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YOUR FREE COPY

Volume 4 - 2007

Khareef's

myriad moods Postcards from Chittagong

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Souqs: Oman in microcosm

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White Beach: An Idyllic Seaside Retreat

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Coping with diabetes

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Marhaba Dear Passenger,

Salalah is teeming with tourists from all over the Gulf region. Verdant mountains and the cool drizzle serve as a magnet to the tourists who wish to get away from the hotter climes nature tends to offer at this time of the year. People also believe that this kind of natural splendour rejuvenates both, mind and body. Like every year, Oman Air does not fail to deliver – and this year too, we have unveiled special and exciting holiday packages. Bearing in mind the surging demand and our unflagging commitment, Oman Air, the Diamond Sponsor and official carrier of this year’s Khareef festivities, offers convenient connections between Salalah to more than 18 destinations via Muscat. In addition to an increase in our frequencies to 38 a week from Muscat, Dubai and Kuwait to Salalah, Oman Air Holiday Packages offer various options of carefully selected luxury and budget hotels, car rentals and sightseeing excursions that meet all the needs of the visitor. As part of our comprehensive plans to continually thrive in the international market and to meet passenger expectations, Oman Air has recently presented its new menus for the Indian subcontinent routes, which will enhance the meal service on its B737 cabins. Our focus on enhancing our international menus is part of an ongoing effort to provide products and services that customers value, by offering tasteful menus during their flights. Like every issue, this edition too continues to offer excellent reading material for our flyers. Chittagong, where Oman Air launched its service a few months ago, unfolds its kaleidoscopic sights. It is a place where culture and heritage exist amid new developments. This time we want you to feel what it is like being in the rains in Salalah. Yes, the rains in Salalah bring out the poet in you. One way of being up in the skies is to paraglide. A write-up on paragliding will make you float in the air. The White Beach is a hotspot for sun-seekers and travellers en-route to Sur, proving you do not have to travel too far south of Muscat to find a white sandy beach. With Quriyat-Sur carriageway being constructed, it is just a matter of one and a half hours to reach the place. Other features on coping with diabetes, homework and the role of parents and the value of self-evaluation make for refreshing reading.

Have a pleasurable flight with us.

Ziad Karim Al Haremi Chief Executive Officer

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Contents

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Cover Story Khareef's

myriad moods

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Postcards from Chittagong

'It is a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water'. This is how a celebrated Chinese traveller poet Huen Tsang (7th century AD) described Chittagong

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Souqs: Oman in microcosm Oman's traditional souq serves as a melting pot of cultures which exudes old charm redolent of the Arabian bazaar of folklore

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White Beach: An Idyllic Seaside Retreat

Located approximately 150 kms south of Muscat, near Fins, this retreat is a hotspot for sun-seekers and travellers en-route to Sur, proving you don’t have to travel too far south of Muscat to find a white sandy beach

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Contents 28

28 Coping with diabetes So, you have been diagnosed with diabetes - put aside the ‘doom and gloom’ predictions and get on with the task of smart management of the disorder

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Homework and the role of parents Homework is a teaching tool, a way to reinforce school lessons and create self discipline in students

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The value of self-evaluation A self-evaluation report will keep you armed with appropriate factual information of what you have accomplished, contributed and learnt on the job

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Fun Corner Fascinating facts

Oman Air’s inflight magazine is issued by: Corporate Communications & Media Department - Oman Air P.O. Box: 58, Seeb Airport, Postal Code 111, Seeb International Airport, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24519616, Fax: +968 24510771 E-mail: wings@omanair.aero Website: www.omanair.aero For Oman advertising enquiries contact: Publishers:

National Publishing And Advertising LLC (NPA) P.O. Box: 3112, P.C. 112, Ruwi Muscat, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24793098, Fax: +968 24708445 E-mail: advertising@npaoman.com Website: www.npaoman.com

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For regional/international advertising enquiries contact: Media Score Services Dubai Media City, P.O. Box 502023, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 3908030, Fax: +971 4 3908031 E-mail: kazansc@cyberia.com.lb The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for errors or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. All copyrights are reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without our written permission.


News

Oman Air Holidays launch its holiday packages for Khareef Salalah Oman Air Holidays has received tremendous response to its exciting packages for the Khareef Festival 2007, by welcoming more and more visitors to the wonderful city of Salalah from its entire network and beyond, commented Mr. Mohammed Al Shikely, Senior Manager Marketing. Mr Al Shikely went on to say that year after year, the number of visitors who get enchanted by the magical phenomenon of this fascinating city of Salalah is rapidly increasing. To meet this booming demand, Oman Air, the Diamond Sponsor, and the Official Carrier of the Festival, has increased its Salalah frequencies to a total of 36 flights per week from Muscat, Dubai and Kuwait. Every week 30 flights from Muscat, 4 flights from Dubai and 2 flights from Kuwait offer over 4100 seats non stop to Salalah. In addition to this, Oman Air offers convenient connections between Salalah to more than 18 destinations via Muscat. To make this event a grand success Oman Air has undertaken many promotional activities targeted at travel agents, tour operators and the travelling public throughout its network to unfold its new enticing packages which are elegantly designed to spend stylish and memorable holidays, offering an amazing break to all. As a part of this boom, a mega promotion is currently going on at one

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of the largest malls in Bahrain exclusively promoting Salalah and the Khareef Festival. Oman Air Holiday Packages offer various options of carefully selected luxury and budget hotels, car rentals and sightseeing excursions to meet all visitor needs. Within Oman, the Khareef packages start from R.O. 119/- per adult (on sharing basis) including return economy class airfare for the sector Muscat/Salalah/Muscat on Oman Air, 03 nights accommodation in a 4-star hotel in Salalah (incl. breakfast and hotel taxes) and airport transfers. The packages are valid until 10 September 2007. Salalah is experiencing its finest weather with astonishing waterfalls, bubbling streams, striking mountains covered with haze and light rains and to make the most out of this glittering city there is no better option than the Oman Air Holiday Packages. It is also a perfect gift for someone you wish to surprise beyond his or her expectations. For the convenience of the visitors, Oman Air has assigned a dedicated phone number 24765129 to handle all queries related to Khareef packages. Passengers may also book through their nearest travel agent.


News

Energetic efforts towards Arabizing of Oman Air website In line with the constant attempts to substantiate eminent image in the aviation industry, Oman Air is in the final process of Arabizing its website through fruitful efforts and cooperation among the company’s various divisions and departments. In addition, procedures to launch the new look website based on global standards, has been completed. The innovative website will be used as an additional channel to facilitate access to further clients. Mr. Habib bin Baker, Head of Information & Computing, said that the website of the national carrier of Oman is repeatedly updated to ensure that it contains latest and important facilities to cope with the fast growing information technology. This contributed in making communications between the company and its valued customers closer than before. As soon as the customers access the company’s website, they can take advantage of the various facilities and privileges available on the website. It becomes easy to know flight details and make bookings to any of Oman Air destinations linking the capital Muscat with major cities in the region and the Indian subcontinent. Also, in the near future, the Omani flag will flutter and fly to wider horizons reaching more destinations worldwide. In addition to be acquainted with the company’s latest information, the browser can also benefit from the amazing Holiday Packages to attractive destinations as well as the newly inaugurated destinations. Also, the website could be utilized in applying for a job being advertised on it. Any passenger using the website for booking can benefit from the special discount offered for this purpose. He added that since the Oman Air website is well designed and has distinguished features, it has won numerous prizes, the

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latest being the Golden Award in a competition to select the best website in Oman in the field of travel and tourism for 2006. The site had also reaped the Golden Prize during the year 2005 for "Best Omani site - transportation field." In this regard, Oman Air’s Corporate Communications & Media Department said: “The importance of Arabizing the techniques to suit the environment of the Arab users are highly important for the company. The Arabic language is considered as a vital tool to encourage Arabs to overcome the language barrier, use our website and facilitate accessing and taking advantage of the available information. Arabizing and updating the website reflect the commitment of Oman Air towards its valued customers in Oman and abroad to make available all beneficial information. The website has been established in accordance with the most advanced technological standards and in a short period of time while maintaining friendly design and easy practice." The department added: “We are aware that Arabization of texts is a very important step for every Arabic speaker. Since the current trends are directed towards e-government and e-commerce, government and business enterprises that have the desire to apply electronic transactions within the Arab world should communicate with citizens and consumers in their own language and make websites accessible to those who do not have good command of English. Therefore, this action of Arabizing the website was sought after to enable the Arab user to access the required information easily and smoothly”. It is worth mentioning that, Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman is well-known as a friendly and loyal airline based on its commitment to serve and satisfy passengers as well as its constant endeavours to achieve the best.


Cover Story

Dhofar during Khareef

Khareef’s

myriad moods During Khareef, Dhofar is transformed into a paradise and you

coming into focus when the clouds part momentarily and

long to laze around the place savouring the drizzle and fog. The

get transported into a blissful world. With the horizon as your

monsoon brings with it a feeling of love, longing and romance.

companion you can stand and gaze at the haze around the

The fragrance of wet mud, rain drops sliding from leaf tops,

place’s enlivening topography.

a hot cup of tea and the sight of roadside fruits make Salalah

Salalah in Khareef is a heaven in the true sense. Picturesque

a perfect monsoon destination. One can clamber atop the

villages that are forever shrouded in mist dot the region, and

cliffs overlooking the Arabian Sea to watch a green blanket

of course there are the teashops that serve piping hot tea.

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Blowhole at Al Mughsayl

Delightful spots during Khareef

A traditional dance

As the region produces a large variety of fruits, the place

years and as we can see the Khareef has now become

is replete with fruit shops and in abundance are the tender

synonymous with the word ‘family’. Wherever you go, one can

coconuts. Dhofar is home to bountiful fruit farms and is a

see families outnumber male-only groups.

place to be if you are in a mood to gorge on fruits like papaya,

Suffice it to say that the well-thought theme is producing

banana, coconut, guava, custard apple, lemon, breadfruit,

results. This year’s Khareef would strike a balance between

grapefruit, etc.

entertainment and culture aspects. A slew of cultural programmes have been held and some are still to come.

The very rains make the environment green, earth damp, air crisp, and leaves sprout

Lively springs punctuate the landscape and a drive through this landscape is a treat for the body and soul.

Khareef Salalah Festival 2007 - Family Gathering Mr. Hasan Bin Salem Al Dahab, General Supervisor of

Crowds watching a show

Khareef Salalah Festival Department at Dhofar Municipality, and coordinator of Khareef Salalah Festival 2007, said this

One aspect that lures flocks of tourists to Dhofar is the rains.

year’s festival activities will have a variety of functions and

There’s magic in the word ‘rains’. The very rains makes the

programmes to make it more entertaining and attract more

environment green, earth damp, air crisp, and leaves sprout.

people from all parts of the AGCC. The festival this year started under the same theme of "family gathering" as in the previous

So, brace yourself and get ready to soak in the splendour of the monsoons in Dhofar.

• Abu Dhabi: +971 2 6266800 • Al Ain: +971 3 7669943 • Amman: +9626 5 626644 • Bahrain: +973 17 225383 / 225282 • Beirut: +961 1 485076/ 511786 • Cairo: +202 5759797 / 5789393 • Chennai: +91 44 52147676 • Dammam: +966 3 8961412 • Delhi: +91 11 2332 4097 / 2332 4087 • Doha: +974 4424579 / 4320509 • Dubai: +971 4 3521777 • Hyderabad: +91 40 23245500 • Jeddah: +966 2 6456893 • Khasab: +968 26731592 • Kochi: +91 484 2358185 • Kuwait: +965 2412284 / 2452796, Ext.103/104/105 • Mumbai: +91 22 22819180 • Muscat: +968 24765129 • Salalah: +968 23292777 • Sharjah: +971 6 5748212 • Thiruvananthapuram: +91 471 2728127 / 2728137

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International Destination

Lush green scenic beauty of Himchhari, near Cox's Bazaar

Postcards from

Chittagong The city offers diverse sights to a tourist 'It is a sleeping beauty emerging from mists and water'. This

to Chittagong and the city is now placed on the international

is how a celebrated Chinese traveller poet Huen Tsang (7th

tourist map. Chittagong is a fine blend of mountains sheathed

century AD) described Chittagong, the second largest city of

in greenery, forest and historical places. It combines the busy

Bangladesh and a busy international seaport.

hum of an active seaport with the soothing quiet of a quaint

Bangladesh, understated all these years, is coming out of

hill town. Located in the southern-east side of the country, the

the closet to project itself as a land of wonders. There is much

place is home to heavy, medium and light industries, besides

more to see than Dhaka and the Sundarbans, a world heritage

being the country's chief port. Bangladesh's only steel mill

site, which encompasses three wildlife sanctuaries. With five

and oil refinery are also located in Chittagong and the city also

flights a week, Oman Air is the first international airline to fly

boasts of tea and rubber plantations.

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The history of this natural harbour city includes landings of Portuguese merchants in search of spices. The arrival of Greeks, Spanish, British and Moghuls on the shores of Chittagong has left their influences in the architecture, emergence of ethnic segments, food and the dialect. Little wonder then, Chittagong is replete with fascinating places of heritage value. A colourful event of Baisabi

The city boasts of tea and rubber plantations

Heritage: Chittagong's air blows history. There are areas that look frozen in time. Among the historical sites, one of the prominent features is the collection of ethnic settlements still in their original habitats. Tribals with colourful customs present a lovely spectacle.

Court Building Museum:

Situated on the Fairy Hill, this building commands a panoramic bird's eye view of Chittagong. This had been the scene of intense activity during the independence war in 1971.

Chittagong is a fine blend of mountains sheathed in greenery, forest and historical places

World War II Cemetery:

In a well-preserved cemetery at a serene and picturesque place within the city lie buried over 750 soldiers from Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Myanmar, East and West Africa, The Netherlands and Japan who were killed from1939 to 1945 in Chittagong areas during World War II.

Sunset over Cox's Bazaar beach

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Ethnological Museum: This museum located in Agrabad is a treasure-house of a variety of tribal culture and heritage of Bangladesh.


turtles in the pond), Shahi Jame Masjid and Chandanpura Masjid. The Hindu and Buddhist temples at Sitakunda and the Cemetery of the Second World War heroes offer a peek into the history and its present impact. Sitakunda is regarded as very sacred by the Buddhists and the Hindus. Siva-chaturdashi festival is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble for the celebrations which last about ten days.

Picnic spots:

Pahartoly Lake,

Foy's Lake, Patenga and Fauzderhat beaches are places where nature finds

abundant

expression.

Set

amidst picturesque surroundings in the railway township of Phartali, 8km from Chittagong, Foy's Lake (Pahartali Lake) is an ideal spot for outings and picnics thronged by thousands of visitors every week. Patenga beach is about 22km from Chittagong and is approachable by a motorable road. On the way to the beach, one passes the Patenga Airport. Another ideal picnic spot is the Fouzderhat sea beach about

Kudum cave at Teknaf, near Cox's Bazaar

16km from Chittagong. Located near the river mouth of the river

Zia Memorial Museum: Previously it was known as Circuit House where the former President of Bangladesh Zia-ur Rahman and one of the architects of the liberation war was killed by a group of disgruntled army personnel. To the memory of Zia, the Circuit House was declared as Zia Memorial Museum. In this museum, you can see late president Zia-ur Rahman's daily usage materials.

Karnaphuli, the Chittagong port has a recorded history from the 9th century.

Outside Chittagong:

From Chittagong one can

venture northeast to the famous Chittagong Hill Tracks, 60kms from the city. The region comprises a mass of hills, ravines and cliffs covered with dense jungle, bamboo, creepers and shrubs, and has four main valleys formed by the Karnapuli,

Oman Air gives you the opportunity to discover wildlife sanctuaries

Feni, Shangu and Matamuhur rivers. And if you feel like venturing further beyond Chittagong then a visit to the world famous Cox's Bazaar (152km from city) is a must. Miles of golden sands (120km), towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colourful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delectable seafood make Cox's Bazaar one of the most popular tourist sights in Bangladesh.

Religious places:

These include the shrine of dozen

Muslim saints such as Hazrat Byazid Bostami (famous for the

So, what keeps you thinking? Pack up and head for Chittagong and immerse in a world where the old and new blend so well.

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Culture & Heritage

Souqs:

Oman in microcosm

Oman's traditional souq serves as a melting pot of cultures which exudes old charm redolent of the Arabian bazaar of folklore Souqs symbolise the essence of Omani culture. The souqs are thronged by people at any time of the day as they continue to play an important role in the social, cultural and economic life in the towns and villages throughout Oman. Their charm endures to this day. These souqs provide the outlet for local produce and products. Little wonder then all the tourism related publications and brochures mention Muttrah souq near the capital Muscat is a must-see place for tourists. Some of the famous souqs in Oman are found in Muttrah, Nizwa, Rustaq, Salalah, Ibra and Sinaw. The Muttrah souq is an open museum of artefacts. The souq’s labyrinthine alleyways beckoning visitors with a plethora of merchandise has always held something of a fascination for everyone. The sights and sounds, flavour and feel come together in a composite experience that you transport back in your mind.

The entrance of the Muttrah souq

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There are several entry points along the rim of the souq and one from the corniche road. A beautiful dome entrance is a part of the Muttrah beautification project carried out two years ago. In the days before the ‘Renaissance’ (1970) there was a huge gate leading into Muttrah souq that shut each day at sunset. At the entrance you can find hawkers selling fruits and vegetables produced locally. Though there are people throughout the day, as dusk sets in Muttrah souq comes alive. Kicked up with life, the place becomes the right choice for bargain shoppers and antique hunters throughout the evening in full gusto. The divine smell exuded from frankincense wafts through the air as you pass by a series of shops selling frankincense and bukhoor (incense).


Tourists at an antique shop

Shops selling artefacts, curios, craft items, antique doors, Bahla pots, toys, cosmetics, foodstuff, garments, jewellery, perfumes, electronics and assorted bric-a-brac offer good prices. The place exudes old charm redolent of the Arabian bazaar of folklore. In the bygone days, Muttrah souq was built in mud bricks and one spell of heavy rains would be enough to flood the alleyways. The date frond, a traditional material for lining roofs, was used until the renovation. It has now been replaced by a fire-proof elegant ceiling. A social din pervades the souq between 6:00pm and 8:30pm. The amount of silver clutter you can find here is amazing. It needs patience to trawl through the exquisite collection of silverware including jewellery, antique items, etc. There cannot be any other place better than the Muttrah souq to buy traditional silver articles. The shops here offer an insight into the silver jewellery worn by Omani women. Oman has long been famed for its exquisite work in silver. Shops are a treasure trove of artefacts including a fine selection of silver jewellery. Traditionally, old silver Maria Theresa dollar coins (commercially referred to as ‘thalers’

One of the many souqs in Oman

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but no longer valid) were melted down to produce most of this jewellery; the difference between genuine old pieces and less precious alloys used in modern articles can be distinguished by soft velvety luster of the older pieces with their high silver content. The word Maria Theresa refers to the empress of Austria. You can find hirz (rectangular - or cigar-shaped amulet made of silver which is usually worn on a double or triplestranded chain or rope around the neck), hamhoon, Marriyah necklaces, halaq, bangeri (bracelet), hajeel (anklet), etc. Outside one of the shops, a contrast buzz pervades the air; wheelbarrows clatter, children gambol, shoppers haggle and banter. The result is an animated din spicing up the souq. An interesting sight is of an old man sitting at a corner of an alleyway selling sticks. Omanis have a custom of walking with a stick in their hands. Not far away was a Bedouin woman squatting on a dim-lighted corner floor with a heap of miswaks strewn in front of her. Miswak is a tan-coloured, 10-20cm stick used as a natural toothbrush-cum-toothpaste. This cleans the mouth, whitens the teeth and sweetens the breath and is widely used throughout the Arab world.


The Nizwa souq transports visitors to a bygone era

Khanjar (dagger) is prominently displayed at any artefact or silver jewellery shop in the souq. Some khanjars available here date back to the early twenties. A plethora of kittahs (curved swords) in intricately carved sheaths is up for good bargains. Another worth looking item is the lethal-looking musket, complete with cartridge belts. The heavy wooden dhow chests, ornately carved and gilded with brass studs, souvenir frames and exquisite souvenir doors make an inviting sight. Food provides one of the most fascinating windows into a culture enabling important insights into its mores and customs and tracing its social history. If you feel like feasting on the delectable Omani halwa (sweetmeat) this souq has several shops selling fresh Omani halwa. As you wander around sights of old and young Omani men engaged in discussing worldly matters and gossips are common. The souq serves as a meeting place for such people. And for those who wish to try out the local dress, Muttrah souq offers a variety of dishdasha (long-sleeved ankle-length robe for men) with stitching and a tassel around a neck, thin cloaks called bisht, mussar or head scarf for men (which is to be tied in the traditional style, like a turban) or embroidered cap called as kummah. For women, the choice is equally good with abayas (designer veils) and scarfs selling like hot cakes. Shops selling readymade garments, cosmetics, abayas, etc offer good discounts. If Oriental perfumes and spices are your fancy the range here is amazing. The souq, in keeping pace with modern times, has pharmacies, money exchangers, banks and several cafes.

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Nizwa souq: In the shadow of the imposing Nizwa fort, the Nizwa souq reflects Oman in microcosm, its rich heritage and vibrant culture. The souq is divided into several segments, each devoted to a specific kind of merchandise – vegetables, fresh meat and fish, dates, handicrafts, livestock. It’s the goat market within the souq which is the cynosure of all eyes. The herders bring their livestock to offer them in a traditional public auction to the highest bidder. The auction is held every weekend. One can browse many shops within the souq that sell Nizwa’a much-prized traditional silver jewellery and exsquisite handicrafts. Nizwa’s traditional silver coffee pots are most sought after. Creating a 24-inch silver coffeepot using 22 separate pieces can take three weeks. Another interesting shop is a choc-a-bloc with antique firearms, some of great antiquity. Sinaw souq: Sinaw, located seventeen kilometers west of Al Mudhaibi, is home to an interesting souq. Well-known for its diversity of merchandise, here Bedouins from different pockets of Sinaw throng the souq on weekends to sell their livestock and other local products. It serves as a local meeting point. The town is known for breeding of best camel and horse species. Ibra souq: Ibra’s al Arbah souq (Wednesday) is a little more than the weekly market. Devoted entirely to women (buyers as well as sellers), the souq has been in existence for nearly 15 years.


Hideaway

The 'White Beach'

White Beach:

An Idyllic Seaside Retreat Soft, white grains of sand that feel like velvet and tranquil clear water await those who visit the pristine cove known as White Beach. Located approximately 150 kms south of Muscat, near Fins, this retreat is a hotspot for sun-seekers and travellers en-route to Sur, proving you don’t have to travel too far south of Muscat to find a white sandy beach. Apart from its sand, White Beach is also well-known for its excellent snorkelling, with masses of fish that dart below the water’s surface. Although the weather can’t be guaranteed, some days the ocean is so calm that it resembles a gigantic bathtub. While floating in the sea between the ledges of golden stone that enclose the bay, look back towards the shore for vistas of the dramatic Hajar mountains.

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For those who prefer a few creature comforts, continue on to Sur for the nearest hotel, although camping at White Beach is highly recommended for a more rustic experience. There is an open shower on the shore to rinse off after a quick dip in the sea, but bring the rest of your camping equipment for a comfortable stay. Pitch your tent above the high tide line and after enjoying a meal cooked on campfire coals, wait for the waves to lull you to sleep. In the warm, golden morning light fishermen work in tandem, casting the nets from their speedboats hoping for a school of sardines to swim by. A gentle breeze blows and, apart from the birds that occasionally swoop overhead, nothing disturbs the fishermen’s focus.


A net is being repaired

Fishermen spreading the net

Fresh fish on sale

Fishing is popular all along this region and just five kilometres north is the small town of Fins. Here, a mosque lies on the coastline just metres from the water’s edge with a minaret boasting unparalleled sea views. Next to the mosque, men congregate to repair fishing nets in a pebble-floored majilis, its roof covered in palm leaves. The men stitch the nets together with a toothpick-like tool as they laugh with each other and look up to gaze at the glistening water. A few metres away boats are moored on the beach and the fishermen unload their catch, which usually includes barracuda. The fishermen of Fins are friendly and hospitable and will proudly display their fish or perhaps even invite you for a cup of kahawa. After a visit to this quaint town, head back to Fins for more aquatic pleasure. On weekends or public holidays arrive early to get the best spot or, if the beach is crowded and you’re looking for privacy, search out other coves in the area.

Whilst there are no signs to indicate you have arrived at the beach, the first glimpse of white sand south of Fins gives the location away. A new dual carriageway is set for completion later this year and will make the drive easier but for now part of the journey is on gravel road making for an adventurous trip.

Soft, white grains of sand that feel like velvet and tranquil clear water await those who visit the pristine cove known as White Beach Don’t wait for the highway to be finished; get on the road and feel the silken sand under your feet for an idyllic weekend getaway.

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Health & Fitness

Coping with diabetes So, you have been diagnosed with diabetes - put aside the ‘doom and gloom’ predictions and get on with the task of smart management of the disorder If you have been diagnosed a diabetic and have landed up

The rise in diabetic cases is largely explained by the change

with the condition either due to genetic factors or a lifestyle

in lifestyle, the ever-increasing problem of weight and obesity

that is all wrong in terms of diet, lack of exercise and high levels

and, to some extent, by genetic predisposition. A change in

of stress, there is no need to plunge into depression.

dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle causes obesity and it

Medical specialists insist that through lifestyle modification

has been established that the risk for diabetes increases when

- right diet, averting a sedentary lifestyle and coping better with

the body mass index (equals person's weight in kg divided by

stress levels - regular monitoring and the right medicines, you

square height in metre) crosses 23, though by WHO standards,

can lead an “absolutely normal, healthy and long life.”

a BMI of 25-29 is overweight and above 30 is obesity. Excess

But the crucial factor in achieving this objective is avoiding

weight makes the body less sensitive to insulin and, over a

the complications of diabetes such as coronary artery disease

period of time, the insulin producing cell of the pancreas

leading to heart attacks, hypertension, and kidney, eye and

start feeling tired and the blood sugars begin to rise. Obesity

nerve problems.

overwhelms the pancreas!

A proper diet can ensure good health

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The path to better nutrition: The cornerstone of diabetes management is proper nutrition. There are 10 simple guidelines.

Exercise can help cope up with diabetes

The message is clear. Eat healthy, exercise regularly (probably the most important factor), learn to cope with stress better and think positive. Diabetes should not define or limit the person. The formula for success is simple but implementation requires effort. Seeking the advice of medical specialists trained in the management of diabetes, accepting the diagnosis, following nutrition and exercise prescription with proper medication and surveillance for complications is a simple formula. Also there’s blood pressure control, weight reduction where necessary and cholesterol lowering, which are just as vital. But all this should not overwhelm one.

Living with diabetes: The first step is to accept the diagnosis. There are no such things as a touch of diabetes, slight, borderline or mild diabetes ... . These are all forms of denial. Learning to live with diabetes means looking at diagnosis squarely in the face, starting the fight and throwing in one or two punches.

Diabetes management is all about planning. Planning the diet, exercise, day’s activities, vacations, and pregnancy in short, one’s life Planning is the key to success:

Diabetes

management is all about planning. Planning the diet, exercise, day’s activities, vacations, and pregnancy — in short, one’s life. It doesn’t take much, just empowering oneself through knowledge and having the strength of conviction. Ask your physician about reading material and clear your doubts. Your physician is the best resource person and not your walking partner or hairdresser. Diabetes comes in all colours, shapes, sizes and combinations and one size doesn’t fit all. So beware of comparing notes. For the computer literate, there are websites (The American Diabetes Association is an excellent site — www. diabetes.org). Before you visit the doctor, make a note of the questions that you want to ask. It helps to remember and limit your time at the doctor’s office.

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1. Eat a balanced meal on time and don’t skip meals or fast. 2. Eat a variety of foods every day, be creative and avoid fad and mono diets. 3. Eat small frequent meals and avoid binging and “square meals”. 4. Eat complex carbohydrates (about 50-55 per cent of your diet) and avoid or limit table sugars and simple sugars. 5. Eat 30-40 per cent fibre in your diet and avoid processed foods like conjee, juices and sweetened drinks. 6. Eat proteins in moderation (about 15-20 per cent of your diet) and avoid protein supplements. 7. Eat a mixture of fats totalling less than 30 per cent of the daily calories. Avoid exclusive use of one kind of fat or oil. 8. Eat foods that are low in cholesterol (less than 300 mg/day) and limit the use of egg yolk, coconut, whole milk and whole milk products. 9. Eat every kind of vegetable everyday. 10. Eat fruit daily and enjoy life. Avoid mango, grapes and banana, or eat them in very small quantities.

Keep your motor running: The single most important aspect of healthy living is an active lifestyle. The benefits of exercise for persons with diabetes do not stop with weight control. It improves muscle strength, bone strength, insulin sensitivity, lowers LDL or bad cholesterol and raises HDL or good cholesterol, improves a sense of well-being, and in those prone to diabetes may actually prevent it. Those with an active lifestyle can continue their current level of exercise with their physician’s permission. However, those who wish to start a new programme, those who plan to start for the first time (especially the elderly or pregnant women) or those with known complications of diabetes should consult their doctor who may ask them to undergo some preliminary tests before beginning. For counselling and medications, join support groups and, more importantly, do your part in what it takes to stay healthy and fit and chase the blues away. The balm is within us and within our reach.


General

Parents should motivate children in doing homework

Homework

and the role of parents Homework is a teaching tool, a way to reinforce school lessons and create self-discipline in students Fatima used to make sure her daughters did their homework

When it comes to helping a child with homework, parents

perfectly - until it dawned on her that she was making the

are learning that nothing is obvious. Students today come

biggest mistake herself.

home with far more homework - and start getting it at a

"How would the teachers ever know where their weaknesses

younger age - than their parents ever did. That puts a lot

lie?" reasoned Fatima, a 37-year-old stay-at-home mother of

of pressure on moms and dads, who are seldom told their

two. "By third grade, I figured out I needed to stop correcting.

proper role in homework. Are they to be teacher, enforcer or

I just make sure they've completed it."

bystander?

32


Studies suggest that time spent on homework has grown

"A mistake made by teachers is that they make an assumption

by half over the past two decades. Today the concept of a

that parents have both the time and skill necessary to be

kindergartner coming home with a project due for school is no

effective mentors," says an education expert.

longer a punch line, it's a common experience in private and public schools. Educators admit that homework is the source of more squabbles between schools and families than any other single topic. However, they also sing its praises. No matter where parents stand on the subject, primary school homework is a fact of life and virtually demands parental involvement.

In the lower grades, homework often focuses on reading only - or perhaps getting parents to read to their kids for 10 minutes each evening. "We might give a little paper and pencil work, but reading with their parents is the most important thing they can be doing," says a teacher. Experts say parents have to understand that homework is a particular challenge to teachers. It should not only challenge the top students, including those with hyper vigilant parents,

A mistake made by teachers is that they make an assumption that parents have both the time and skill necessary to be effective mentors

but also provide a fair opportunity for students who don't have those same resources and encouragement at home. Parents, say the experts, have to be careful to not get too involved with homework - whether it's grade school or high school. "Think of homework as a learning practice - like soccer practice," says another teacher. "As a parent you set a

How a parent reacts to homework can make the difference between a fulfilling experience and a distressing one.

scene, you lend a structure, you make the schedule. But you don't do it yourself."

Some useful tips for parents Want to help your children with their homework Here are some suggestions: 1. Be a stage manager. Make sure your child has a quiet, well lighted place to do homework. Make

maths, balance your checkbook. Help your child see that the skills they are practising are related to things you do as an adult.

sure the needed materials (paper, pencils, etc.) are available.

4. Be a monitor. Watch your child for signs of failure and frustration. If your child asks for help,

2. Be a motivator. Homework provides a great opportunity for you to tell your child how

provide guidance, not answers. If frustration sets in, suggest a short break.

important school is. Be positive about homework. The attitude you express will be the attitude your child acquires.

5. Be a mentor. When the teacher asks that you play a role in homework, do it. If homework is meant to be done alone, stay away. Homework

3. Be a role model. When your child does

is a great way for kids to develop independent,

homework, don't sit and watch TV. If your child

lifelong learning skills. Over involvement can be

is reading, you read, too. If your child is doing

a bad thing.

34


Business Traveller

A self-assessment will help you benchmark yourself for the current job and future opportunities

The value of

self-evaluation

A self-evaluation report will keep you armed with appropriate factual information of what you have accomplished, contributed and learnt on the job

When it is appraisal time and you are eager to know whether you will get that coveted promotion, or qualify for the much-needed increment. But, when you think of the appraisal process, doubts do creep into your mind about the veracity of the practice. We all know how appraisals are done. You (the best person to know about your job), your boss and some other unknown persons evaluate your performance and decide whether your year was successful and if you deserve that raise or promotion. These methods may sometimes be hackneyed. Face the facts; companies follow a standard review practice to decide on increments, promotions and streamlining the departments. The evaluation formats and criteria are very general; it is rarely about you as an individual. So, you are but forced to take an objective view of the whole thing just as everybody else. Well, how about doing a self-evaluation? All you require is a win-win attitude along with the tools needed to do a

36

self-assessment. If you do a periodic evaluation of yourself, you will realise how much hard work you have put in. You need not depend on the company or more specifically a HR person to validate your position. A self-evaluation will help you understand how far you are justified in putting forth your claim. Doing a self-assessment has its own advantages. It helps you clarify your accomplishments on the job, keep track of your growth and also provide details for your future rĂŠsumĂŠ. You can present your self-evaluation report before the scheduled or a sudden review or when asking for a raise or promotion. Being armed with facts puts you at an advantage in such situations. A self-evaluation report helps you keep track of your performance, especially if you are working alone on a temporary job or have an unresponsive manager. Moreover, it helps you develop a positive attitude towards your job.


So, how do you go about this process of self-assessment? First, base your evaluation on the criteria of your job expectations. For this, review your job description and list the four to five important areas that your job covers; like productivity, quality, customer service and also areas like special contributions. The next step would be to create a table or grid that breaks your key work areas into chunks. After this is done, make it a habit to fill the table with examples on a regular basis. Self-assessment also requires a regular summing up of your accomplishments on the job. Summaries may be done at the

Ask for a regular feedback from your manager

end of a quarter. Try to quantify the projects you have handled, add points like any additional projects you have taken up and any extra work you have accomplished. Write briefly about your contribution if you are working in a team; write about some of the goals you want to work for and what you want to go for in the future. Describe how your achievements have helped you evolve from the original job description. You can include a variation of this quarterly report in your annual review. If the annual review is a big thing in your company, be sure to ask for regular feedback from your manager. This will give you an all-round view of your performance and help you make adjustments in your report. Also, highlight any training programme that you have undergone and explain how it improves your career. When making a sale, you highlight the benefits of the product

and not the features. And, companies do appraisals on the same lines. If you do not have somebody updating regularly on your actual contribution to the job, the appraisal will be done on certain broad criteria defined by the HR department. A self-evaluation report will keep you armed with appropriate factual information of what you have accomplished, contributed and learnt on the job. Such a complete picture will give you an edge over others during appraisals and provide the necessary backup when asking for a raise or promotion. A self-assessment will help you benchmark yourself for the current job and future opportunities. It will also help you assess how fair your company is in appraisals.


Sports

Paragliding is fun

Paragliding :

An adventure sport

One way of being up in the skies is to paraglide

38

Want to float like a bird in the sky? The nearest to this

adrenalin rush while taking off into the air and soaring into

experience is paragliding if you have ever wondered what it

the skies. Dangerous as it sounds, it might be a tad safer

feels like to be a bird up in the sky buoyed by air, unfettered

than driving on potholed roads. Take that walk in the clouds,

by man-made contraptions, you will discover, paragliding is

a glide in the sky... Let the adventure bug bite you this

just your kind of thing. Imagine the wind on your face, the

summer. Yes, paragliding is fast catching up in the world.


In paragliding the pilot runs down a gentle slope and glides away from the mountain. The launches and landings are slow and gentle and, once in the air, most people are surprised by how quiet and peaceful the experience is. Even a fear of heights is rarely a factor, as there is no sensation of falling. The paraglider wing (or 'canopy' or parafoil) is a self-inflating structure consisting of a row of cells, most of them open at the front and all of them closed at the back, joined together side by side. Moving through the air keeps them inflated as air enters in the front

Al

but can't get out the back. In cross-

Musandam

section, the cells form an aerofoil shape

Omani school with

The pilot is supported underneath the strength to support the pilot). The lines are then attached to strap-like risers that are attached to the pilot's harness. Controls held in the pilot's hands, which pull down the trailing edge (rear

portion)

of

the

wing,

are

used to control speed and to turn. The pilot is strapped into the bucketseat harness, which usually holds a reserve parachute, and includes a 'speed system' which pulls down the leading edge for maximum flying speed. Modern recreational harnesses have a foam or air-bag back protector. What can beat the heart-stopping thrill of paragliding and skydiving?

is

the first registered

to produce lift, just like an airplane wing. wing from a web of lines (each with the

Marsa

paragliding licence and has already taught students paragliding. Paragliding activity is offered here with each jump costing 25 Rials. Paragliding is from a place called Zighy Bay in the Dibba region of Oman's dramatic Musandam Peninsula and will start from mid-August. The School’s Pilot will land here in August and because of the heat wave, paragliding activity will start only after the heat subsides. The place used for flying is excellent, calm and beautiful. Mount Zighy near Dibba rises about 1500 metres above sea level. The platform we have overlooks the beach below which is known for its calm water, exhilarating underwater life, and white sand shore. A lot of tourists from the Emirates and Oman come during the weekend to rest and enjoy flying and swimming. Recalls one paraglider who flew over Oman: "In earlier days, one flew, mostly soaring, from the mountain buttresses

The paraglider wing is a self-inflating structure consisting of a row of cells, most of them open at the front and all of them closed at the back, joined together side by side

facing the sea (Bawshar and Bandar Jissah), where the beauty of the sites largely compensated for the technical interest of the flight. Climbing them on foot at 3 o'clock in the afternoon nonetheless remained something of an achievement. The finest flight however is that from Jabal Shams, the highest mountain in Oman (3005m) near Wadi Sahtan, 2000m lower. To get up there, you have two solutions: for the hardy souls, start from Madruj, in Wadi Sahtan, and climb the

The view is incredible, the silence absolute, the adrenalin

2000m by a clever Bedouin's route (take a guide with you

rush unbeatable. Paragliding (known in Greece, France, Spain

from Madruj or see the topography in the book by Dale &

and Portugal as parapente) is a recreational and competitive

Hadwin, 'Adventure Trekking in Oman') taking 4 to 5 hours."

flying sport.

Are you ready for the adventure?

39


Fun Corner

Fascinating Facts • The female green turtle (found in Ras Al Hadd) sheds tears as she lays her eggs on the beach. This washes sand particles out of her eyes and rids her body of excess fat.

The Pentagon has 17.5 miles of corridors

• The Pentagon has 17.5 miles of corridors. • An elephant can eat a quarter of a ton of grass in one day. • More than 500 rivers run through Panama. • Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand are all countries with more cattle than people. • Elephants and chimpanzees have about 30 different sounds to communicate different things to one another. • More than 75 per cent of all the countries in the world are north of the equator. • Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40 percent of the world's almonds and 20 percent of the world's peanuts.

Humour “What time does the library open?” the man on the phone asked. “Nine a.m.” came the reply. “And what’s the idea of calling me at home in the middle of the night to ask a question like that?” “Not until nine a.m.?” the man asked in a disappointed voice. “No, not till nine a.m.!” the librarian said. “Why do you want to get in before nine a.m.?”

Fun Time • Borrow money from pessimists - they don't expect it back • Anger is one letter short of danger. • My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder." • To steal ideas from one person is

“Who said I wanted to get in?” the man sighed

plagiarism; to steal from many is

sadly. “I want to get out.

research.

40


International Events Until 31 Aug: The Khareef Festival, Dhofar, Oman The Khareef Festival celebrates the monsoon splendour and the cultural heritage of the Dhofar region of Oman, and is projected to draw a record number of visitors from different parts of the Gulf and outside. A submarine

Submarines

Until 31 Aug: Dubai Summer Surprises Second only to the frenzied bargain-hunting of the Dubai Shopping Festival in spring, Dubai Summer Surprises is an event which encourages visitors to shop, save and celebrate weeks of entertainment. Sept: Mediterranean Travel Fair, Cairo, Egypt Organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions and supported by Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, the Egyptian Tourist Authority besides others showcases the travel industry.

Submarine is a watercraft that can operate underwater at pressures beyond the range of unaided human survivability. Submarines, first widely used in World War I, are used by all major navies today. Civilian submarines and submersibles are used for marine and freshwater science and for work at depths too great for human divers. Submarines are typically referred to as "boats" even though most modern submarines should technically be called "ships". Submarines encompass one of the largest ranges in capabilities of any vessel. They range from small one- or two-man vessels that can examine the sea floor for a few hours to the Russian Typhoon class, which can remain submerged for six months and carry nuclear missiles capable of destroying multiple cities. There are also specialised submarines such as rescue submarines (like the DSRV or Priz) and tiny one-person human powered subs intended for competitions between universities. A specialized form of submarine capable of extremely deep dives is the bathyscaphe. The earliest submarines were built for soldiers not scientists. In 1887, the French Navy invented a twoperson submarine that was small and slow. By World War I, submarines could dive to about 200 feet. Modern submarines, using nuclear power, can dive to 4,000 feet and circumnavigate the globe without surfacing. The first submersible (small submarine) built for underwater exploration was Cousteau's Soucoupe, which attain a depth of 300m. Now, the deepest diving manned research submersible is the Japanese Shinkai. Submarines are ships that can operate both under and

8 Sept: India International Travel Mart, Mumbai, India India's one of the prominent International Travel & Tourism Mart, India International Travel Mart (IITM) brings people together to promote Inbound, Outbound and Domestic Tourism in unique style. IITM offer unlimited opportunities for everyone to Explore, Market and Publicize their destination/ product/ organization at one place. It will be held at World Trade Centre, Mumbai. 16-24 Sept: Delhi Book Fair, New Delhi, India The Delhi Book Fair brings together all high-profile works and new editions recently published in India. Proceedings take place at the vast Pragati Maidan. 13-22 Sept: International Book Fair, Jeddah, KSA Authors, publishers, intellectuals and other bookish types from the Islamic world and beyond gather at Jeddah’s International Exhibition and Convention Centre for the third annual book fair. Culture, music, poetry and folklore are also explored. Oct: Horse racing, Bahrain Bahrain’s love of all things equestrian is evident in its splendid Sakheer Race Course, which has a grandstand for 3000 spectators. During the racing season, from October to March, you can see beautiful Arabian purebreds and thoroughbreds hurdle and flat race each Friday. Betting is strictly prohibited. 3-10 Oct: Beirut International Film Festival, Beirut, Lebanon Students of film from all over the Middle East exhibit their artistic and political vision in the competitive Beirut International Film Festival. Screenings take place in the Empire Sofil and Concorde Planete cinemas and the opening and closing ceremonies are held at the UNESCO Palace. 21 Oct: Diwali, Jaipur, India Diwali, or Deepavali, is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu year. Beautiful rows of twinkling candles and lamps of all sorts are lit all over town to celebrate the return of the hero of the Ramayana, Rama, from his 14 years of exile. 27-31 Oct: ICCA Exhibition, Pattaya, Thailand The exhibition showcases products and services to the international meetings of industry. Exhibitors benefit from networking and business opportunities in a unique and highly targeted environment.

on top of the water. One of the first submersible vessels was built around 1620 by a Dutchman named Cornelius van Drebbel.

41


Tech Capsule

Tiny PC The Enano E2 is a tiny, silent PC with a footprint, and a carbon footprint, that makes most standardsize PCs look like SUVs. Enano says that thanks to their small size and lowpower processors, its 6.8-by-8.8-inch computers offer power savings of up to 70 percent when compared with full-size PCs.

Sanyo’s underwater camcorder The new waterproof SANYO Xacti E1 captures stunning digital video and beautiful 6MP photos ... on land and underwater! It can record underwater without a special housing. For each gigabyte of memory on a SD card, the Xacti can shoot 75 minutes of video in the MPEG-4 format at 640 pixels by 480 pixels. That means an 8GB SDHC card can hold up to 10 hours of video. Memory cards are not included; the camera comes with 18 megabytes of internal memory. The camera is rated waterproof at five feet for up to an hour, and it comes with a 5X optical zoom.

12-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 works in low light It’s sad but true: sometimes more megapixels in a camera just means more giant, blurry and generally awful pictures. Luckily the 12-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 has shake reduction and improved autofocus to sharpen things up. The FX100 uses a 28 mm Leica lens and built-in image stabilization to prevent blurring while on the move and, thanks to improved control over sensitivity, even in low light. It can shoot at up to ISO 6400, an impressive range for a small camera, and has a 3.6x optical zoom that can actually stretch up to 7x using some digital trickery that modifies the size of the image in the camera.

Visit sanyodigital.com.

Protecting your iPod If you carry an iPod around with you, common sense suggests doing what you can to protect it from accidental meetings with hard surfaces or sharp objects. A new protective case from Digital Lifestyle Outfitters does that and adds a twist: cord management. The Jam Jacket is a textured black silicone sleeve that fits snugly around a 30GB video iPod (or a Nano, for which it comes in clear or black; other versions are in the works). The case’s designers opted against shielding the screen, leaving it vulnerable to scratches. The main attraction of the Jam Jacket, which is available for $20 at www.dlo.com and from retailers, is a spool on the back that takes up slack in the cord when headphones are worn and provides tidy storage when the player is put away.

42


Kiddies' Corner

Frog in a milk-pail A frog was hopping around a farmyard, when it decided to investigate the barn. Being somewhat careless, and maybe a little too curious, he ended up falling into a pail (bucket) half-filled with fresh milk.

He kicked and squirmed and kicked and squirmed, until at last, all his churning about in the milk had turned the milk into a big hunk of butter. The butter was now solid enough for him to climb onto and get out of the pail!

As he swam about attempting to reach Moral: "Never Give Up!" the top of the pail, he found that the sides of the pail were too high and steep to reach. He tried to stretch his back legs to push off the bottom of the pail but found it too deep. But this frog was determined not to give up, and he continued to struggle.

43


Welcome to Oman OMAN BECKONS We extend to you a warm welcome to Oman, a country where hospitality is legendary. The Sultanate of Oman is located on the south-eastern shores of Arabia and covers 309,500 sq. kms. Flanked to the north-west by the United Arab Emirates, to the West by Saudi Arabia, and to the south-west by the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, Oman is divided into 9 administrative regions: Muscat, Al Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Al Sharqiyah, Al Dhahirah, Musandam, Dhofar and Al Buraimi. Mythical home of Sindbad the Sailor and dubbed as Gulf’s favourite getaway, Oman delights with its blend of modern elegance and historic charm of a sea-faring nation. A nation of warm people, Oman is emerging as a favourite haunt for tourists. ECO-TOURISM/WILDLIFE With eco-tourism catching up fast all over the world, Oman has its own share. The Ras Al Hadd Turtle Reserve is known for turtle nesting beaches while the Oryx is found in its natural habitat at the Haylat Jaaluni. The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was established in 1994 to help protect the oryx and to conserve desert habitat and threatened species. The Al Saleel Park is a nature reserve located in the town of Al Kamil wal-Wafi, in the interior of Oman, and was established to protect gazelles and plantations of Samr and Ghaf trees (Acacia tortilis and Cineraria). Beaches like Qantab, Shatti Qurum, Azaiba, Shatti Bahja and Sawadi beach offer quiet retreats. HERITAGE Forts: Oman’s strikingly beautiful landscape is punctuated with several impressive forts, castles and watch towers. Dotted throughout Oman, these edifices add a picturesque element to the country’s landscape. Aflaj: It is the splendidly-engineered aflaj, the system of underground and surface canals, that have watered the country’s agriculture for millennia, which will astound visitors. These aflaj still course like arteries beneath the hills and plains of Oman, twisting along precipitous cliffs and threading villages and date-palm groves, bringing to the parched land water and coolness and life itself. CULTURE The Omani culture has its roots firmly in the Islamic religion. Hospitality is legendary as any visitor to homes is offered kahwa and dates. The bukhoor which perfumes the house is usually burned in a mabkhara, traditional incense burner. It is traditional in Oman to pass bukhoor amongst the guests in the Majlis, this is done as a gesture of hospitality. Oman is permeated with frankincense. Government buildings are censed daily, even the elevators. The annual Muscat Festival, held during the early months of the year, is a celebration of the cultural heritage of Oman. Another period of festivity is the 'Khareef Festival' in Salalah, starting from the mid of July till the end of August. The National Day, celebrated on November 18, is also a day to rejoice. VISAS Single entry visa - Valid for one month. It can be obtained on arrival at all land, sea and air terminals and at Oman diplomatic missions abroad. Fee is OR 6. Multiple entry visa - Valid for one year. It can be had on arrival at all land, sea and air terminals and also at Oman diplomatic missions abroad. Fee is OR 10. This type of visa allows its holder to stay in Oman for 3 weeks in each visit during the validity period of the visa. A minimum of 3 weeks must elapse between each visit. Express visa – It is issued on the same day through the DG of Passports and Residency and at diplomatic missions abroad. Fee is OR 7. Validity is two weeks.

44


LEISURE/ENTERTAINMENT Shopping: Oman is a great place for shopping as it blends the new and the old. The snazziest shopping malls stand alongside the wonderfully quaint traditional markets like the Muttrah souk, Nizwa souk, Hala souk in Salalah and Sinaw souk. Malls include Markaz Al Bahja, Al Araimi Complex, Sabco Centre, Khamis Plaza, Al Harthy Complex, Capital Commercial Centre, LuLu Hypermarket, Centrepoint, Muscat City Centre, among others. Hotels: Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Hotel, The Chedi, Muscat InterContinental Hotel, The Grand Hyatt, Sohar Beach Hotel, Al Sawadi Beach Resort, Radisson SAS, Al Falaj Hotel, Ramada Hotel, Hilton Hotel - Salalah, The Crowne Plaza, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa and Golden Tulip Hotel, Sheraton Oman Hotel, Sheraton Qurm Resort. Museums: Bait Al Zubair, Natural History Museum, Oman French Museum, Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum, Children’s Museum, Bait Al Baranda, Bait Al Muzna Gallery. Dive Centres: Oman Dive Centre, Bluzone Water Sports, Capital Yacht Club, Marina Bander Al Rowda. Cinemas: Al Nasr Cinema, Ruwi Cinema, Star Cinema, Al Shatti Cinema, Al Bahja Cinema, Al Wafi Plaza (Sur).

Oman - at a glance CAPITAL: Muscat AREA: 309,500 sq. kms TIME: GMT +4 hours LANGUAGE: Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken. CURRENCY: OR = Omani Rial Exchange rate: One US Dollar = 0.384 OR VISAS: Single entry visit visa, Multiple entry visa, Express visa ELECTRICITY: 220/380 volts HOURS OF WORK/BUSINESS: Government departments are open from 0730 – 1430 hrs and closed on Thursdays and Fridays. Private sector offices are open 0800 – 1300 and from 1600 – 1900 (except on Thursdays, till 1400 hrs), closed on Fridays.

CLIMATE: The hottest months are May through August. The summer monsoon just touches the southern coast of Dhofar during these months bringing regular light rain to Salalah and reducing the average daytime highs to 25°C. The most pleasant months to visit Oman are mid October through March when daytime temperatures fall into the lower 30s and below. AIRPORT: Seeb International Airport is the main airport Salalah also has an international airport. There are domestic airports at Sur, Masirah Island and Khasab (Musandum).

INFORMATION Ministry of Tourism: P. O. Box 200, Postal Code 115, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Tel: +968 24588700 Fax: +968 24588819 www.omantourism.gov.om info@omantourism.gov.om

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Welcome aboard Oman Air’s constant endeavour is to make your journey safe, comfortable and enjoyable. We provide below the details of the amenities that are provided on board for your convenience. Should you require anything not listed here, or have any queries, please contact our cabin crew. They will be delighted to be of assistance. If you have any suggestions to improve our service, please convey them to our cabin crew. SAFETY REGULATIONS HAND BAGGAGE:

FIRST AID: Should you require any medical attention due to any pain or

To ensure comfort to all the passengers, hand baggage in the cabin is

discomfort, please contact the cabin crew immediately. They are trained in

limited to bags smaller than 24 cm x 41 cm x 51 cm. These must be stored

first aid procedures and emergency care. A first aid kit is available on board.

either in the overhead baggage lockers or under the seat in front of you. Please do not leave any baggage in the aisle, galley or in a way that obstructs

DUTY FREE SHOPPING:

the emergency exits. Doing so could cause inconvenience and impede

A wide range of products are available on board in

evacuation in an emergency.

the Duty Free Shopping facility; and you can find the details of these in the accompanying literature.

SAFETY ON BOARD:

Please contact the cabin crew if you wish to make

Your safety is our prime concern. You can find a safety card in the seat

any purchase.

pocket in front of you. This card gives you the details of the safety features of the aircraft. Kindly study it carefully, note the emergency exits and pay close attention to the crew’s demonstration of the emegency drill. When the

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

captain turns on the “Fasten seatbelts” sign due to any emergency or bad

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS:

weather, please return to your seat immediately and fasten your seatbelt. For

If your child aged between 7

your own safety, we also recommend keeping your seatbelt loosely fastened

and 12 is flying unaccompanied,

when seated during the flight.

please inform us while making the reservation. Our staff will

ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT:

be assigned to take care of

Portable electronic items such as personal computers and handheld games

your

may not be used during take-off and landings as they could interfere with the

safeguarding their passport,

aircraft’s equipment. Pocket calculators, hearing aids and heart pacemakers

immigration

are exempt. Use of radios and mobile phones are prohibited on board at

cards.

child’s

requirements, and

medical

all times. PASSENGERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS:

FACILITIES AVAILABLE ON BOARD

Our ground and cabin crew will be happy to assist passengers with special

IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT:

needs in every way possible. Kindly inform us of the nature of your health

For your enjoyment we are pleased to

condition in advance while making the flight reservation to help us make the

provide programmes in Arabic, English and

necessary arrangements.

Hindi; we also show Tamil and Malayalam films in cetain sectors. To listen to the

INFANTS ON BOARD:

programme you wish to enjoy, just plug in

We have a limited selection

the headset and press the channel of your

of baby food on board, plus

choice on the control unit.

bottles, teats, talcum powder and diapers. Should you

READING AND WRITING MATERIAL:

have special requirements

A wide selection of newspapers and magazines in English and Arabic,

for

both national and international, are available on board. Should you require

inform us while making

aerogrammes or stationery, our crew will make them available to you.

your flight reservation and

your

child,

please

we will endeavour to make TO FRESHEN UP:

arrangements. Our cabin staff will be happy to warm your baby feeding

A selection of deodorants, perfumes, soaps, tissues and towels are available

bottles for you. Our aircraft are fitted with baby bassinets which should be

in the lavatories; also available are electric sockets for electric shavers.

requested while making your reservation. If you are carrying a child on your

Toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs are available on request.

lap, please ask the cabin crew for a child’s seat belt before take off.

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Wings of Oman - Vol 4 - 2007  

Wings of Oman - Vol 4 - 2007