SINGAPORE: Singapore and Oman have marked another cultural milestone.
In 2010, the two countries worked together to build and sail the Jewel of Muscat, a replica of a ninth—century Arabian sailing ship.
This time, it is a facelift for Muscat Street in the Arab quarter of Singapore.
Eight—metre high granite arches now stand on both ends of the street.
Their ornately carved tiles came from Oman, on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula.
Murals also line the walkway, showing colourful images of the maritime links between Oman and Singapore.
Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said he hopes this cultural effort will lead to further cooperation in tourism and trade.
Mr Shanmugam said: "Omani business people are looking outwards, and East Asia is one of the fastest growing areas in the world. Likewise, our people are looking at the Middle East, Arabia, and of course Arabia is also growing very fast."
Omani Secretary—General of Foreign Affairs Sayyid Badr Al—Busaidi added: "Both countries are engaged and open for all kinds of investment opportunities in both countries. Or indeed we can go together in forging partnerships elsewhere."
Muscat Street was named in 1909, after the capital of Oman. The arches on both ends of the street have become the latest landmarks of Kampong Glam, a hub for Arab traders in Singapore’s early days.
Bilateral trade between Oman and Singapore amounted to S$1.83 million in 2011.
Singapore’s main exports were civil engineering and motor vehicles parts, while imports from Oman were mostly petroleum and its related products.
In April 2012, ST Engineering’s marine arm bagged an S$880 million contract to design and build four offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Navy of Oman.
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