The Brand Oman Management Unit (BOMU) and Oman Sail have joined hands to help raise awareness of Oman on the international stage as an ideal tourist and business destination.

At a press conference, attended by His Highness Sayyid Faisal Al Said, COO, BOMU and David Graham CEO, Oman Sail, the two organizations announced their intention to collaborate and help strengthen the sultanate’s brand identity.

The press conference also revealed the new look of Masirah – winner of last year’s Extreme Sailing Series. The X40 sailing boat Masirah has now incorporated the new national brand mark.

Both Omani teams: Masirah and The Wave, Muscat will be participating in the upcoming Extreme Sailing Series Europe 2010 scheduled to be held 27 May – 12 October.

The European-based sailing series offers the sultanate a much larger opportunity. Competing in France, UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, BOMU and Oman Sail are confident this activity will not only boost the sultanate’s economy but also have a long-term positive effect on Oman’s business, tourism and national brand.

His Highness Sayyid Faisal said: “There’s a real opportunity to leverage the exposure Oman Sail will receive from being in the international sailing spotlight. Indeed, we’ve created a unified country brand that will be used by Oman Sail’s Extreme 40 boat Masirah, this will undoubtedly help us begin to realise our international objectives. Through Oman Sail’s involvement in the Extreme Sailing Series we want people to think of the sultanate whether they’re doing business or looking for a new holiday destination.”

According to Sayyid Faisal: “The new national brand mark that will grace Oman Sail’s Masirah boat embodies the sultanate’s maritime history, our outstanding topography and marine life and the frankincense that is so much a part of our unique cultural heritage. It’s a visual representation of our national DNA.”

Oman has economic, tourism, education, business and ICT ambitions that range well beyond the BOMU – Oman Sail partnership. The BOMU COO hopes that sailing can help bring a brighter future for Oman and its people. “This important partnership will help us reposition the sultanate. We’re on an evolving journey and our partnership with Oman Sail is a milestone in that, not the final destination.”

David Graham, CEO, Oman Sail also commented: “When I met His Highness Sayyid Faisal and learned about BOMU, the question was not whether we should join hands but rather when, both our teams have the same goal in mind, promoting the country and establishing a sustainable platform that engages and inspires the youth of Oman in an environmentally friendly sport. We’re delighted with Masirah’s new look and excited about working with BOMU in helping showcase Oman.”

“Using sport to push a nation’s brand is not a new concept,” suggests BOMU’s Alya Al Hosni. Adding: “Historically, countries have used events like the Olympic Games and the World Cup to push business, inward investment and tourism agendas. For example, the Asian Beach Games is about leaving a legacy and driving sports participation, particularly amongst Oman’s youth. What we’re doing with Oman Sail is leveraging their participation on the global sailing circuit. They’ve been tremendously successful and this tie-up has all the ingredients of an outstanding partnership,”