Souq Al Wathbah witnesses vibrant trade scene and remarkable participation from SMEs

Roundup Tuesday 02/April/2024 14:42 PM
By: Times News Service
Souq Al Wathbah witnesses vibrant trade scene and remarkable participation from SMEs

Muscat- This year’s edition of Al Wathbah Ramadhan Souq organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority and Bank Muscat, the leading financial service provider in the Sultanate of Oman, witnessed a significant influx of visitors taking advantage of the competitive prices on the products such as clothing, food, perfumes and other products.

Organized from 28th to 30th of March 2024, at the Bank Muscat Head Office, Airport Heights, the Souq saw a participation of more than 150 entrepreneurs and owners of start-up and small enterprises. This year edition of Souq Al Wathbawas inaugurated in the presence of Ilham Murtadha Al Hamaid, General Manager - Corporate Banking, Bank Muscat, and a number of officials from both institutions, invitees and visitors.

The three-day annual market comes within the framework of Bank Muscat's social corporate responsibility programmes and complements the ongoing partnership with the SME Development Authority to support this important sector. It represented an opportunity for entrepreneurs to promote their own products, allowing the visitors to shop from a wide range of purchases especially with Eid Al Fitr around the corner.

On the occasion, Ibrahim Khamis Salim Al Bulushi, Senior Assistant General Manager – SME, Bank Muscat, indicated the significance of the partnership between the private and government institutions to support the SMEs, which represent an essential pillar of the national economy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He said: “Such initiatives play an important role in supporting SMEs and start-ups. We are delighted about the Souq’s success shown in the big turnout and participation of the various businesses. I would like to extend thanks and gratitude to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority for their support to this sector reflected in the annual programmes and initiatives. Bank Muscat will continue to adopt such initiatives aiming to enable entrepreneurs and SMEs and provide them with the appropriate platform to promote their products, in light of this ever-growing sector.”

He further added that “this year, the Al Wathbah Ramadhan Souq witnessed greater competition compared to previous years in terms of the number of entrepreneurs wishing to participate. There are also new participations bringing up new and different products, aiming to showcase various options for shoppers. The Souq has become now one of the well-known markets that everyone is waiting for, whether by entrepreneurs or visitors. This is due to its specious venue, competitive prices, and the availability of facilities and services. Another encouraging factor is it is a free participation for entrepreneurs and business owners. I would like to thank everyone for the success of this initiative.”

From their side, a number of business owners expressed their happiness to take part in Al Wathbah Souq. Ruqaiya Al Musawi, Silver Jewelry craftswoman, said: “We are pleased to participate in this annual Ramadhan market, which is witnessing a great turnout every year. It is an opportunity for us as entrepreneurs to showcase our products and services. I would like to thank the SMEs Development Authority and Bank Muscat for their continuous support by continuing to organize such initiatives.”

Also, Marwan Al Toqi, from Melbas Company for Omani Mussar (Omani turban) said: “Al Wathbah Ramadhan Souq this year is witnessing a great momentum. This motivates us to introduce our various products, communicate with our fellow entrepreneurs and exchange experiences and opinions with them. I'm delighted to participate in this fantastic event, fully supported by Bank Muscat with all the necessary services to ensure its success. I invite my fellow entrepreneurs to participate in the Souq in the coming years, free of charge, and take advantage of this opportunity to reach out to the largest possible segment.”

Bank Muscat is committed to implementing its strategic plans to support small and medium-sized enterprises. It has launched various other initiatives besides Al Wathbah Ramadhan Souq, including Al Wathbah Academy. Bank Muscat's small and medium enterprises (Wathbah) department provides a full range of banking solutions designed specifically for this sector. As for non-banking services, the Bank provides education, training courses, workshops and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs. Bank Muscat is constantly keen to strengthen its partnership with government and private institutions to enhance the entrepreneurial sector in the Sultanate and support it.