Second Research Project on the Coastline of Oman launched


A new research project funded by the Research Council (TRC) on sea-level development in Oman was launched in Oman and Germany recently. The project is the second project on natural hazards and other processes along the coastline of Oman conducted by a team of researchers, including students and lead by Prof. Dr. Goesta Hoffmann of GUtech and Prof. Dr. Reicherter from RWTH Aachen University.

“This second project aims at the quantification of driving forces acting along the coastline of Oman; an area where the country’s population density is highest but knowledge on acting natural processes is limited. The proposed high resolution study follows a holistic approach and is based on results gained within a first TRC (funded project (ORG GUtech EBR 10 013) as well as on outcomes of the international IGCP (UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme) project 588,“ said Prof. Dr. Goesta Hoffmann, Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech.

According to Prof. Goesta, the project also aims to bring together students from GUtech and its associated RWTH Aachen University in Germany and to combine teaching and research, which is the key to success.

Initial fieldwork was conducted along the Jaalan coastline with two Omani GUtech students, Maryam Al Balushi and Samira Al Balushi along with a student from GUtech’s German partner-university, RWTH Aachen University. For their research, the students mapped the position of old beaches along the coastline in the vicinity of As Silah (Sharqiyah Region). The main idea behind the mapping is that a beach clearly marks the location of the sea level. “If we find (rocks formed as) beach deposits elevated above the current high tide level we may have an indication of either: a former sea level higher than today or the vertical displacement of the earth crust (e.g. uplift).” explained Prof. Goesta while adding that “these processes include differential land-movement as well as global changes in sea-level. The expected results will be applicable in adaption strategies to changes induced by global climate changes where a general rise in sea-level is seen as major challenge coastal societies will face in the near future. We cannot predict the future, but we can learn from the past. Adaptation strategies to global problems (like climate change) can only be implemented if we understand local processes”

International Business & Service Management Programme launched

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has launched a new programme “International Business & Service Management”. The programme will focus on the tourism sector and related service sectors like transportation, aviation, event management from an international business approach “With a thriving tourism industry in Oman, one that offers many job opportunities, we are proud to announce our new study-programme that was designed to meet the needs of this growing industry in Oman while taking into account global patterns of the tourism industry,” said the Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell.

Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, acting dean of the faculty of Business and Economics and Head of the tourism department, said: “The BSc in International Business & Service Management programme helps students to understand the specifics of the tourism industry alongside a core of business modules. Prof. Heba Aziz further explained, that the programme is career oriented and students will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in this growing sector and related service sectors. “Our graduates will be able work in managerial positions in business, tourism, culture and transportation operations,” Prof. Heba Aziz added that, “IBSM comes as a continuation of the Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development Bachelor programme that has been running at GUtech since its inception in 2007. Graduates of the STRD programme are currently working at Omran, Oman Exhibition and Convention Center, Muriya Tourism Development, Oman Airport Management Company, and Oman Air.

Like its predecessor the programme has ample opportunities of linking academia to the work environment. “Employers were always very happy with our students and appreciated them spending longer periods in the work placement; for this programme we have increased our internship period to 12 weeks and we offer students an opportunity to work in Oman and overseas.” The programme is carefully aligned with tourism and service sector needs in Oman as well as the overall requirements of the Omani business environment.

Depending on their educational background, students have several entry points into the BSc programme. Holders of a General Secondary Education Diploma of the Sultanate of Oman will be requested to complete GUtech’s Foundation Programme first.

For more details please check out the GUtech website


Book on Historic Settlements in Oman launched

Historic Settlements of Oman’ – A new book covering 50 historic, heritage settlements in Oman has been published recently in cooperation with the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and the Research Center Indian Ocean (RIO), based at GUtech.  On Tuesday the book was handed over by Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech to H.E. Ambassador Kenneth K. M. Liao, Head of the Taipei Economic & Cultural office in Muscat. The Taipei Economic & Cultural Office also sponsored the research project. “With the aim to raise awareness about the rich historical culture and the architectural heritage of Oman and to further strengthen Oman-Taiwan cultural exchange and cooperation, my government is pleased to sponsor the publication of the book ‘Historical Settlements of Oman’” said H.E. Kenneth K. M. Liao.

“We are grateful for all the financial support we have received for this project. We are planning to continue the project and set up a database for around 800 old settlements. Such a large number of settlements with historic remains can be counted in Oman,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen, Director of RIO and former Founding Rector of GUtech. Prof. Jansen initiated the book many years ago from a large data bank project. The research data for the book was collected by several young Omani architects, mostly GUtech alumni of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design. “The research in Oman and the book project was realized in close cooperation with the architectural company Höhler & Partner, with the architect Muhammad Al Salmi as the co-editor of the book. The data of this cultural data bank will help to further improve the development of urban centers in settlements in which historic architecture and remains should be further integrated into the modern city structure,” said Prof Jansen.


Tourism & Logistics: The Future of Oman

BARKA The Faculty of Business and Economics  at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) recently organised the faculty day recently. “BE day (stands for Business and Economics ) is held to bring together students, academics, staff and industry members, to share our news and get updates about recent development in our areas of interest. We are also keen to introduce our new programme International Business and Service Management that we will start in the next academic year in September” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Head of the STRD Department. She added that the new programme will equip the students with a general business skills while focusing on the tourism industry so they will study aviation and airlines management, port and cruise management etc.


The event was attended by leading industry members in both fields of tourism and logistics. Corporations like Omran, The Ritz Carlton Hotel, and leading logistics companies showed their commitment to developing Omani Youth. “Logistics and tourism are the future of Oman. Companies who invest in both fields will be highly competitive,” said Warith al Kharousi, Executive Director of  AL Safwa Group & Partners,  Chairman for Imagine Technologies Oman and the Oman Logistics & Supply Chain Association & Charter Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT UK ) – Oman Chapter.

“I am still passionate about my work like the first day,” said Katrin Herz, General Manager of Al Bustan Ritz Carlton Hotel  adding that tourism offers many career opportunities. Al Bustan Palace is always have plenty of opportunities for Omani Youth who would like to join this career. Sulayma Al Jahdhami  a Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development (STRD) student expressed great interest in her studies.  “ I tremendously enjoyed my internship that lasted almost for one month at the HR Department of Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton Hotel.


Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz confirmed that all graduates from the tourism department have found jobs in leading tourism organisations both in government and private sector GUtech graduate Fathiya Al Kindi joined Muriya Tourism Development two months ago. She is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility team . “I am currently working to extend to tourism benefits to the local communities where Muriya operates. “The new programme is the new baby of GUtech and has been founded to collect under one roof the academic programmes and research activities in the fields of Business and Service Management” said Prof. Dr. Oliver Lorz, Inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech and Head of the Chair of International Economics at RWTH Aachen University. Registration has started.

Student Award Ceremony

GUtech students were awarded for their campus involvement, community service, and Sports competitions. Ahmed Mohammad Hassan al Yahmadi, Director of private sports in the Ministry of Sports Affairs was the Guest of Honor.

Awards categories  for the Academic Year 2014-2015 are:

Student Council Members, Students winning Sports Competitions , Student Volunteers, International and Local competition Winners, Best and the Brightest, Best Club and Staff Volunteers.

GUtech and German Railway signed MoU

To initiate special training programmes for the upcoming railway sector in Oman, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed last week between GUtech and the DB International GmbH, the international frontrunner of the German Railway, Deutsche Bahn DB at GUtech in Halban.

Due to the upcoming railway project in Oman, that will connect all GCC countries, there is a demand for specialized training in the coming years. “In cooperation with DB International this MoU will allow us to design and set up a specialized training programme for railway engineering students and technicians in Oman.” said Dr.-Ing. Tobias Effey, Head of Training and Smart Solutions Center at GUtech. The training programme will be held at GUtech Campus in Halban.

“Through this cooperation with DB International we will also be able to send highly qualified students and local faculty for on the job training programmes in facilities of the German Railway,” said Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy Rector for Administration and Finances of GUtech.

The German Railway / Deutsche Bahn AG is one of the world’s leading passenger and logistics companies and operates in 130 countries. The company’s railway activities in Germany – with about seven million passengers and 1,138,000 tons of freight transported every day – is its core business.

“We decided to partner with the German University of Technology in Oman since they are a well-established University of Technology with an excellent reputation in the Sultanate of Oman. Together we will offer high quality technical training programs for the Oman National Railway sector”, said Michell-Auli, Member of the Board International Markets

German Business Delegation visited GUtech

HALBAN To get to know more about German higher education abroad, H.E. Tarek Al-Wazir, Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development of the Federal State of Hessen along with his high-ranking business delegation visited the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on 24 February. The state of Hessen is one of the most dynamic federal states in Germany, with its largest city Frankfurt/Main. The delegation were on a two days visit in Muscat and accompanied by the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Sultanate H.E. Hans-Christian Freiherr von Reibnitz.

The Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell, briefed the State Minister and his delegation about the university, showed him around the campus and they also visited the GUtech EcoHouse, built beside the main building. The State Minister was impressed about the history and fast development of GUtech, the sole German University of Technology in the Gulf region, which is affiliated with RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

“We would like to promote cooperation between Oman and Germany. With a sustainable and market-oriented business policy and investor-friendly conditions, the Sultanate of Oman is one of the most attractive markets in the Gulf region,” said H.E. Tarek Al-Wazir. Members of his accompanying delegation were the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Frankfurt and CEOs and managing directors of various companies in the field of construction, communication systems, banking, engineering, health, food, telecommunications, logistics and consultancies.

“We are looking forward to enhance the cooperation between the industry in Hessen and GUtech. I am very pleased to know that several companies want to offer internships for our GUtech students,” said Prof. Modigell. A number of GUtech students of different departments are conducting internships in Germany every year.