Mail and Much More

Oman Post has taken huge strides towards expanding communication in the sultanate in terms of reach and also scope of services that can be offered to the public.

By diversifying its services and introducing new ones following the Royal Decree 84/2005, Oman Post aims to keep pace with the country's economic development. It is embracing the latest technology to boost services and enhance performance of its human resources. Working towards this goal, the postal services body is looking for a strategic private sector partner.

Link with Ministry of Housing
Among the array of services added to its portfolio is the link-up with the Ministry of Housing. The service facilitates documentation among others and acts as a bridge between applicants and the ministry. Other services include provision of residential, agricultural and industrial land requests, providing help in the process to change ownership, holding survey etc. This service also helps citizens with loan applications and redeeming commercial transactions via post.

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E-Services
With the digitisation of mail and the Internet boom, it was only natural for Oman Post to brace for the challenge and tackle it by introducing the ePost service. ePost is a hybrid mail system, an integration of traditional print and electronic communications systems. It is dynamic and more effective way of mailing, wherein users can send and receive both electronic and traditional mail. The aim of ePost Service is to help citizens, businesses and government bodies to communicate seamlessly in a safe environment. This service also aims to increase the availability of mailboxes and includes features like 'follow me' and electronic postal service within e-mail.

“ePost is a free ID offered to anyone who registers at Oman Post. Using the ID people will be able to send and receive digital mail. With the launch of this new initiative, we are going to completely revolutionise the postal service,” Saif bin Amor al Shaqsi, chairman of Oman Post had said.

Developed in collaboration with Vantage Post Technologies BV of the Netherlands - a global leader in digital document portals - ePost will offer every Omani national, expatriate resident and companies in Oman their own digital ID and virtual post box.

“ePost offers a high degree of security. The features offered are quite extensive and these will continue to grow as the system develops further,” he added.

ePost also aims to become a means of communication between individuals and government departments so that applications and other processes are simplified. Another feature that will be offered is the virtual box. This solves the problem of the lack of individual post boxes.

Doorstep deliveries
Oman Post's door-to-door service helps ease day-to-day mail transactions in the country in a fast and safe way. At present, Oman Post has 88 offices and 66,000 post boxes across the country. It has 20 offices in Muscat,16 in North and South Batinah, 14 in North and South Sharqiyah, 13 in Dhofar, 11 in Dakhliyah, five in Dhahirah, four in Musandam, three in Buraimi and two in Al Wusta.

Future plans
In another step towards improving its services, Oman Post is planning to set up a call centre to address customer queries. At a recent meeting at the Ministry of Information's headquarters held in the presence of Hussein al Lawati, head of Oman Post's financial department and Saeed al Balushi, head of Central Post, it was agreed to create a joint committee with members from the ministry and Oman Post to study how the 88 mail offices can be used to distribute newspapers and other publications across the sultanate.

Oman Post is also planning to participate in the Salalah Tourism Festival by holding exhibitions and symposiums.

“Oman Post has plans to organise a number of shows and public events, especially for children, in a bid to develop a hobby of stamp collection among children and young people. A special pavilion will be opened in the first week of August, where an exhibition of new postal services in the sultanate will be held,” Oman Post has said in the statement.

“The exhibition will also showcase door-to-door services, ePost services and private tourism services that will be launched during the festival. The corner will also showcase the special service (Direct Mail),” the statement added.

According to the statement, Oman Post will hold a symposium at the Heritage Centre in Salalah during the festival to highlight its services, besides an exhibition on the history of postal stamps. A new post card will be launched during the symposium.

Also, Oman Post may also rent out sections of its properties across the sultanate to bring in more revenues. The postal service is awaiting the Ministry of Finance's nod to this proposal.

Getting competitive
Oman Post plans to fight competition from private players by opening offices in malls and supermarkets. These offices will remain open till late hours in a bid to increase customer base and bring in more revenues.

An official from the postal office said, “We are competing against private players who are going all out to attract more customers and business. This move is to retain customer base and attract more business.”

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