Muscat, The digital capital of the Arab world


Muscat: Muscat was named the Arab Digital Capital for 2022 as a result of Oman’s role as a global trade hub, its ability to become a global data exchange hub, strong digital capabilities and infrastructure, a technically capable young society, and submarine cables that enable high-speed digital exchange.

Modern logistics services, developed highways, globally-connected ports and airports, modern transportation and warehouses, and free zones, according to Saeed bin Hamoud Al Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology have all contributed to Oman’s attractiveness to investors.

“Muscat’s victory as the Arab Digital Capital for 2022 reflects the confidence of Arab countries in the digital and legislative capabilities that the Sultanate of Oman enjoys in the ICT sector,” he added.

“The latest of these was the Cabinet’s adoption of the National Digital Economy Programme, which aims to contribute to the digital economy and expand the national economy.”

The decision to bestow the title on Muscat was made during the virtual 25th session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Communications and Information Technology.

Oman’s ambition is to leave a digital imprint on the Arab world, and the country’s bid for the title was based on the tagline “A digital future that provides chances,” which aligns with the Oman Vision 2040’s goals.

In the digital domain, Oman’s candidacy identified three key areas: cyber security, digital innovation, and digital skills. The Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology want to foster digital talent and skills in the Arab world, enrich Arab digital content, improve cybersecurity cooperation, and boost digital economy investment.

“The Governorate of Muscat is leading the country’s digital transformation process and adopts advanced technologies that enhance economic and social growth, empower all other sectors, and attract local, regional, and international investments, in addition to enabling digital integration among Arab countries,” said Al Maawali.

Furthermore, Sayyid Saud bin Hilal Al Busaidi, the Minister of State and Governor of Muscat stated that Muscat’s designation as the Arab Digital Capital in 2022 will aid the city’s efforts toward digital transformation by assisting in the creation of smart and integrated technical systems that stimulate digital creativity, as well as the development of capabilities and knowledge skills. All of these things are crucial to Vision 2040’s success.

“This will help consolidate partnerships between the parties of common interests, including institutions, bodies, and individuals, to work together to achieve the sustainable development goals of the country,” added Al Busaidi. “The Muscat Governor’s Office seeks, with this hosting, to make the programs and objectives of the digital capital homogeneous with the axes the four aspects of our strategy for excellence.”

“These include sustainable environment, corporate governance, economic development, society, and the trend towards embodying the hoped-for digital reality that will be reflected in the various details of the daily lives of individuals and organizations,” he added.

Muscat’s selection reflects the capital’s current technological and digital skills and components, with the capital creating a favorable environment for attracting prospective investments in technology and communications.

Dr. Ali bin Amer Al Shidhani, the Undersecretary for Communications and Information Technology at MTCIT, led Oman’s delegation to the 25th meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers of Communications and Information Technology, which also included Omar bin Hamdan Al Ismaili, the CEO of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and a number of other officials. Annually, Arab Digital Capitals are chosen to showcase and incubate different successful digital projects and concepts, with the chosen city launching several local and regional impact efforts.

Digital capitals are also selected based on bids submitted by governments wishing to nominate their cities: Riyadh was declared the first digital city of the Arab World in 2020, while Cairo was named the previous year.

ONA‘s input was used to create this piece.

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