The Power of Engaging Community Management

Babul Akhtar gives an insight into how community management promotes social cohesion and inclusivity in Oman.
Babul Akhtar | Oman | Community Management

Creating strong and inclusive communities has never been more vital. When people choose where to live, they consider factors like location, amenities, safety, schools, and community atmosphere. That's where community management comes in—the essential glue that brings people together, strengthens bonds, and fosters a sense of belonging. By promoting communication, encouraging engagement, and supporting diversity, community management builds bridges that connect residents, resulting in vibrant, harmonious living environments.

Cultivating a Profound Sense of Belonging

Al Mouj Muscat, a premier mixed-use oceanfront community in Oman's capital, stands as a testament to the power of community strategy. With over 8,500 residents representing 85 nationalities and a bustling dining and retail district, a marina, a pristine community beach, 5-star hotels (think Kempinski & St Regis), and a world-class golf course, Al Mouj Muscat is dedicated to creating great moments for everyone, every day. That’s all very well, but how do we achieve this?

Nurturing Effective Communication

Effective communication is vital to any thriving community. So keeping residents informed and engaged is paramount through regular newsletters, homeowner meetings such as AGMs and advisory committees, events, and social media platforms. Transparent and inclusive communication channels create an atmosphere where resident voices are valued. In fact, we have an award winning CX team, including a Voice of the Customer squad which filters customer feedback/comments into our business and service planning process. This fosters trust, collaboration, and a sense of pride in the community.

Encouraging Active Engagement

At Al Mouj Muscat, active engagement is the key to a vibrant and inclusive community. Residents are encouraged to participate in a wide range of events and activities, including special interest groups like book clubs and the delightful silver surfers group, as well as initiatives such as the community urban farm. We regularly host breakfast meetings where we serve up piping-hot discussions centered around specific services, seminars for our young and senior residents, in-depth focus groups, meet-your-Community-Manager roadshows, as well as community Bake-Off—because who doesn't love cake?

By organising social gatherings, seminars, and recreational activities, we provide opportunities for residents to connect, mingle and share stories. These interactions go beyond superficial pleasantries, allowing residents to forge meaningful relationships. During Ramadan, we hosted a series of successful Masjid Open Days to welcome people from all faiths to build bridges across our communities. Active engagement promotes a sense of unity and solidarity, transcending individual differences and creating a vibrant and inclusive community.

Supporting Sustainability and Collaboration

One of our standout initiatives this year is the Community Urban Farm, which has been a resounding success. Designed to increase resident participation and promote a green and sustainable agenda, the urban farm has attracted over 30 regular volunteers from diverse backgrounds. In the past quarter alone, the farm has witnessed the planting and harvesting of various produce, the establishment of a new composting eco-system, and the contribution of waste produce from a local supermarket. This urban farm serves as a shining example of community building and placemaking, where residents join forces to grow organic produce while fostering a sense of unity and collaboration.

Conclusion

Community management is the driving force behind the development of inclusive and cohesive communities. By fostering a profound sense of belonging, nurturing effective communication, encouraging active engagement, and supporting diversity and inclusion, community management creates an environment where residents can thrive and connect. These efforts lead to vibrant and inclusive neighbourhoods, where residents feel a sense of unity and belonging.  Together, community managers can build bridges that bring people together, celebrate diversity, and create vibrant, inclusive communities where everyone feels welcomed and valued.

(About the Author: With an impressive 25-year career in real estate spanning across London, Dubai, Doha, and Muscat, Babul Akhtar stands as a true industry veteran. Currently, as the Senior Manager at Al Mouj Muscat in Oman—a joint partnership with Majid Al Futtaim—Babul leads the community management team, with a relentless focus on customer experience and engagement.) 

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