote speech was held by the guest of honor, H.H. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, member of the ruling family of the Emirate of Ajman, also know as the „Green Sheikh“.

INTEWO | World Habitat Society’s Managing Partner, Mr. Henning Schwarze and National Earth Secret’s CEO, Mr. Khalid Nasser Al Toubi received the award on behalf of the joint international program.