Ali Al Lawati

Position? GM External Relations.

What are your main responsibilities? To ensure that we remain Oman’s principal energy partner by committing to Oman’s future and delivering value through investing in people, technology, projects and performance optimisation. This includes managing a portfolio of social investment programmes that are focused on developing Omani talent, road safety, environment and entrepreneurial skills development initiatives like Shell Intilaaqah. In addition, managing internal and external communication with our staff and other stakeholders is an important aspect of my job to ensure our brand and reputation is protected and that our key messages are conveyed.

What are your company's Unique Selling Points (USPs) in Oman? Shell has a very long relationship with Oman - since 1937 - and has always been associated with quality, innovation and trust. Being an international oil company, we are in a unique position to leverage our global expertise, people and technology to ensure that our Omani partner companies remain successful, world-class and competitive, thereby contributing to the development and prosperity of the Omani energy sector and economy. Our social investment programmes such as Shell Intilaaqah and FutbolNet are examples of sustainable initiatives that bring benefit to the society.

What achievement are you most proud of? On a personal level, I am very proud to have been able to complete my masters and doctorate in business administration while working and contributing to the society. I am also proud to have been selected, out of 1,400 applicants, to take part in the National CEO programme under the patronage of the Diwan of Royal Court. On a professional level, serving on the senior management team with Shell Oman Marketing has been a great achievement as well as being Shell spokesperson in the country in my current role with Shell Development Oman.

What would you still like to achieve (in life, leisure or business)? I always aspire to contribute more to the economic development of Oman and to work on shaping the strategy and future outlook of the country.

What do you think makes Oman an attractive destination to do business? I believe the people and culture of Oman is our unique competitive advantage. In addition, Oman is still a young country and hence plenty of potential for growth and business.

What sectors do you think will thrive in Oman and the UK in the coming years and why? For Oman, the direction is very clear. Infrastructure, tourism, fisheries and logistics will play an important role in the future and will ensure the Sultanate has diversified sources of income. Another sector that can flourish with the right strategy is the renewable energy and specifically solar power. For the UK, I believe Oil & Gas can still play a significant role.

What is the best business advice you have ever received? That good safety is a good business.

Favourite destinations in Oman and why? Muttrah because it radiates with warmth, hospitality and authenticity and Khasab because of its beauty, birds, beaches and mountains.

Favourite destinations in the UK and why? Manchester. I spent 4 years there during my studies and because I am a big Manchester United fan.

Favourite restaurant in Oman and UK? In Oman, there are many but Kebab Factory is my favourite. In the UK, I don’t have a favourite place, but the classical fish & chips are always good.

Describe your character in five words? Confident, optimistic, sincere, planner and genuine.

What are your hobbies? Football, reading and keeping up with the digital and technological developments.

What five things would you take to a desert island? Ipad with a solar charger loaded with hundreds of books, a tent, and if family is allowed, then definitely.

What public figures do you most admire and why? HM the Sultan for ensuring Oman is a country that is peaceful, authentic and in harmony. His vision has developed the country since the 70s and kept Oman as a safe haven and as a nation that is tolerant to all.