The Outward Bound International World Conference in Oman came to an end recently as 120 delegates from 32 nations gathered at the Rotana Sundus Hotel in Muscat after an intensive three days of workshops, discussions and networking at Outward Bound Oman’s desert training centre in the Sharqiya Sands.
Having initially been set up in the United Kingdom in 1941, Outward Bound has evolved into a not for profit organisation with a truly global footprint. Senior staff from training centres from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Mexico, Hong Kong and New Zealand, joined by their colleagues from Outward Bound Oman, shared thoughts, ideas and best practice to ensure the organisation, now 78 years old, remains resilient, relevant and focused on delivering long term outcomes that develop and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds.
Every two years, senior staff from each of the training centres around the world gather to share best practice, and in 2019, as part of their 10th year celebrations, Outward Bound Oman is hosting the latest gathering, with over 120 delegates expected to attend. Oman is the first Arabic speaking nation to set up an Outward-Bound operation to develop and challenge its human resource. Following the recent royal opening of its desert training centre, His Royal Highness The Duke of York, Chairman of The Outward Bound Trust in the UK, described Outward Bound Oman as ‘a jewel in the global community’, and the international review team concluded that the operation in Oman was ‘absolutely exceptional’, with ‘an excellent focus on real learning’.
The Oman 2019 World Conference was formally opened by Outward Bound Oman Patron His Highness Sayyid Faisal Bin Turki Al Said, who welcomed guests to Oman at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation lecture theatre, before the group travelled to the Outward Bound Oman Desert Training Centre, near Al Qabil, for two days of intense debate, discussion and learning.
After the opening of our Desert Training Centre back in October 2017, the construction of our Muscat Training Centre has now started!
Designed by the creative local architectural design firm 23 Degrees North, the centre will serve a variety of functions, acting as the administrative headquarters for Outward Bound Oman, an international standard urban training facility for both school, college and corporate groups, and as a central storage facility for all of OBOs equipment. The centre is situated in a highly accessible location close to the Muscat Expressway in Al Khoudh 6. Centre facilities include two indoor training/breakout rooms, an indoor climbing wall and abseil tower for team challenges, and an AV centre for monthly community adventure lectures.
Are you looking for a rewarding job that makes a real difference to young people’s lives?
Established by Ministerial Decision, Outward Bound is an international, educational foundation that uses the outdoors as a classroom to develop individuals and create effective teams. Outward Bound is the global leader in outdoor-learning, and operates in six continents. Outward Bound Oman has been set up to inspire, challenge and develop young people in Oman. As part of our expansion, we are looking to appoint the following staff to join our team:
Trainee Instructors-Male and Female
You will lead, inspire and work with teams of young people to develop their personal and interpersonal skills. Our challenging and adventurous courses, which are between 3-10 days in length, are based entirely out of doors, in the desert and mountains of Oman. If you enjoy the outdoor environment, and have a genuine interest in working with young people, this could be the job for you. Please note that the ability to speak fluent Arabic is essential for this job.
Under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Haitham Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, and in the presence of His Highness Sayyid Faisal Bin Turki Al Said, Patron of Outward Bound Oman, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Said bin Saif al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development, and His Excellency Hamish Cowell, British Ambassador to Oman, and other VIP guests and supporters, Outward Bound Oman’s first national training centre was formally opened in the Sharqiya Sands.
Designed by local design consultants 23 Degrees North, the centre makes substantial use of solar energy, treats and re-uses all water on site, and has already been nominated for and, received several design awards. Located within the centre are equipment stores, two indoor training rooms, sleeping accommodation for 60 people, four learning pods, a majlis, prayer rooms and a lecture theatre.
The centre is the first of three that will be built in the next two years, with construction of the second due to begin in Muscat later this month.
BP has been active in Oman for many years, and has been an equally active supporter of Outward Bound Oman, empowering and enabling large numbers of Omani youth to take part in our Skills for Life and Next Generation courses. 2017 is a key year of celebration and achievement for BP, as the first gas is due to come on stream from their enormous Khazzan project. Also celebrating recently was Nasser Al Farsi, a student who took part in a BP funded course, and who was clearly inspired by the experience to set himself ambitious goals for the future.
One of the first groups to book our new desert training centre is World Extreme Medicine, the world’s leading provider of expedition, wilderness and remote medicine training courses, conferences and EXPOs for medical professionals. WEM is the orginator and organiser of the World Extreme Medicine Conference series, which has been held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London and at Harvard Medical School in Boston which attracts delegates from all over the world. The conference shares best practice for all areas of remote medicine, strengthening links within the medical and adventuring communities, and inspiring, informing and helping train those interested in practicing Extreme Medicine. In December 2017 they will be running an Arid Environment Extreme Medicine course here in Oman. For more information, contact Salwa Al Balushi on firstname.lastname@example.org
Oman’s first purpose built centre for outdoor learning is on track for completion in August 2017. Occupying a site of more than 5,000 square metres, and located in the Sharqiya Sands less than a two-hour drive from Muscat, the centre will be one of the first buildings in Oman to run entirely off solar energy. It will consist of equipment stores, AV rooms and learning pods, two classrooms for environmental field research, and accommodation for 60 people. There will be a formal VIP opening of the centre in October 2017, and the first courses have already been booked!
One of the key pillars of Outward Bound is serving others, and putting and thinking of others, before self. That spirit is captured beautifully by Mohamed Al Touqi, one of our instructors here at Outward Bound Oman. Inspired by volunteering himself with various charities, Mohamed has recently set up his own NGO that focuses on getting more young people in Oman engaged in voluntary, community service. Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound, would have approved.
The end of an Outward Bound course, we hope, is the start of a journey; we hope that that the skills people develop on their course will enable them to flourish and thrive in life. Our friends at The Outward Bound Trust in the UK have been delivering powerful courses for young people for more than 75 years, and have an alumni that exceeds 1 million participants.
They recently produced an excellent PDF, that tracks the journey of a young person through life, and the influence that Outward Bound can have on that journey.