Winners of Muriya and Nokia’s photography competition announced

Muscat, April 2014

Five local Omani photographers from the Photographic Society of Oman were recognised for their smartphone photography entries at an awards ceremony held at the Sifawy Boutique Hotel in Jebel Sifah. The competition was launched through a partnership between Muriya and Nokia earlier this year, challenging local photographers to capture the beauty and uniqueness of Muriya’s Jebel Sifah destination. The winners received the latest Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone and a complimentary night’s stay for two at the Sifawy Boutique Hotel.

Speaking about the competition, Bahaa Hefzallah, Marketing Director of Muriya, said “We are very happy to have had the opportunity of working with talented and promising photographers from Oman to produce these beautiful images. To portray the natural beauty of the landscape requires that you look at the world in a creative light, something that all the winners have achieved during their visit. We wanted to thank all the photographers and the winners, Hamed Al Sulaimi, Majid Al Amri, Abed Al Balushi, Hussain Al Bahrani and Noufal Al Ruzaiqi for their creative and inspiring images and exceptional contributions.”

“We found the images so inspiring that we are going to display them in the conference room of our Sifawy Boutique Hotel. The Sultanate is blessed with a stunning variety of beautiful landscapes and contrasting terrain, to share these photographs is a privilege. Based on the success we are planning the next phase of the competition to start at Salalah Beach.” he continued.

“Together with Muriya, we have been able to identify some very talented Omanis who have explored the real potential of the Nokia Lumia. The participants used their own imagination and creativity with the right design aesthetic to make their photographs award-winning.. We hope to see upcoming photographers play a more active role in promoting tourism in Oman and truly bring Oman’s beautiful landscape to life”, added Salma Masoud, Head of App Marketing, Nokia India, Middle East and Africa.

Abed Al Balushi, one of the winners, expressed, “As a photographer, using only a smartphone is very challenging as they generally do not have the same functions as professional cameras. However, I entered this competition, knowing what lies ahead and that I could substitute using some of the key functions with the capacity and capability the Nokia Lumia has to offer. My tip for all Nokia Lumia users is to use the pro cam app as it works like a DSLR providing you control over all of the settings and the results are fantastic. I look forward to seeing my images being used in some of Muriya’s collateral.”

Muriya is Oman’s leading tourism development company with two major destinations currently in operation: Jebel Sifah and Salalah Beach. Located on a pristine stretch of coastline facing the Gulf of Oman, with the majestic formations of the Al Hajar Mountains forming the backdrop, Jebel Sifah will offer guests world class facilities such as 5-star hotels from major international operators, an 18-hole PGA golf course, restaurants and retail outlets as well as a marina. The 4-star Sifawy Boutique Hotel is located in the marina town, fronted by crystal-clear azure waters of the Indian Ocean.

Muriya Tourism Development

Muriya is a joint venture between Orascom Development Holdings (70%), a leading developer of integrated destinations and Omran (30%), the tourism development arm of the Omani Government. The company was created in 2006 to stimulate external leisure investment in Oman and showcase the history, culture and natural beauty of the country, in which time it has grown into Oman’s leading tourism developer.

Muriya currently has four development projects under construction; Jebel Sifah, located 45 minutes from Muscat, Salalah Beach, adjacent to the ancient city of Salalah situated in a tropical destination on the Arabian Peninsula in the far southeast of Oman, and As Sodah Island, an hour by helicopter from Salalah, located in the Indian Ocean and City Walk that will be located in the heart of the capital Muscat.