2019 Annual Conference

The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center held its 10th annual conference at the University of Houston – Clear Lake on 23 October 2019. This year's conference, "Energy and Environmental Stewardship: Oman and the U.S." included discussions of oil in Oman and the U.S., environmental and climate change effects on coastal regions, disaster management, and science diplomacy. HE Salim Al Aufi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Oil and Gas, Sultanate of Oman, delivered the conference keynote address the previous evening.

The conference's first panel, "Oil in Oman and the U.S.: Overlapping Histories and Concerns" focused on the evolution of the energy sector in both Oman and the U.S. and how efforts towards sustainability have affected future development. Photos of the panel can be found here.

The second panel, "Environmental and Climate Change in Coastal Regions and Cities" discussed changing climate conditions and how the risk of flooding is being addressed in Oman and in Texas. Photos of the panel can be found here.

The lunch keynote "Science Diplomacy: My Journey and My Perspectives" was delivered by Dr. Kamlesh Lulla, Director for University Research Collaboration and Partnership Office at Johnson Space Center, NASA. During the lunch break, conference guests also explored a poster presentation on Oman prepared by UHCL students. Photos of the lunch session can be found here.

The third panel, "Disaster Management: Preparedness, Response and Humanitarian Aid" highlighted the role of proactive disaster management and the multifaceted approaches needed to address disaster events in both Oman and Texas. Photos of the panel can be found here.

The fourth and final panel of the conference, "Science Diplomacy" explored the role of science in fostering international cooperation. Photos of the panel can be found here.

The full conference agenda can be found here.

2018 Annual Conference

The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center held its ninth annual conference at Arizona State University (ASU) on 1 November 2018. The conference, "Promoting Economic Development via Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Oman & the U.S." included discussions of circular economies, entrepreneurship, trade policies, and innovation. HE Ali Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce for the Sultanate of Oman, delivered the conference keynote address the previous evening at the SQCC banquet.

 The conference's first panel, "Public-Private Partnerships towards a Circular Economy" focused on the intersection of sustainability, SME development, and innovation. Photos of the panel can be found here.

 The second panel, "Developing Vibrant Entrepreneurship Ecosystems" addressed different organizations dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial innovation and growth. Photos of the panel can be found here.

 The lunch keynote "The Role of Universities in Economic Development: Fostering a Resilient and Adaptive Economy" was delivered by Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, the Executive Vice President, Knowledge Enterprise Development, Chief Research and Innovation Officer for ASU. During the lunch break, Omani students at ASU presented posters on a variety of topics including water filtration, supply chain optimization, and autonomous vehicles. Photos of the lunch session can be found here.

 The third panel, "Advancing Industry" highlighted the role of economic development directors in fostering a prosperous business environment that ensures economic vibrancy. Photos of the panel can be found here.

 The fourth and final panel of the conference, "Developing a Digital Marketplace for New Industries" explored the role of E-commerce in both the U.S. and Oman. Photos of the panel can be found here

 The full conference agenda can be found here.  Videos of each panel can be found here.

2017 Annual Conference

SQCC partnered with the University of South Carolina for our 2017 annual conference, "The Importance of Tourism and Ports in Economic Development: Best Practices in Oman and the USA". The conference was held on 8 November at the University of South Carolina. 

The conference was opened by University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides and SQCC Board of Oversight Chair H.E. Ambassador Hunaina Sultan Al Mughairy.

The Omani delegation, led by Minister of Transport and Communications, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Futaisi, included: Dr. Yousef Hamed Al Balushi, Supreme Council of Planning; Dr. Masooma Khamis Al Balushi, Sultan Qaboos University; Mr. Saleh Al Hasani, Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm; Eng. Hashem bin Tahir Al Ibrahim, Port of Duqm Company; and Mr. Faisal Amer Shuwain Al Hosni, Ministry of Tourism.

U.S.-based participants included South Carolina Secretary of Commerce The Honorable Robert M. Hitt III; Former Charleston Mayor The Honorable Joseph P. Riley, Jr.; USC Vice Provost Dr. Paul Allen Miller; Mr. Phil Gaines, South Carolina State Park Service; Mr. Chris Stone, Visit Greenville; Mr. Steve Kemp, Jr., South Carolina Ports Authority; and Dr. David A. Cardenas, Dr. Simon Hudson, Dr. Rich Harrill, Dr. Nathan Huynh, Dr. Jack Jensen, Dr. Marketa Kubickova, Dr. Drew Martin, Dr. Robert J. Rolfe, all from the University of South Carolina. 

Presentations included: The Smart State Center for Tourism and its Contribution to growing Tourism in SC; The Greenville Perspective; The Importance of Destination Image: Attracting Americans to Oman; Cruising Market in Oman: Current Trends and Future Prospects; Community Development and Workforce Development; The Influence of Government in Sustainable Tourism Development; Sustainable Tourism and the State’s Economy, Sustainable Tourism in Oman; Operations and Supply Chain Management, Advances in Intermodal Freight Terminal Design and Operations; Keeping Freight Moving; Duqm Prospective and Investment Opportunity; and Creating a Hub for the Future.


You can view photos from the conference and banquet 
here and here.

You can view the conference agenda here.


For details on past conferences, please see below.

SQCC's 2016 Annual Conference, "Fostering Health Across the Lifespan: Shared Lessons and Opportunities in Oman and the U.S." was held on 26 October at The Rotunda, The University of Virginia.

SQCC's 2015 Annual Conference, "Agriculture in Arid Areas" was held on 5 November at Texas Tech University. For more on this conference, please visit this page

SQCC's 2014 Annual Conference, "Women of Oman: Changing Roles & Transnational Influence" was held at on 7 November at Kennesaw State University. To read more on this conference, please visit this page

SQCC's 2013 Annual Conference, “Oman and the Indian Ocean: Interaction and Exchange,” was held at the University of Chicago, in partnership with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. To view the schedule, topics, and pictures from that conference, please visit this page.