Tue, Aug 1, 2023

Amouage prepares for first frankincense harvest at Unesco site

Amouage, the Omani international High Perfumery House, celebrates a milestone in its sustainable development initiative to perpetuate traditional craftsmanship among its newly recruited local workforce as they prepare for the first Frankincense harvest at the Unesco World Heritage Site Wadi Dawkah.

The house has made a long-term commitment to the sustainable and ethical harvesting of its locally sourced ingredients and created employment within the local community to support this mission.

Amouage is committed to invest in the local workforce at Wadi Dawkah in the Southern Governorate of Dhofar to promote meaningful job creation, to transmit know-how, certify skills and connect the community and its ancient cultural heritage with plans for the site to flourish in line with the central objectives of Oman Vision 2040.

Amouage has already employed several Dhofari locals including a Wadi Dawkah foreman and several young Omanis from the community to continue the legacy of harvesting the majestic and unique Frankincense. Two of the new generation of frankincense harvesters are honoured to follow in the footsteps of their grandfathers, both of whom harvested Frankincense in the 1960s.

It is this tradition that is central to Amouage’s vision for the site. Three Omani elders from Waliyat of Thumrait are also part of the project. They, too, were involved in frankincense cultivation in the 1960s and are uniquely placed to share their know-how, mentor the young Dhofaris and transmit the cultural heritage to the next generation.

The seven new members of the team will be joined by representatives from the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism and the Environment Authority and to mark the occasion.

Speaking about the initiative, Sayyid Khalid bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Amouage, said: “It is our duty as caretaker of this important Unesco World Heritage Site to care for the land, its traditional inhabitants, and the culture. This project will be delivered in phases with the ultimate goal of becoming a sustainable Visitors Centre and become the spark for sustainable and conscious regeneration of the Frankincense trees. Through this initiative, we aim to create pathways for Omani youth to reconnect with such a vital component of our shared heritage and shape the future of the region for generations to come, and to become community leaders by contributing to the economy, tourism, employment and environmental sustainability.”

Wadi Dawkah is one of Oman’s most cherished locations and has been recognised as a Unesco World Heritage site for its importance along the ancient Incense Route. Having reaffirmed its responsibility to be at the forefront of minimising its environmental impact, Amouage entered a partnership with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in 2022 to expand this ancient cradle of the valuable resin derived from the thousands of Boswellia Sacra trees that have flourished at Wadi Dawkah for centuries and is a key ingredient in many of Amouage’s finely crafted perfumes.

"We are privileged to support the conservation of the Boswellia trees in their natural habitat and the development of local communities that have relied upon harvesting these trees for centuries. Amouage has been a passionate ambassador for Oman and its society and culture and is the gateway for international audiences to discover the nation's many natural wonders. By ensuring the long-term sustainability of frankincense, Amouage can support the traceability and visibility of one of our key ingredients, and, together with Omani craftsmanship and savoir fair, the resin can once again become well-known worldwide. Located near what was once the centre of the ancient Frankincense trail, Wadi Dawkah can become the modern-day provenance of this precious gift from where clients can follow its journey to global markets," said Marco Parsiegla, Chief Executive Officer of Amouage.

Seeking to ensure complete transparency, Amouage’s stewardship of Wadi Dawkah, in close partnership with the local community, follows the recently reimagined sustainability strategy and is underpinned by long-standing values to deliver the world’s most sustainable, ethical, and transparent source of frankincense to its clients.

Once complete, the site will also be home to a visitors’ centre and serve as a hub for education and tourism, while also demonstrating environmental consciousness in its construction all in line with Amouage’s sustainability strategy and in compliance with the Unesco World Heritage Site guidelines.

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