Key policy makers from Oman government, construction industry magnates in the Sultanate and top international consultants shared their vision on Sultanate's development and discussed their experience in implementing the new concepts including the In-Country Value (ICV) strategy and provided solutions to the challenges at the Dossier Construction Awards & Summit 2014 held in Muscat on Wednesday.

Held under the patronage of Ministry of Transport and Communications and supported by Muscat Municipality, Omran, Oman Society of Contractors and Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OCCI), the event attracted more than 300 experts including industry leaders, policy makers from the government, professionals from public and private sectors including project owners, design and engineering consultants, construction contractors and construction material companies.

Those who graced the function with their presence included HE Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, minister for tourism who was the chief guest at the summit and HE Eng. Salim bin Mohammed Al Nuaimi, undersecretary - transport, ministry of transport and communication was the chief guest at the award ceremony. HE Sheikh Salim Bin Mustahail Al Mashani presented a token of appreciation to the chief guests. The event included a half day summit held in the first half of the day and the award function held in the evening. The summit which began with a key note address by Dr. Hamed Hashim Al Dhahab, chairman of Oman Society of Contractors (OSC) and CEO of Al Watanyiah United Engineering and Contracting, featured a panel discussion on the topic 'In-Country Values (ICV) - Opportunities and Challenges' featuring top industry leaders. Simon Karam, director of Sarooj Construction and advisor to OSC gave an introduction on ICV. This was followed by presentations by three eminent professionals from top Omani companies including Omran, Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) and Oman Cables Industry.

In his key note address, Dr. Hamed Hashim Al Dhahab said the construction sector in Oman had recorded an average growth of 5.5 per cent in the last five years and is likely to witness a boom in the coming days. The allocation of RO2.5 billion for the development of infrastructure in the latest five year plan will give a boost to the construction sector, he said. The government is building several large projects in different sectors including roads, bridges, airports and seaports. He said the contracting firms are facing challenges when it comes to recruiting people. Although there is full support from the ministry of manpower, the time taken for fulfilling the target of Omanisation is more than expected, he said.

Giving an introduction on the concept of ICV, Simon Karam said the concept launched two years ago in the oil and gas sector was all about creating national wealth through enhancing capabilities and skills, and creating awareness on the importance of helping the nation's industry to survive and grow. He recounted the experience of United States where the public and the government joined hands to help the automobile industry. It should also happen in Oman, he said. He said ICV can be extended to sectors other than oil & gas.

Taking part in the panel discussion Wael Al Lawati, CEO of Omran said his company is implementing ICV in tourism sector in different ways. It extends from using the services of local transport companies to breaking-up contracts to provide opportunity to local contractors. He said Omran gives due consideration to local manufacturers and added that he was getting positive support from the government, local contractors and consultants. Regarding implementation of ICV, he said the civil society should take the lead in implementing it.

Mohammed Al-Ghareebi, ICV manager, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) said his company is proud to be leading in implementing the ICV concept. He said for PDO, ICV is not a new concept and the company had been implementing key values of it in the past through its social responsibility initiatives and awarding projects to local contractors.

While making a presentation, Ali Said Al Hadabi, CEO of Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) said there is a huge growth in demand for power and the company was planning major expansion in different areas which will provide opportunities to consultants, contractors and manufacturers from Oman. The power generation and transmission capacity of the Sultanate have improved vastly over the past and many new transmission lines are being laid, he said.

Gert Hoefman, CEO of Oman Cables Industry in his presentation stressed on the importance of innovation in the manufacturing sector. Innovation adds value, creates jobs and increases possibilities of exporting, he said. He pointed out that his company exports more than half of their products. Regarding implementation of ICV in his company, Hoefman said their motto is 'Truly Omani, Trusted Globally', which reflects their commitment to ICV. Top professionals from three leading consultancy firms made presentations in the Consultants' Knowledge Series which marked the conclusion of the Summit.

The winners of Dossier Construction Awards 2014 were felicitated in the gala award evening. The event was organized in association with prominent consultants including Atkins, Renardet, KEO and CH2M Halcrow. KPMG was the Validation Partner. Jotun Paints and Doka were the Gold Sponsors; L&T Oman, Sharq Sohar Group, Oman Electricity Transmission Co., BEC Group & Carrier, National Bank of Oman (NBO), Said Salem Al-Wahaibi Group of Companies, Hasan Juma Backer Trading & Contracting, Al Ansari Group, Athaiba Furniture, Voltamp Energy, Sarooj Construction Company, Simplex Infrastructures, Oman Cables Industry, Al Habib and Al-Watanyiah United Engineering & Contracting were the Silver Sponsors; Shamel International and Al Nasr Group of Companies were the Support Sponsors. Times of Oman and Al Shabiba were the media partners.

Dossier Construction Awards & Summit is instituted by Dossier magazine, published by United Media Services. Launched in 2007, Dossier is Oman's first Business-to-Business (B2B) publication on construction, infrastructure and real estate sectors. Dossier is the prime reference base and source of information for stakeholders of the industry and it is considered as an important channel to communicate the opportunities and challenges faced by the sector.