Over the course of the last decade, Oman has gone from being an occasionally mentioned quiet little country in the Arabian Peninsula to a show business hotspot. With the likes of Bollywood taking a keen interest in the Sultanate’s ideal location, the media exposure alone has the ability to draw in curious visitors.
Oman’s Advantageous Placement
While some countries offer one of two options, Oman has a wide variety of natural locations to choose from. From beaches to wadis, and lush green mountains to arid deserts, the Sultanate is a one-stop shop for any director. Additionally, filmmakers can capitalize on the intrigue that surrounds the country.
Movies Shot in Oman
Many films have been shot in Oman over the past few years – predominantly Bollywood movies. Whilst some have shot parts of the movie in the Sultanate, the Malayalam movie ‘Vellivelichathil’ (Silverlight) was shot entirely on location in 2014. The critically acclaimed 2016 French-English film ‘Personal Shopper’ starring Kristen Stewart also features scenes from Bahla and Nizwa. The 2013 Bollywood movie ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobara’ also shot extensively in Muscat’s Mutrah Souq and other well-known locations – owing to the industry’s widespread influence, Oman rightfully claimed its place on the silver screen map.
Oman’s Movie Industry
Starting off late in the entertainment industry, Oman may be short on its list of movies. However, filmmakers and producers within Oman have also contributed their fair share to the fledgling industry. Debuting in 2006, ‘Al-Boom’ was the first Omani film, and has since paved way for a potential niche to bloom. A 2017 short documentary titled ‘Dear News Editor’, shot in Muttrah, tackling pressing issues, won four awards at the Bahrain Film Festival. Whilst short in quantity, the quality of the work by Omani filmmakers is sure to be a springboard for further success in the field.
Show Business and Tourism
It goes without saying that what shows is what goes, hence, its promotion via the highly consumed entertainment medium might be one of the strongest ways to draw more attention towards the Sultanate. The Government of Oman along with Oman’s Ministry of Tourism provide continued support towards a conducive environment to make this possible. Using the visual medium, arguably the strongest, to generate a buzz about the Sultanate, might be the best way to not just further the economic diversification via the tourism sector, but perhaps open up the potential for the creation of an entirely new sector – that of entertainment.