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Volume 5 - 2007
Soak in culture in this historical city
Camel racing in Oman
Sur’s boat building traditions
Oman’s South 24 Eastern Coast: A fisherman’s paradise
How to raise confident kids
Marhaba Delivering service quality Dear Passenger, In our continuous efforts to deliver quality service and honour our commitments to you, our valuable passengers, Oman Air has added more flights to its international schedule. London is our next gateway to the international arena that will offer the discerning passenger a scheduled non-stop daily service between Muscat and London. We plan to spread our services to reach exciting new destinations to cater to the demand from a diverse group of travellers. London Gatwick is part of the route expansion plan that will reinforce our position on long haul routes and Oman Air is ready to undertake the future using the long-range Airbus A330-300 and A310-300. In view of new flights, new schemes and new services the National Carrier will certainly surpass the number of passengers it flew (1,225,604 passengers), as compared to last year - and more is to come from the beginning of the New Year. For your reading and entertainment pleasure this edition of Wings of Oman has been packed with informative features and articles that will help you to relax, as well as know more about fascinating places in Oman. Sur, known for boat building traditions, has been the focus of this issue. This time we also take you to the City of Nawabs – Lucknow. This historical city, steeped in culture where every lane has a story to tell, will keep you enthralled. Another article that makes interesting reading is Camel Racing, a sport which is very popular in Oman. While reading this piece one can actually feel the pulse of the race as owners along with the spectators holler and cheer on their camels with great fervour. Read about fishing on the South East coast of Oman, a tradition which still lives on in the lives and hearts of the Omani people and which has also proved to be a popular and relaxing activity for all, visitors and locals alike. On the sports front we focus on the Dubai to Muscat Offshore Sailing Race to be held in March 2008. Other features like ‘How to raise confident kids’, ‘Brand with the best’, ‘Neck strain’ also make for educative comprehension.
Happy reading and wishing you a pleasant journey!
Ziad Karim Al Haremi Chief Executive Officer
Cover Story Lucknow:
Soak in culture in this historical city
Camel racing in Oman
Alongside the track, owners and trainers lean outside their vehicles to holler and cheer on their camels with fervour
Sur’s boat building traditions
The pearl of the East coast is known for dhow building
Oman’s South Eastern Coast: A fisherman’s paradise
On the South East coast of Oman, the tradition of fishing lives on and is even proving to be a popular and relaxing activity for visitors
28 Neck strain The increasing incidence of neck strain can be attributed to faulty postures while sitting for long hours
How to raise confident kids
If a child has strong self-esteem, it has positive benefits for the immune system
Brand with the best The biggest advantage of building a brand image for yourself is that it helps define who you are
Oman Airâ€™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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Website: www.npaoman.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Oman Air announces its operations to London Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, will be launching daily non-stop scheduled services between Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman, and London Gatwick, which is considered a significant milestone for Oman Air. The carrier can now offer passengers seven flights a week between Muscat and the London market. In this regard, Mr. Ziad Bin Karim Al Haremi, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Air said, “London is one of our prime markets, and Gatwick offers an alternative to the highly popular Heathrow services. Oman Air is really planning to spread its reach to exciting new destinations to cater for upward demand from a diverse group of travellers. London Gatwick is part of a route expansion programme that will reinforce the carrier's position on long haul routes. Our plans include the further breaching of the high-potential markets. We are pleased that our enhanced presence will provide travellers, particularly those in the Middle East more convenient access to London. I am also confident that the new, direct link will stimulate increased commerce and tourism exchange between the two long-standing partners, namely the United Kingdom and the Sultanate of Oman, and prove popular with both business and leisure travellers,” he added. Mr. Al Haremi also indicated that they would soon be announcing new destinations that would connect with the London route in the very near future. Giving a background of the airline, Oman Air’s CEO said the young airline is moving swiftly on the upward curve, and is now set to achieve greater heights. Oman Air is ready to tackle the future with the long-range Airbus A330-300 and A310-300, featuring the latest inflight entertainment system. He added that the new A330 and A310 would be used principally for the carrier's new non-stop flights to operate the Gatwick service and other long haul destinations to be launched soon. "We will be operating seven times a week to London Gatwick with two-class service, international standards of catering and entertainment in both business and economy. People can experience the latest in in-flight entertainment and airline amenity," he added. Mr. Al Haremi acknowledged that the new London Gatwick flights depart Muscat at 1600, arriving in Gatwick at 2030. Return flights depart London Gatwick at 2230, arriving in Muscat at 0945. Daily service with A330-300 (6 days) and A310-300 on Sundays to / from Muscat. Complimentary limousine services
will be available to all business class and gold card Oman Air Sindbad FFP members when departing and arriving in London. Holiday packages inclusive of flights, hotels, and tours for the United Kingdom will be on offer. "The delivery of the two new Airbus aircraft represents our continuing commitment to offer our customers a greater choice of destinations, more flights, and a premium class service," said Mr. Al Haremi. "We can continue to offer the travelling public an excellent airline service. These wide-bodied aircraft will be used to attract corporate travel business." “Oman has tremendous potential, and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said has a strong vision for our country and, we are committed to fulfill that. Our objective is to promote Oman to the public and introduce Oman Air services such as our new long-haul destinations,” said Mr. Al Haremi. He added, “Oman Air plans to expand its fleet, further enhance service products and systems, and push into new markets. We are on the right track and we have something to build on going forward. Among items on the agenda are fleet expansions, also network expansion and, critically, a continuation of focus on corporate discipline, a relentless drive for efficiencies, attacking costs, and further strengthening of the company’s financial position.” Oman Air’s Corporate Communication and Media Department in conclusion affirmed that Oman Air today stands tall with a list of achievements to its credit. Distinguishing itself as a leader in the region, Oman Air was the first commercial operator in the Gulf to purchase Boeing's new version of the 737. The all-new Next-Generation 737 is the best selling airplane in commercial aviation history. The safety record is a matter of pride. Oman Air has excellent on-time performance - OTP exceeding 95% and is striving to better its record of accomplishment, in times ahead. They said that the national carrier of Oman is perhaps, one of the youngest fleet in the world, but its growth strategy is aggressive. Since its inception in 1993 until now, Oman Air has witnessed only success. The airline, which began operating only one aircraft for its flights to Salalah, has now grown to become an international airline ready to face all challenges. The airline network will consist of 28 destinations by end 2007. Receiving 10 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft by the end of March 2009, and nine Airbus A330s by the end of 2011 are merely the beginning.
Added service for premium passengers of Oman Air One of the biggest hassles of travelling that passengers face when they arrive at international airports is the congestion they face at the immigration counters and baggage claim areas. Queues are endless and procedures are unfamiliar. Mr. Mohammed Al Shikely, Oman Air Senior Manager Marketing said that in order to ensure that the Business Class travellers and Sindbad Gold Cardholders avoid such queues and procedures on arrival at Seeb International Airport, Oman Air has introduced the Ahlan Lounge facilities. With the introduction of this privilege, these special Oman Air passengers can now experience Omani hospitality at its finest as soon as they enter Muscat Seeb International Airport. “Both Business Class passengers and Sindbad Gold Members may either collect their invitation for the lounge access from the airport check-in counter at their point of origin of any Muscat bound Oman Air flight or enjoy the facility simply by submitting their boarding card or Sindbad Gold Card to the Ahlan lounge staff. Friendly staff of the lounge will welcome them into Seeb International Airport and while they are enjoying a refreshing drink in the comfort of the lounge, their passports and visa formalities
will be taken care of. Thereafter these elite passengers will be escorted through the exclusive immigration counters designated only for the guests of Oman Air to the Baggage Claim area where their bags loaded on the trolley will be waiting for them to proceed through customs and enter the Sultanate of Oman,” said Mr. Al Shikely. He further added, “Speed, reliability and comfort are the three most valued key areas by business passengers and Oman Air has strived to cover these areas by offering this value benefit that will ensure the first point of contact into Seeb International Airport for our passengers will allow them to experience the true hospitality of our great nation.” “Presenting our Business Class travellers and Sindbad Gold members the best of on the ground and in the air service is Oman Air’s passion. Dedicated Business Class counters, Departure lounge access, Priority baggage delivery, Extra baggage allowance are just some of the other privileges they relish every time they depart from any Oman Air destination,” he concluded, verifying that many members praised this new service as being far superior to the fast track facilities offered in other airports.
Imambara, the defining landmark
Lucknow: The city of Nawabs
Soak in culture in this historical city It is a place known for impeccable tehzeeb (culture). It is
is this. It is Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Indiaâ€™s
a home of the best biryani in the world. The Urdu spoken
largest state. The Gomti River, the chief geographical
here is taken as a barometer for originality. It is the city of
feature, meanders through the city, dividing it into two
the Nawabs. There are no prizes for guessing which place
What to see: The city’s defining landmark, the Bara Imambara on Hussainabad Trust Road, which translates as “grand residence”, was built in 1784 by the fourth Nawab of Oudh, Asaf-udDaula. It’s the city’s finest specimen of early grandiose Nawabi architecture. There are excellent views of Lucknow from the top of the Imambara. An external stairway leads to an upper floor laid out as an amazing labyrinth known as the bhulbulaiya (labyrinth). The dark passages stop abruptly at openings which drop straight to the courtyard below. There’s a mosque with two tall minarets in the courtyard complex and to the right of this is a well which is said to have secret tunnels openings. The Imambara is open from morning to 6pm.
History: Located in what was historically known as the Awadh region, Lucknow has always been a multicultural city. After 1100 AD the Lucknow and Awadh region have been under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, the Nawabs of Awadh, the East India Company and the British Raj. Lucknow’s rise to growth and fame began with its elevation as capital of Awadh by Nawab Asaf-Ud-Dowlah. The city is known for heritage
Lucknow is replete with traditional architecture
Hussainabad or Chota Imambara, was built by Mohammed Ali
Shah in 1837 as his own mausoleum. The appeal of this structure
The malls on Mehrauli-Gurgaon and Shahnajaf Road, apart from
lies in its furnishings comprising exquisite chandeliers of Belgium
offering an international experience of shopping also cater to the
glass. It contains the tombs of Ali Shah and his mother. A small
low middle class. Chikan embroidery is Lucknow’s most famous
bazaar, known as the Gelo Khana or “Decorated Place”, lies
craft. There’s an astonishingly wide selection of the intricately
inside the imposing entrance of the Imambara.
hand-embroidered cotton and silk clothing at Chikan Pvt Ltd, and at Mahaveer Complex on Cantt Road. The most favoured
Bara Imambara is the city’s finest specimen of early grandiose Nawabi architecture Shah Najaf Imambara holds the tombs of Ghasi-ud-Din
and flocked shopping destinations of the city are located in old Lucknow area. Among them, Hazrat Gunj off Mahatma Gandhi Road (named after Begum Hazrat Mahal) is most frequented. This is the best place to pick up clothes, furniture, antiques, souvenirs and numerous handicrafts. Aminabad and the Chowk are also famous for shopping.
Haidar and his two wives. Situated on the south bank of Gomti
The city is the nucleus of Awadhi food. Don’t leave Lucknow
towards the west of Sikandar Bagh, the building is almost
without eating tundey kebabs, the city’s signature dish. Sewiyon
an exact replica of the tomb of Hazrat Ali, the son-in-law of
ka muzafer, lab-e-mashooq, lagan ka murgh, galauti kebab, dum
Prophet Muhammad and the fourth Caliphate of Islam, at
ka murgh, murgh chandi khaliya and noorani sabzi are some
Najaf Ashraf in Iraq. It is open from 6am to 5pm.
of the best known delicacies found here. And of course, the
4 kms from the Charbagh station is the Lucknow Zoo or the Prince of Wales Zoological Gardens. The zoo comes under the Banarasi Bagh area. This zoo, constructed in 1921, also has a museum, an aquarium and a toy train. The plane Rajhans used by Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru is also kept in the zoo. It is open from 8am to 5pm.
Oman Air flies 4 times a week to Lucknow. Timings: Muscat - Lucknow: 0035 - 0525 Lucknow - Muscat: 0615 - 0820
The 67m high Clock Tower, Lucknow’s Big Ben was built in 1887 to mark the arrival of Sir George Cooper, first Lieutenant Governor of the United Province of Awadh.
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Culture & Heritage
Jockeys urge their camels to speed towards the finish line in first place
Camel racing in Oman On a sandy, circular track camels lunge forward and thrust
and assist them to reach top speeds of 30 to 40 kms/hour. To
themselves into a gallop, kicking up swirls of dust with their
produce a winning camel takes much effort and patience.
hind legs. Alongside the track, owners and trainers lean
Training is intensive and often begins from around sixteen
outside their vehicles to holler and cheer on their camels
months to two years of age and continues throughout the
with fervour. After all, there are big prizes of cars and cash
camel’s racing career. Known among the Bedouin as ‘Ata Allah’
or ‘God’s Gift’, these prized possessions are usually very well
The usual fare for racing camels is a diet consisting of honey,
cared for by their caretakers. Many owners and trainers speak
dates, bread and cow’s milk but, according to caretakers, alfalfa
of their genuine love of the sport and are proud to have been
remains a favourite. Occasionally they may be supplemented
passed down precious camel rearing skills from their fathers
with other ‘secret’ ingredients to enhance their racing ability
and grandfathers. Article by: Michelle Balmer
A visit to the camel races in Oman confirms the sport has
significantly to Oman’s economy. According to the Oman Camel
long been an important part of the Omani culture. Camel
Racing Federation, total camel sales in 2005 were estimated at
races are said to have originated as informal events during
approximately OR 6,000,000. Oman has an excellent reputation
celebrations and gatherings and have now progressed into
for breeding some of the region’s best Sabooqs (racing
organised race meets. In fact, the sport has developed into its
camels). Buyers from places including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and
modern day format largely due to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos
neighbouring emirates visit Oman to make their camel purchases.
bin Said who saw a need to preserve this facet of the nation’s
Just like a racehorse, these mammals are inspected to ensure
heritage as well as the pure Omani camel breeds. Camel
they have the right features to ensure they can travel at optimum
races are continued to be organised throughout the country in
speeds. Usually, buyers will attend the races and, after spotting
accordance with their rules.
a suitable candidate, will begin to discuss prices with the owner.
So what once was once a recreational pastime for the Bedouin
A ‘fast’ dromedary is said to command OR 100,000 although
has now become a fully-fledged business that contributes
there have been stories of some fetching even higher amounts.
Trainers with their camels before the start of the race
Oman’s Camel Racing Federation has strict rules when it comes to Omani nationals purchasing camels intended for racing. The beast must be registered with the relevant local government authority, after which an ‘application to race’ is submitted to the federation. Only pure Omani breeds are allowed, which means they must be owned by Omani nationals. Generally, the camels race in their own ‘home registered’ regions with the exception of a few particular races near the end of the racing season, when camels from all regions are allowed to race together. The Oman Camel Racing Federation also enforces separate races according to the camel’s age; with divisions of three year olds, five year olds and six year olds.
Alongside the track, owners and trainers lean outside their vehicles to holler and cheer on their camels with fervour Picture courtesy: Kirsten Holst
Older camels have not been forgotten and are allowed to race in a special event called Al Zamool. The races are held over varying distances usually of 4 kms, 5 kms and 6 kms. The racing season swings into full force from August to March/April, but is subject to change if Ramadan falls during the season. This year the season will not commence until October, after Ramadan. The Oman Camel Racing Federation marks the end of the season with a race held in Sohar. It’s a massive event that draws up to 300 camels and 5000 spectators. Along with camel races, visitors are usually treated to other ‘traditional’ competitions including ‘the camel that can produce the most milk’ and the ‘best dressed camel’. Similarly, the Directorate-General of Camel Affairs holds its own final race of
the season in Barka. Tourists from Europe have been known to book their trips to Oman to coordinate specifically with these remarkably entertaining events. Apart from racing, tourists are drawn to learn more about the unique kinship between Bedouins and their camel. Most likely, it was Wilfred Thesiger who summed it up best in Arabian Sands: “Always the camel's needs come first. It is not only that the Bedu’s existence depends upon the welfare of his animals, but that he has a real affection for them.” Such affection is evident in the Dhofar region where camels are often used for milk. Unlike the racing camel, in this region it would be very rare that a dairy camel would ever be sold. It is not surprising then to find that, on entering a pen, camels will rush to greet you with a gentle ‘welcome’ nuzzle with their nose. Of course, part of this experience usually involves caretakers offering fresh camel milk as a sign of hospitality. Most tourists will vouch that it’s much lighter than cow’s milk, and Bedouins proclaim that it is very good for the digestive system. Often, the owners of dairy camels compare notes about the best grazing areas and have even been known to travel great distances to find the best quality grass. And, so the Bedouin tradition of providing camels with the best available nourishment continues for dairy camels and racing camels alike. It’s wonderful that this remarkable desert creature is still so greatly admired for its ability to provide milk, meat, transport, income and entertainment when, in fact, it has the ability to live on very little.
A dhow sails past the seafaring town of Sur
boat building traditions The pearl of the East coast is known for dhow building Sur is an ancient port and seafaring town that lies on the east coast, 310 kms from Muscat.
Trade suffered in Sur and this, coupled with the arrival of the British India Steamer Navigation Company, which operated
The town played a major part in the trade between Oman,
between India and the Gulf, meant that Omani boats were
East Africa and India. A variety of goods were imported and
less in demand. With the decline of the shipbuilding industry,
exported through its port. It was one of the renowned centres
Sur gradually became a less prosperous town.
for shipbuilding in the country, with great ocean-going, high-
The advent of better roads and services, new teachersâ€™
sterned baghalas and ghanja ships in continuous production.
training and technical colleges, and improved fishing practices
In 1861, when Zanzibar and Oman split to become two
mean that Sur is well on the way towards regaining the position
separate Sultanates, Sharqiya still boasted a fleet of more than
as the capital of Sharqiya. Sprawled along the bay, it once again
100 large ocean-going boats. The separation had far-reaching
has taken on the air of a busy and vibrant town, with new
effects in Oman.
housing making it bigger by the day. Article Courtesy: Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman
Icons in Sur
This is a small but interesting museum located on the main
Fishing dhows make a splendid sight bobbing at anchor in
road from Muscat into Sur. Entering Sur, it is on the right-hand
the sparkling blue waters. It’s impressive to see scores of them
side of the road after the first roundabout. Immediately before
sailing out late in the afternoon on the way to the fishing areas. If
it, you will see a power station and make a sharp left into the
you’re an early riser, you will see the fishermen bringing in their morning catch at dawn. The small, modern speed boats go out to the dhows to bring fish ashore for sale at the fish souq.
The Boatyards Situated on the sheltered lagoons, there are dhows in various stages of construction and you can follow the building process. Huge imported teak logs are used for the keel and hull while local acacia wood is used for the ribs. Coats of varnish finish the job, giving a splendid sheen to the new boats. Although fitted with modern diesel engines, they are still built
Aluruba Sports Club. The museum is the white building with a ship’s wheel on the wall. Sur has a number of craftsmen who continue to manufacture their traditional wares by traditional methods. Using basic wooden handlooms, weavers make wizar (cloth worn around the waist under the traditional dish-dasha), massar (turbans) and a’suba’eeya (decorative shawls worn around the neck). They use local wool as well as imported cotton and silk, and dye the fabrics to create colourful patterns. The weavers work in Bilad Sur and are kept busy with local orders.
by craftsmen who follow traditional designs without the aid
This village, on the opposite side of the lagoon to Sur, can now
of drawings. Sur was once famous for building high pooped,
be reached via a new tarmac road. Until the road opened, access
ocean-going baghala and ghanjah. Now you are more likely to
was only possible by ferry.
see smaller boats like the sambuk which are easier to build.
The ferry still goes and the boat used is called ‘Abbara’, the journey
The magnificently restored ghanjah, Fatah Al Khair, can be
takes just a few minutes. Situated between the sea on one side and
seen standing on dry land at the edge of the lagoon. Estimates
mountains on the other, the town was isolated for centuries but well
of its age and tonnage vary but it is believed to be about 70
fortified by watchtowers and forts. Take the right turn at the second
years old, around 300 tonnes and over 20 metres long. It is
roundabout on the road into Sur (a large twin-domed mosque appears
thought to be one of the last ocean-going cargo-passenger
on the left just before the roundabout). Follow the road as it passes
vessels built in Sur.
the mangrove swamps and swings round past foothills into Al Ayja.
One of the traditional dhows in Sur
Sur is known for maritime history
some 249 kms from Muscat. There is a signposted left turn to
Sunaysilah Castle stands high on a knoll overlooking the
Sur, another 60 kms further on through Wadi Fulaij.
seafaring and boat-building town of Sur. Based on an arche-typal
The journey takes about four hours on good tarmac road
square plan with round towers at each of its four corners, this
with plenty of petrol stations en route. Alternatively, take the
dominating fortress is said to be more than 300 years old.
road from Muscat to Quriyat via Wadi Adai roundabout at
Bilad Sur Castle The castle at Bilad Sur, known for its unusual tower, is surrounded by lush goves of date palm. Strategically positioned inland from the sea to protect against raiding tribes from the interior, the fort is part of a comprehensive network of regional defence that originally comprised five fortresses and numerous watchtowers.
Hatat House (zero odometer). At the roundabout, 85 kms from Muscat, turn right and reset the odometer to zero. Follow the sign for Daghmar. After 6.2 kms turn right for Tiwi and after 9.3 kms, turn right into the gorge of Wadi Dayqah. Continue on this road, ignoring the turnoff to the right at 19.5 kms signed for Wadi Al Arbieen, until at 35 kms the coastal village of Dibab is reached. The road now follows the coast through Fins, Tiwi and
How to get there
Qalhat to Sur. This route is shorter than the first in terms of
The easiest route to Sur from Muscat passes the Seeb
kilometres but takes much longer to cover – about 5 hours.
Airport roundabout (zero odometer) and joins the new dual
The road is narrow and bumpy in places and can be difficult
carriageway road to Nizwa. At Bid Bid, 36 kms from Muscat,
to travel after heavy rain.
the slip road is clearly signposted for Sur.
This route is beautiful, hugging the coast with mountains
The road heads into the mountains, through the Sumail
on one side and sea on the other. Fishing villages dot the
Gap and Wadi L’Akk.There follows a 24 kms stretch of winding
coastline and the beaches are good for camping, swimming
road, full of sharp bends, starting at 58.2 kms. It is clearly
and snorkelling. Plans are in progress to tarmac the road
signposted and the slow down signs should be heeded.
between Quriyat and Sur but presently a 4-wheel drive vehicle
At Wadi Seigani, there are delicious fruits for sale at the roadside. The road passes through Ibra and on to Al Kamil,
is necessary. The two routes to Sur lend themselves nicely to a round trip: Muscat – Quriyat – Sur – Ibra – Muscat.
Birds bob around the ocean hoping for a treat
Oman’s South Eastern Coast :
A fisherman’s paradise With 1700 kilometres of coastline, it’s little wonder that much of Oman’s heritage and culture is connected to the sea and the rich marine life found within it. On the South East coast of Oman, the tradition of fishing lives on and is even proving to be a popular and relaxing activity for visitors. One advantage of fishing in this area is that you don’t need to venture far to catch ‘big’ fish. A few hundred metres offshore from Hasik, the ocean floor drops away dramatically to depths of 150 to 200 metres. The conditions are excellent for reef fishing – a line in the water for a mere 60 seconds can fetch a huge grouper, hammour, rainbow fish, tuna or giant trevally. Meanwhile, seagulls and sea eagles bob around the ocean beside boats, waiting patiently for scraps of bait to be dropped back into the water. It’s impressive to watch the local commercial fisherman at work. Using live bait and a hand line, a man pulls in metres of line, lifting one arm at a time – the reward is a massive shimmering silver kingfish. After the icebox is full, the boat travels back
to a small harbour where a large refrigeration truck waits to transport the fish to Salalah. Tuna, camel fish and barracuda are unloaded but the heaviest of these is the kingfish, which is said to fetch up to OMR 50 or 70 for a large size. As the fish comes off the boat it is weighed and given to the wholesaler who records each transaction in his book.
On the South East coast of Oman, the tradition of fishing lives on and is even proving to be a popular and relaxing activity for visitors The fish is then neatly packed in bright blue crates filled with ice, covered in plastic and loaded into the truck. The final destination will be Italy who imports large numbers of red sea bream, the area’s most expensive fish. Article by: Michelle Balmer. Photographs by: Kirsten Holst
A tourist tries his hand at hooking a big fish
A fishing net bursting with sardines
The government ensures the species are not depleted by designating specific fishing seasons. The sardine season runs
A fisherman shows off his catch
dried out and used as animal food when the grazing areas have been exhausted. The remainder is sent to the market.
from January to March and the lobster season for traditional
Of course, the visitor’s catch of the day is likely to end
fisherman is during December and January. Abalone is another
up on the barbecue, allowing an opportunity to sample
of Oman’s famous delicacies. Harvested in November and
the taste, which is said to be very different to the fish in
December it commands prices of OMR 75 per kilogramme
Northern Oman. Whether you choose to base yourself in
because this is the only place in Oman where it is found.
Salalah (and take a boat from there) or camp near Mirbat or
Other fishermen can be found on the beach launching
Hasik, there is plenty to offer. The new asphalt road to Hasik
traditional nets each morning. They return in the afternoon
winds its way around the coast providing scenic views. And,
to find masses of sardines which are packed into sacks and
wherever you step aboard the boat, be on the lookout for the
dumped onto the back of trucks. Once the net has been
pods of dolphins that glide through the waters beside you.
emptied it is inspected for any remaining fish and given a
In fact, these waters are yet to be fully studied and are just
clean in the water. The day is nearly over as the men twist
waiting for visitors to search out more of nature’s delights.
and squeeze the net, placing it into the truck in preparation
Take advantage of a weekend fishing getaway – it has a
for the next morning. Most of the sardines caught will be
Abalone, Oman's famous seafood delicacy
Health & Fitness
The increasing incidence of neck strain can be attributed to faulty postures while sitting for long hours Now-a-days people often complain about pain and
curve in the neck (cervical curve), a slight backward curve
impairment of the neck. One of the most common reasons
in the upper back (thoracic curve), and a slight forward
for this is faulty posture.
curve in the low back (lumbar curve).
The neck is composed of seven vertebrae (cervical
Good posture actually means keeping these three
vertebrae) or the building blocks of the spine. These
curves in balanced alignment. Strong and flexible muscles
surround the spinal cord and canal. Discs cushion the
also are essential for good posture. Abdominal, hip, and
vertebrae and the nerves of the neck pass nearby. Within
leg muscles that are weak and inflexible cannot support
the neck, there are neck muscles, arteries, veins, lymph
our back’s natural curves.
glands, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, oesophagus, larynx and trachea.
Numerous treatments Most people’s lives do not allow them to do enough exercise, and they spend far too much time in postures which put a constant strain on the neck, such as sitting in front of a computer for much of the day. Both factors in combination mean that neck pain, after the age of 40 or 50, becomes more the rule than the exception. Experts often call this non-specific neck pain. Treatments for neck pain are numerous: painkillers,
exercises, heat packs, cupping, traction — you name it, some healthcare practitioners will offer it. Whenever there are dozens of treatment options, there is, good reason to suspect that none is truly effective.
Causes One of the most common causes of mechanical neck pain among computer users is the forward head posture. A healthy back has three natural curves: a slight forward
Turning side to side
Bending side to side
A “perfect” head posture shows an imaginary line dropped
also compress the nerves that run from the neck into the arms.
from the centre of the external auditory meatus (outer ear
Such compression may weaken the muscles of the upper
opening) would land directly in the centre of the shoulder.
extremities, and cause painful sensations in the arms or the
A faulty neck-head posture causes stress to the neck bones
hands. If untreated, this can cause disc herniation commonly
(vertebrae). The bones will not be aligned properly, and the
called as pinched nerve or intervertebral disc prolapse where
muscles, joints and ligaments take more strain than Nature
people complain of pain in the neck and radiating symptoms
to the arm, forearm and hand areas. There are various physical therapy treatment options available
The perfect head posture
including exercise therapy, manual therapy techniques like
Faulty posture may cause fatigue, muscular strain and, in
joint mobilisation or manipulation, mechanical traction,
later stages, pain in and around the neck and upper back
interferential current, heat/cold applications, and other
region. The causative factor for these symptoms is faulty
modalities used by the physical therapists. Evidence-based
posture for many years.
practice through multiple research studies found that many respond well to cervical and thoracic joint mobilisation or
Those who are prone to neck pain like computer professionals should work on changing their posture and redesign the office workstation ergonomically
manipulation techniques if there are any spinal derangements resulting from faulty posture. One randomised controlled study has found ultrasound therapy to be ineffective in treating neck pain trigger points. Prevention is better than cure. Those who are prone to neck pain like computer professionals should work on
In the forward head posture, the head moves “forward”, and the muscles in the upper back and neck have to work
changing their posture and redesign the office workstation ergonomically.
harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping forward onto
Longstanding neck problems take a long time to resolve.
the chest. This forces the muscles that raise the chin to remain
Cultivate patience along with good postural habits. An acute
in constant contraction, putting pressure on the suboccipital
strain will take four to six weeks to resolve with avoidance of
(base of skull) nerves.
prolonged computer use with a forward head posture.
This can cause headaches at the base of the skull commonly called as cervicogenic headaches, and even mimic sinus or
migraine headaches. Pain is usually on one side. Even if it
Doctors suggest that, “the best way to improve or maintain
affects both sides of the head, it is usually more severe on
our posture is to always practise good posture, when sitting,
standing, or moving. Practising good posture is not always
The treatment involves postural correction, chair adjustment and correct display and lighting. Forward head posture can
as easy as it sounds, especially for some of us who have forgotten what good posture feels like.”
Enhancing your child's confidence is important
How to raise confident kids There is a direct link between a child’s emotional well-being
Let them be themselves
and self-esteem and his/her overall health. If a child has strong
Many parents fail to recognise the importance of cherishing
self-esteem, it has positive benefits for the immune system.
who their child really is. Let them be their own unique person,
Think of their self-esteem like the roots of a tree - the stronger
rather than trying to shape them into something you want.
the roots the taller the tree will grow and flourish.
Just because you’d love them to be the next tennis champion,
Here are some simple tips you can use to enhance your child’s
doesn’t mean they will have arty interest in the sport. You can
confidence so that they become happier, more confident, and
damage their self-esteem by trying to force them down a route
healthier young people...
that is not their natural path.
Reward good behaviour in children
Make it clear you love them Do not withhold your love as a punishment. It may be tempting to suppress care, love and affection when you are angry with your child. Children do need boundaries and appropriate discipline but it’s completely inappropriate to say things such as, “I won’t love you any more if you behave like that.” A parent’s love should never be in question despite being rightly frustrated or annoyed with a child’s behaviour.
Ask for their opinion It’s easy to forget that children have their own views on all sorts of subjects, so ask how they feel about things. You might even learn from them. Asking for their thoughts on a television programme, film or, depending on their age, a news story, makes them feel valued. Listening to their opinion boosts their confidence.
Be positive Praise good behaviour. It’s easy to ignore a child who is playing happily alone while you get on with chores. Parents often give children attention only when they’re misbehaving. Reverse this by taking time to compliment them on a beautiful drawing, or just to say: “Aren’t you playing nicely?” By rewarding good behaviour you encourage more of it. In turn, this positive cycle makes them feel good about themselves.
Don’t get jealous Think about the role model you present when you complain about another family having better holidays, a bigger home or a better car. This can breed envy in your child. Instead, be thankful for all you have. Emphasising the good, non materialistic things in your life makes your child feel secure at home.
Give them self-respect Teach your child appropriate boundaries within your home - and tell them how they can apply these outside. If you show your child that people can walk all over each other at home and never show that you can assert yourself, that’s what your child comes to expect. This means they are liable to be bullied at school and don’t know how to assert themselves where necessary. Help them develop self respect. Bullying has a very negative impact on a child’s self-esteem.
Don’t be dramatic Children need to accept that bad, sad or difficult things occur in life. But don’t over dramatise every hurdle you face. When a parent reacts to a challenge with hysteria, it immediately teaches the child that the world is a frightening, horrible and impossible place. By keeping calm and looking for solutions to the problem, issue or dilemma that you’re facing, it will help your child develop the confidence to face whatever life throws at them.
Career branding has become important today
Brand with the best The biggest advantage of building a brand image for yourself is that it helps define who you are BRANDING in simple terms is all about building an image that captures the imagination of your target audience. And yes, branding is no longer restricted to consumer goods anymore. The ‘brand’ new addition to the bandwagon is career branding. This is what management guru Tom Peters, in his book ‘The Brand You50’ has to say about
career branding, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.” He adds, “You’re not defined by your job title and you’re not confined by your job description.”
In a world of cutthroat competition, a strong career brand can highlight the value of investing in your talents/services to potential employers. This will make you stand out in a crowd of contenders. Why does a particular customer prefer Pepsi to Coke or Nike to Pepe or vice-versa? Is it because of the brand image? Is it the pitch and publicity? Personal taste perhaps? Well, most likely a mix of all three. It is the same when it comes down to hiring. Job-hunting and marketing are analogous and an interview is your sales pitch; the resume is your publicity pamphlet; the interviewer - your customer and you are the brand!
Take time to plan and focus on what you want your brand to be The biggest advantage of building a brand image for yourself is that it helps define who you are, and why you are the right fit for the job. Career branding is in effect your reputation and good name. Just as a strong brand image keeps the customer coming back for more, a strong career brand will create opportunities by setting you apart from the competition and creating a compulsion in the employerâ€™s mind to hire you. So how does one go about building that ideal brand image that will make the employer choose you over all the others in the fray? Read on: Every successful brand has a solid product to bank on. Your career brand is no different. If your brand image has to be strong and unbeaten, it must be founded on truth and authenticity. Take time to plan and focus on what you want your brand to be. Track past accomplishments that reinstate your brand, plan to improve on your weak areas and try to gain experience and add achievements that will give value to it. Conduct some analysis to determine what the market conditions are if your brand has to succeed. Is there a market for what your brand has to offer? Are companies hiring in that area? What about competition, and more importantly the quality of competition? Your brand might need some finetuning based on these inputs. Success in any career calls for a high degree of specialisation. Although you may possess adequate qualifications, education, skills and specialised training, authentic certification can greatly enhance your career brand. If you are unsure about your brand image and feel you need to add more value to it, you can take advice from a mentor or someone who has achieved a high degree of respect and success in the field that you have chosen.
Promotion and publicity Even the best brands need publicity. There is nothing wrong in promoting yourself when you have real achievements to back it up. Devise campaigns to reinstate your brand whenever you get the opportunity. If you can get your name recognised by writing articles, speaking
at association meetings, requesting to work on high-profile projects, serving on projects where youâ€™ll be seen by a number of people, then do it! Your brand also needs to have a strong online presence. This is because the Internet is the quickest and most easily accessible source of information for many people. Develop an online portfolio. Consider investing on a personal website or you could market yourself on a quality blog site and let the world know about you. Itâ€™s all good PR, and you never know what it can lead to. The whole process of hiring is tilted in favour of people who are able to sell themselves and it is important that you be able to catch the attention of your prospective employer with an interesting USP. You should prepare your sales pitch in writing, then rehearse it and practise it rather like an actor or a salesman, until it sounds natural and not memorised. Condense your life and career history into a 30 second capsule that defines who you are, what you do, with a few key points about your background, skills, and experience - and make it sound convincing and interesting.
Yes, the Image You must be careful about the brand image you want to convey. Branding will either add to or take away from the image you want to create with the potential employers. While a lot of contrived exertions go into building a brand, the best brands manage to make it look almost effortless. If you can do that, you can be sure your brand has delivered!
Participants gearing up for the sailing race
Racing along the straits The Dubai to Muscat Offshore Sailing Race to be held in March 2008 offers lots of excitement
Sleek, glistening sailing yachts docked at the Marina Bandar Al Rhowda in Oman present a lovely sight. This picturesque bay will now be the finishing line for the much-awaited 15th Dubai to Muscat Offshore Sailing Race.
Excitement at its best during the race
Come March 2008 and you would be able to feast your eyes on flashy yachts reach the finishing line at the Marina Bandar Al Rhowda. Starting in Dubai, this 360-nautical mile offshore sailing race takes a flotilla of boats in the shallow waters of the Gulf, the ruggedly spectacular cliffs of Musandum, the famous Straits of Hormuz and ferociously lobster buoys, rides and deep water in the Gulf of Oman before arriving in Oman. This race, besides the old entrants, will see new participants from across the Gulf, Singapore and other countries. Though the crew might have to encounter some daredevil moments in the sea, yet it is the excitement of the race that lures participants to enter the race. The teamwork is vital, ensuring an alert watch and keeping the rest of the system in place. The race has become a firm favourite of the regionâ€™s sailing calendar. First held in 1992, the race is still growing in popularity, with around 30 participants every year. It has attracted international attention with worldwide media covering the event.
The event was initiated by sailors from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club (DOSC) and the Royal Navy of Oman. The DOSC said that they are delighted to be involved once again in the organisation of the event which is fully supported by the Ministry of Sports Affairs, Sultanate of Oman, the UAE Marine Sports Federation and the UAE IRC Ownersâ€™ Association. Entries for this year's event are expected from all Gulf Cooperation Council countries with a number of crews visiting from overseas, as boats are now available for charter from various companies in Dubai, UAE.
Event : Dubai to Muscat Offshore Sailing Race When : March 2008 Contact : email@example.com Website : http://www.dubaimuscat.org.ae/
The sailing race attracts participants from all over the world
Chocolates Chocolate! A word that is capable of arousing a lot of feelings. The very mention of the word chocolate can make your salivary glands work. It grows on an evergreen tree. The scientific name given to that tree is Thobroma cacao, which means ‘food of the God’. The Mayas were the first to discover chocolate and believed it had miraculous powers. It was used in religious rituals as well as treatment for common illnesses such as fever, cough and pregnancy pains. They did not sweeten it because they didn’t know about sugar and they used it as exotic spice. But since then a lot has changed in the world of chocolates. With support of all the latest technology and research and development, chocolate has come a long way. There is a wide variety of chocolates available in the market today. Mint chocolate, hazelnut chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fruit chocolate... the list is endless. But why eat chocolate?
Like the unlimited varieties of chocolates available, there can be unlimited number of reasons as well. But the most common reasons can sure be counted. Like, using it as a way to show love, to have a quick bite to keep that pang of hunger at bay. For some, chocolate is the way out of everyday stress! As tempting as chocolate may be, it is very much avoided, especially by those on a diet. The combination plus sugar and vegetable fat makes the number of calories grow at an alarming rate. Reasonable and moderate quantity will surely not affect your weight, but consumed in industrial quantities it might give you some problems. Calorie and nutrient count may vary from brand to brand, variety to variety but in general, it goes like this: The break up for 100 gms of chocolate goes like this: calories - 530, carbohydrates - 57.1 gms, proteins - 7.8 gms, fat - 29.9 gms, fibre - 0, alcohol - 0.
Fascinating Facts • A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime. • A newborn kangaroo is about 1 inch in length. • The hummingbird is the only bird that can hover and fly straight up, down, or backward! • Russia lies across 11 time zones. • Ancient Rome became the first city to reach a population of one million in 5 B.C. It would be more than eighteen centuries before the second such city, London, would reach that milestone in 1800.
• A woodpecker can peck twenty times a second. • One of the greatest soldiers in history, Alexander the Great, was tutored by the greatest thinker of all time, Aristotle.
• Great Britain was the first country to issue stamps in 1840. • The designer of the Statue of Liberty, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, used his wife as the model for the body and his mother as the model for the face.
A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime
The Statue of Liberty
Interesting quotes “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” - Thomas Jefferson, Ex-President of USA “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas Alva Edison, Scientist “Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down.” - Jimmy Durante, Musician “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” - Samuel Johnson, Author and Poet “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book - I’ll waste no time reading it.” - Moses Hadas, Scholar “Well done is better than well said.” - Benjamin Franklin, Scientist “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Sir Winston Churchill, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Humour Two kids went into their parents bedroom and noticed the weigh scale in the corner. “Whatever you do,” cautioned one youngster to the other, “Don’t step on it!” “Why not?” asked the sibling. “Because every time mom does, she lets out an awful scream!” Man: “I would go to the end of the world for you." Woman: “Yes, but would you stay there?” "Doctor! I have a serious problem, I can never remember what I just said."
International Events Oct: Bahrain Horse Race, Bahrain Bahrain’s love of all things equestrian is evident in its splendid Sakhir 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. Nov: IRB World Sevens Series, Dubai The Dubai Exiles Rugby Club hosts the opening round of the IRB World Sevens Series, featuring 16 international teams. All matches are seven minutes each way, apart from the three finals, which are ten minutes per half. An International Invitation, Gulf, Local Social, Ladies, Veterans and Youth competitions add to the action-packed three days. Nov: Puppet Theatre Festival, Mumbai, India The highlight of the Mumbai theatre calendar in November is undoubtedly the Puppet Theatre Festival. Acts from all over India and the globe will feature in the five-day festival which will be held at the Prithvi Theatre in North Mumbai and the Experimental Theatre in the National Centre for Performing Arts in the south of the city. Opening Hours: 6.30pm. Nov-Dec: Muscat Oud Festival, Muscat Celebrating the Arabian lute (oud), symbol of Arabic music since ancient times, the Muscat Oud Festival offers new and old works based on the sound of the solo instrument. 9 Nov: Diwali, Mumbai Diwali, or Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, is the most important pan-Indian Hindu festival. Every Hindu home in Mumbai, no matter how humble, and many non-Hindu households too, light lamps and lanterns in celebration. 11-13 Nov: Media & Marketing Show, Dubai The one stop shop for Marketing and Media professionals organised by the Domus Group. 12 -19 Nov: World Spice Festival, Colombo, Sri Lanka The culinary delights of the World Spice Festival draw on a fusion of Sri Lankan spices and cooking methods as well as the talents of visiting chefs and the signature spices from their home countries. With mouth-watering recipes from Africa, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia, visitors and locals savour every last spicy bite. 13-17 Nov: Jewellery Arabia Show, Bahrain This began in 1991 and now attracts over 500 exhibitors to Bahrain’s International Exhibition Centre every year. An international exhibition of fine jewellery and luxury watches, it attracts buyers and private collectors from throughout the Arab World. 12-15 Nov: World Travel Market, London Staged annually in London under one roof, the World Travel Market is a must attend, business to business exhibition. WTM provides a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade industry to meet, network, negotiate, conduct business and stay abreast with the latest developments in the travel industry. 19-22 Nov: International Medical Travel Conference, Manila One-stop event platform to meet healthcare, travel, hospitality, government, medical ancillary services and buyers of medical travel. 19-22 Nov: Diyafa 2007, Qatar The second edition of Diyafa in 2007 is expected to attract more international exhibitors from many international countries as multi-billion USD opportunities are waiting to be grasped, and will provide a unique opportunity for hospitality suppliers to meet prominent Gulf businessmen and decision makers from the Gulf and the Middle East. 21-24 Nov: The International Fine Art and Antiques Fair, Abu Dhabi This offers visitors the opportunity to see and buy some of the world’s most exquisite and rare antiques and pieces of fine art. It is attended by top collectors and dealers from across the world. 25 Nov-5 Dec: Lucknow Festival, Lucknow, India The annual festival captures the undying elegance and splendour of Awadh - now Lucknow - a cultural centre for Muslims before the time of partition. Colourful processions, traditional dramas, Kathak dances, sarangi and sitar recitals, ekka races, kite flying, cock fighting and other traditional village games aim to recreate an atmosphere of Awadh’s Nawabi days.
"When did you first notice this problem?" "What problem?"
Digi notes made easy
Wi-fi BlackBerry The 8820 is the first BlackBerry to support most worldwide GSM cellphone frequencies, G.P.S. mapping and Wi-fi for phone calls and e-mail downloads. Outside of that, it’s looking more or less just like an 8800, complete with G.P.S., with the added bonus of being RIM’s slimmest device to date, as well as supporting high-capacity microSD cards.
WizCom InfoScan 3 Lite makes digital note taking as easy as using a standard highlighter. Roll the InfoScan 3 Lite across printed text to instantly recognize and store more than 500 pages of text, or scan directly to any Windows based application. Use the new on-screen, touch keyboard to edit or add text of your own. Scans and recognizes English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. View stored information on the integrated LCD display and easily transfer data to any PC, PDAor Smartphone via standard USB or infra-red connections.
can access peripherals
The modern PC is a constellation of devices orbiting a humming box. But now USB devices don’t have to be tied to one computer. The Keyspan USB 2.0 Server allows some of those devices to sit quietly on your home network, available for anyone in the house or office to use. Keyspan’s server has two USB ports and an Ethernet port for connecting to a wired or wireless router. It works with both PCs and Macs and can transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds, about 480 megabits a second, depending on network capacity. The device allows users to connect to printers, scanners, portable hard drives and even USB thumb drives over the network. The server weighs about 3 ounces and is about 4 inches long, making it fairly unobtrusive. It is available through major online and offline retailers. The Keyspan USB 2.0 Server won’t solve all of your USB problems, but it can cut down on some of the clutter - at least until all devices are wireless and the PC sits alone.
Digital SLR Camera
A small Guitar for big-time songs There are no strings to break on Hasbro’s Power Tour Electric Guitar, coming in September to stores and to hasbro.com/ tiger. Instead, your fingers glide on a glassy, lighted fret board that picks up the electrical charge of your fingers — not unlike your computer touchpad — to sense the pitch. Strums are detected by sensors that track your thumb speed and direction, and you can shake to guitar to bend a note. You can use the built-in speaker or headphones, and a Power Tour Amp from Hasbro. Regular speakers provide mixed results. You can toggle between free play or tutorial modes and learn the 12 built-in songs, including six rock classics like “Wild Thing” and “Smoke on the Water,” a few bars at a time.
with top features
It is a classic gadget-world situation: features that start off in a top-of-the-line model eventually migrate down the product line. Some features from the K10D single-lens reflex camera, for example, Pentax, show up in the K100D Super. The 6.1-megapixel K100D Super does give you a removable 18-55 mm zoom lens, the same sophisticated processor and the same image stabilization and sensor dust cleaner. The K100D Super is small -- 5.1 by 3.6 by 2.8 inches — and light, at 23.5 ounces with batteries. Interestingly, these are AA batteries, which may allow further weight economy by letting you pack just one charger for both the camera and an external flash.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf A shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, “Wolf! Wolf!” and when his neighbours came to help him, laughed at them for their pains. The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: “Pray, do come and help me; the Wolf is killing the sheep”; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock. There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
captain turns on the “Fasten seatbelts” sign due to any emergency or bad
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
be assigned to take care of
Portable electronic items such as personal computers and handheld games
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
are exempt. Use of radios and mobile phones are prohibited on board at
all times. PASSENGERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS:
FACILITIES AVAILABLE ON BOARD
Our ground and cabin crew will be happy to assist passengers with special
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
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,
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
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.