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OCT 20 - 26 2016 / ISSUE 441 • WEEKLY

ByA Nation

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COMPETITION Celebrate Oman’s 46th National Day with Y by entering our exciting Portrait By A Nation competition. Turn to P20 for details.


GROCERIES Consumers are complaining that the price of fruits and vegetables have doubled in recent weeks, according to recent press reports. Have you noticed the difference in price?


TEMPERATURES The highly anticipated cooler weather has finally arrived, with lower temperatures. Humidity has also dropped considerably, which is a welcome relief!


Team Y has been taking advantage of the cooler temperatures by heading outdoors again, recovering from a bout of acute tonsillitis and enjoying a spot of retail therapy.



Welcome to Y Magazine – your top guide to the best of Oman every week.

Fast forward


t’s that time of the year again – Y Magazine’s annual art extravaganza, Portrait By A Nation, that celebrates the Sultanate’s 46th National Day! Now in its third year, this event is promising to be even bigger and better than 2015. Presented by Al Mouj Muscat, powered by Shell Oman Marketing, and with associate sponsors A’Soud Global School, Atana Khasab, Atana Musandam, Burjeel Hospital and IDdesign, Team Y will be hitting the road and taking Portrait By A Nation to key cities in the interiors, as well as hosting our signature painting weekend in the capital. Our aim is to bring the children of the Sultanate together to create a lasting tribute to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said and to celebrate 46 glorious years under his wise leadership. It’s an exciting time and we are expecting some very high-quality art work – especially judging by the entries from previous years. You’ll find all the details on how to enter Portrait By A Nation in our cover story this week. Good luck and have a wonderful week!

Ways to get your Y fix Online: Visit for even more inspiration. Smart device: Catch up with Y on the go by scanning the QR code below

EDITOR IN CHIEF Sayyida Iman bint Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi MANAGING EDITOR Felicity Glover



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CEO Eihab Abutaha We’d love to hear your news and views. For editorial enquiries, please email Want to read Y on the go? Scan our digital issue here: Download any QR reader from iTunes or Google Play to read Y on the go

Write to us at Y Magazine, SABCO Media, PO Box 3779, Ruwi 112, Sultanate of Oman. OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441


contents OCT

Your Oman




20 Portrait By A Nation Y’s annual art event


24 Special tribute Omani Women’s Day

This Week

08 Voice Of Oman Tina Squires 10 News Traffic safety in the spotlight

26 Grand Scheme Staying in touch with grandparents back home

16 This Week BSM Open Morning 18 #FYI Top five ODI wins

11 Gallery 19 Movies Traffic Safety Expo Inferno 12 Gallery Australian Business Group Oman



13 News Parking fees to rise 14 Faces of Oman


15 Hyundai – Driven To Success Hafidh Mahfoodh Darwish al Hadhrami

Cars and Adventures


Food and Drink 28 Food Feature Wicked watermelons 30 Taste Test Ruby Tuesday


38 Destination Samkat 40 Outdoors The Dubai to Muscat Race

Health and Beauty

42 Postcard From Milan, Italy

32 Fashion Ghoulish glamour

44 Y-Fi Halloween gadgets


46 Car Of The Week 34 Beauty Cadillac CT6 Transition time 35 Health Children’s eye health



From 20th Oct until 2nd Nov 2016

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sent my daughter a text message last week while she was at school, enquiring as to whether an after-school activity had been cancelled. A few minutes later, I received the reply: “IDK Mum, L8R”. While sitting in my car trying to decipher this message (I now know this to mean: “I don’t know, see you later”), I realised that not only am I struggling to understand what goes on in the head of an almost-teenager when she’s not communicating with me, I also can’t even understand it when she is in communication mode! And on the (rare) occasion that I glance at her screen, it’s a confusing medley of emojis, hieroglyphics and acronyms that are like a foreign language to me. Children are always complaining that their parents don’t understand them – and now they’re right. In a recent survey, 90 per cent of parents said that the abbreviated words and acronyms developed for rapid text messaging have thrown up a language barrier between the generations. And two thirds of teachers reported finding text-speak regularly in pupil’s homework. Thankfully, however, linguists tell us that texting is not destroying our language. In fact, they’re saying that youngsters are reading more than ever as they’re constantly glued to their screens. So there is no disaster pending. The language, as a whole, will not decline. In texting, what we’re seeing is language in evolution. And why am I so concerned to keep up with my daughter’s latest vocabulary? In truth I suspect it’s my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).




OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441

correspondence NOC RELIEF IN SIGHT Dear Editor, The story “No Objection Certificate Could Soon Be History” (Issue 440) has certainly drawn a sigh of relief from expatriate workers as well as the many employers who are suffering due to the NOC rule in Oman. However, there is still a big question mark over when this decision is going to become a reality. There are a couple of large organisations in Oman who are still pleading for the continuation of the NOC rule. It is no secret that the existing NOC rule is being exploited by many employers with poor labour regulations and ethics. As a result, they suffered manpower turnover when the NOC rule was relaxed in the past.


Should going to school be mandatory for all children in Oman up to the age of 16? ELIZABETH JOSEPH

This is not a topic that should be open to debate. Education and knowledge makes a person stand out. In today’s world, the power of knowledge plays a vital role in every person’s life. I strongly agree that every child should gain at least the minimum educational qualifications so that they don’t face problems later on in life. In today’s world, there are many generous people who have endowed sponsorships, which is a


However, at this stage, when neighbouring GCC states have come up with more liberal labour policies for expatriate workers, it is vital that the decision to scrap the NOC is taken on urgently rather than keeping us all waiting. There has to be an equal playing field for both employers and employees, and finally, merit should have the final say. For sure, scrapping the NOC will have a more positive impact on the business, and an overall development on the skills of workers in Oman rather than the negative impact, as perceived by many. Under the ongoing scenario, scrapping the NOC rule will benefit both the local and expatriate workforce and employers. Sincerely, Mohammad Osama Rawat, Ruwi great act of kindness to the children who are financially backward and who cannot pursue their studies. “Education is the powerful weapon we can use to change the world”.


Although education is indubitably a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other such rights, going to school cannot guarantee access to it. Ultimately, education has hardly anything to do with literacy for the most educated people across the globe in the history of humankind. Anyway, UNESCO’s statistics published last year confirms that the male literacy rate in Oman is 96.9 per cent while female literacy is 90 per cent. It is true that even if all Omanis have access to free education up to the secondary level, education is not mandatory here. And I think Oman should go its way, as there should be a place on the planet where freedom takes priority over everything else including education. Hence, children are given a choice between homeschooling and outdoor schooling while the latter has rather become a

Dinner for two at Le Jardin restaurant

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matter of social status these days! If exception can test the rule let Oman be it!


Why the doubt? It has to be made mandatory just for the simple reason that ‘Knowledge is Power’, which helps to fight against all the odds in life by creating confidence and wisdom in children. But schools should not be restricted to academic studies but should introduce children to sports, and value social activities. All of these put together can nurture children with the mental and physical health attributes they need to have a good start in life.


Yes, it should be compulsory because school is important and children need their education. Otherwise, it will be impossible to find a job Children need to be educated every single day and that is a fact that I know of the whole entire world today.


Yes, I firmly agree that going to school should be mandatory. Education is one of the biggest assets one can build in life and will help children to grow wiser and better. School plays a significant role in developing a child’s personality all together. Pupils learn how to be disciplined and how to interact with other kids and their elders .


This question is not even debatable because it is an integral part of the International Rights of a Child under 18 years to have an education. A big YES is my answer because, as it is stated in Article 28, children have the right to an education. Primary education should be free. Wealthier countries should help poorer countries to achieve this. Each child should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level he can attain. Education should develop each child’s personality, knowledge, and talents to the full. It should teach and encourage children to respect their parents, elders, their culture, and other cultures. It is the responsibility of the government to provide a good quality of education and should protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or education. Education is the only treasure from the parents that no one can steal from a child.



country. This shows that the “pen is mightier than the sword”.


The answer is a resounding YES! In the process, the government will be shouldering and executing a noble and lofty social responsibility. This will serve many purposes such as minimising, if not eliminating, instances of students dropping out; increasing literacy rates; forcing parents to comply with government directives; reducing crime and violence by diverting children’s attention; encouraging pupils to aim higher, and perhaps progress to higher education. More importantly, educated children will become more responsible citizens and will positively contribute towards nation-building. However, in genuine cases in which parents cannot send their children to school due to their moderate means then the government must come forward to provide them with the required support.


School education should be made mandatory in Oman to the age of 16. Literate people make for happier, more settled citizens. Plato said that an ideal country needs an ideal education that makes people ideal to serve and rule the nation. Education imparts knowledge and can create better citizens.



should be necessary for all as the child is not only gaining knowledge but learns to handle many of the problems life throws at us. The educated person is also in a better position to understand the new technology that is continually emerging and evolving.


Yes, going to school should be mandatory for all children up to the age of 16. Children are our future, and a school education helps them to evolve, progress and fulfil their potential not just in courses of academic study but also in mixing with their peers.

New Debate:

“Should traffic safety be incorporated into school curriculums?”

Share your view with us on Facebook and you could be in with a chance of winning dinner for two.


The rate of literacy is already climbing worldwide and in a country like Oman, His Majesty has always stressed the need and urgency for education. One should not lack behind, and put everything into it and make it mandatory as far as possible.


Education is a process that prepares a person for life. It

IMRAN SYAFIQ was spotted with his favourite Y Magazine in Muscat


Education is the basic building block to living life. More than the technology that we use to fight different situations, the amount of knowledge behind it is what matters the most. If I kept talking about how education is essential in life, it would sound more like ranting rather than actually having a solution to it. A few tips that the government could do to promote education in the small villages of Oman is that it could ensure that the schools are located within a 3km radius between the pupils’ houses. Secondly, a commission should be set up to review and investigate the grievances of certain parents with their child. Finally, when people are educated, it will help in the rapid development of this

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OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441






OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441

s the Sultanate gears up to take stricter measures to increase safety and the well-being of people on the roads of Oman, the Royal Oman Police (ROP), in association with Omanexpo, this week launched Traffic Safety Expo 2016 – a threeday event dedicated to road safety, education and awareness. The final day of the expo is today (Thursday) and the doors open at 9am. Residents are urged to visit the expo at the Oman International Exhibition Centre, which aims to enlighten visitors on the benefits of road safety. The expo, which kicked off on October 18 (Tuesday) has attracted thousands of visitors so far, ranging from students from schools and universities to families, and has received praise for showcasing a variety of road safety models and demonstrations of training exercises. Traffic Safety Expo 2016 is one of the key platforms being used by the ROP to create safety awareness on the roads. It features not only the

Speaking to local media, Nader Abbas, the General Manager of Omanexpo said: “Omanexpo has managed the Traffic Safety Expo twice so far, the first in 2013. In the 2012 edition of our Oman International Motor Show, we had included, as a part of our corporate social responsibility initiatives, a road safety awareness campaign in partnership with Safety First Organisation. The show featured road safety demonstrations by the ROP and Civil Defence. “As an exhibition organiser, we believe that by using our event platforms we are able to contribute to the Government’s campaign for social responsibility. As the response to these events has been positive, we could say that they

latest trends and innovative solutions in traffic safety, but is also an event that highlights effective safety models and best practices implemented in the private sector. The expo also aims to provide the general public with demonstrations on safety and the adoption of safe driving practices. The event will be about educating and raising awareness on the general dos and don’ts on the road, as well as providing exhibitors with exclusive opportunities to meet senior government officials, senior police representatives, fire and rescue safety officers, policymakers, industry executives, engineers, fleet managers, safety professionals and the general public.

have been effective in sending out our message,” he added. The Traffic Safety Expo is the only national event of its kind to be held in the country and is a joint effort by the ROP and the private sector as it moves to curb traffic accidents and achieve the target of “Goal Zero” – little or no accidents at all. The expo opened just two days after the tragic death of 14-year-old Zafeer Hameed, who was killed on Sunday after being hit by a car in Ruwi, near the Hamriya roundabout, as he was returning home from school. So far this year, 675 people have been killed in road accidents in Oman.




OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441







OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441




esidents of Muscat will now pay more to park their vehicles in public areas, after Muscat Municipality announced the new parking fees. The Municipality has also warned residents that failing to adhere to the new law would result in a fine. Muscat Municipality has set the new parking fee at 100 baisas for a period of 30 minutes – an increase of 40 baisa. The new fee will be applied across a total of 9,376 public parking lots and covered by 288 machines. Khalid bin Mahmoud al Hasni, the Assistant Director General of Meters at Muscat Municipality, said: “The Municipality has fixed 114 new machines that cover 4,223 parking lots in Al Khuwair, Al Ghubrah North, Al Qurum business area, Al Khoudh commercial market, A’ Seeb market, Al Juma arket in Al Wadi Al Kabir, Al Shajieyah market and business areas in greater Muttrah.” He added that the meters would be in operation from 8am to 1pm and from 4pm to 9pm except for Fridays, Saturdays and official holidays. Drivers can also pay for their parking spots through the recently launched “Baladiyati’ app, which is available for download on the iTunes store. Alternatively, motorists can also pay for their parking spot via SMS. Irresponsible parking can include occupying two spaces with one vehicle or parking in a space allotted for disabled drivers. Drivers who commit the former will now be fined RO10 and those who carry out the latter, RO20. Motorists who leave their cars in spaces allotted for ambulances face fines of RO100. A fine of RO500 will be slapped on those who leave For Sale signs on their cars in public areas.

OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441



aces of


Welcome to Y’s weekly photo series that profiles the diverse characters who call the Sultanate home Name: Adil al Balushi Age: 26 From: Omani Occupation and Passion: Photographer

Photo: Shaquel al Balushi


JUNE2023- -2629/ /ISSUE OCT ISSUE441 426




After graduating from the National Hospitality Institute in Oman in 2003, Hafidh Mahfoodh Darwish al Hadhrami, 32, started in the hotel industry as a bill man for the Grand Hyatt Muscat, before rising in ranks and stepping into the shoes of a hotel manager in 2012. Today, the young Omani is credited as one of the leading forces in establishing the Juweira Boutique Hotel in Salalah, and has since taken up the role of asset manager for OMRAN – Oman’s tourism development company.

an important role in my life to help me reach where I am now. For starters, it is my father who inspired me. He has great work ethics and that is something that I think I have inherited from him. Also inspirational was Glenn Nobbs, who was my front office manager at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Robert McLean, the principle of National Hospitality Institute, and Abdullah al Balushi. They helped me learn to a lot and truly opened my eyes to the hospitality industry. At one point, when I was about to turn back and leave, but they came to me and helped me realise my path, thus persuading me to stay and follow my dreams.

Q: What drives you to success? The force that drives me to success is my ambition to strive forward and make a difference. Right now, you will find that there aren’t many Omanis within the hospitality industry. So my goal is, and has been, to establish myself to prove that Omanis can be as successful as anyone else in the industry. I believe I have done that, but everyday is a new challenge or there is something new in the industry. So, you have to keep up with it to show the people that you are indeed the best.

Q: What is your biggest career success to date? I think my biggest success was when I became the youngest Omani hotel manager to open a hotel (Juweira Boutique Hotel) on Q: What do you like about the Genesis, the my own. premium series of Hyundai Motor Company? The Genesis is a car that makes you feel very special. Q: What are your career goals? It envelopes you in luxury – from the There was this one instance when moment you step into it… and the somebody came to me and asked me who magic continues throughout the drive. I would want to become if I could. And I It is smooth, silent and safe. The immediately answered to him that I wanted wood and leather speak of timeless to become the Minister of Tourism, and at luxury while the modern opulence least for a period of two years. I know for is reflected by touches of brushed a fact that I can make a huge difference to aluminum and the beautiful driver our country, that has given us all so much console display. I loved my time with already. I owe it to the nation. the Genesis!!

Q: Who or what has been your inspiration? Along the path of my career, there have been a few people who have influenced and played

THE GENESIS IS A CAR THAT MAKES YOU FEEL VERY SPECIAL. IT ENVELOPES YOU IN LUXURY – FROM THE MOMENT YOU STEP INTO IT… AND THE MAGIC CONTINUES THROUGHOUT THE DRIVE. Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time? I have a made a great deal of plans for myself for now, as I believe that self-development requires a lot of that. But 10 years from now seems like a long time ahead, so I cannot comment on that. But five years from now, the way I see myself, and the way I am heading and working now, I would be aiming to become the chief asset officer at OMRAM. Eventually I would like to become one of the leading figures who will be involved in changing the tourism strategy here in Oman.

OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441





School days


Are you exploring education options for your children over the coming year or even for the next term? Then head to the British School Muscat in MSQ for its Open Morning next week. The Open Morning gives parents an insight into a typical day at BSM while teachers are also on hand to answer any questions you may have. You can also watch lessons and explore the school’s new facilities, including its new stateof-the-art science block and all-weather pitch. For more information, call BSM’s admissions team on 2469 6078 or email to book your place.



OCT 20 & 22

A beautiful medieval tale about a mysterious knight, Lohengrin was Richard Wagner’s first internationally-recognised masterpiece, confirming the composer’s arrival on the global opera stage. This version is being conducted by Ralf Weikert and stars tenor Jon Ketilsson as Lohengrin, along with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. Curtain up is at 7pm, and bookings can be made via


O C T O B E R Join in the Halloween fun at O’Malley’s at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Al Khuwair for a wicked night filled with monsters, goblins and ghosts. Dress your spooky best and you could walk away with some great prizes. The fun starts at 6pm. Call 2448 7777 for details.

Spooky night 016

OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441

OCT 27



The Indian School Darsait (ISD) is hosting its second annual Badminton Tournament for alumni of the school. There will be two categories in the competition – one for men’s doubles and the other, mixed doubles. Both players need to be ISD alumni in the men’s doubles but the mixed team only requires one former student of ISD. NonISD alumni are required to pay a fee of RO5. You will also need to register your team by October 25. For more information, search for ISD Alumni on Facebook.

OCT 28



OCT 20

LAVAL Restaurant Lounge at the Ghala Valley Golf Club is hosting its first “Spooktacular” Halloween party – and it’s promising to be a fright-filled night! With music by DJ Taya Kruzz, from Cove Beach Dubai, there will be special Halloween treats and decorations. Doors open at 9pm but remember – no costume, no entry. Call 2450 5112 or WhatsApp 9699 4365 for reservations.


OCT 26

JUST JAMMING Support local artists and poets at the second Just Jams acoustic session at the Royal Lounge in the Lamar Building at Bausher Heights (next to Panorama Mall). It���s promising to be a special evening, which is organised by Just James founder and singer/ songwriter Ghazi Baluchi, whose aim is to help performing artists in Muscat gain well-deserved recognition. Seating is limited and there is a RO5 entrance fee but this includes light beverages and a meal. For bookings, call 9507 1519.

Join the friendly ladies from Women’s Guild Oman for their regular Wednesday morning coffee get-together. This week’s gathering is being held at More Café at Al Mouj from 10am. It’s a great place to meet new friends, as well as join the WGO for the 2016-2017 year. For more information, go to www.womensguildoman.

OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441



Countries that have Won The Most ODI (One Day International)

Cricket Matches

❶ Australia Cricket matches won: 540 Cricket matches played: 874

❷ India Cricket matches won: 454 Cricket matches played: 899

❸ Pakistan

Cricket matches won: 452 Cricket matches played: 857

❺ Sri Lanka

❹ West Indies Cricket matches won: 375 Cricket matches played: 738

Source: Top 5 of Anything Sports Research 2016


OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441

Cricket matches won: 362 Cricket matches played: 765

List Notes: Data is the top 5 teams that have won the most cricket matches in One Day International matches, as of June 2016.

MOVIES MOVIES FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TIMES, GO TO: City Cinema: Al Bahja Cinema: VOX Cinemas: Star Cinema: Tel +968 24791641

Inferno Oh, how did we ever come to this? If you had come to me a week ago and told me that a collaborative effort by Tom Hanks and Ron Howard would bear such tasteless fruit, I would have punched you, such is my devotion towards the duo, who joined forces on The Da Vinci Code, Apollo 13 and four other flicks. But now that I’ve actually seen the film, I’m inclined to say that Inferno is actually quite disappointing. Is the plot bad? Or is it the direction? For this, I’ll let you be the judge. But for me, it was the former. For starters, the plot is incredibly daft: a mad scientist is trying to “heal the world” by culling half of its population, and Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is destined to solve the clues, which are hidden in Botticelli’s famed Map of Hell painting.


THIS WEEK'S QUESTION Who plays Mike Ryan in I.T.? LAST WEEK'S WINNER Indumathi Anand

Frankly, all the clues are easily solved and will not pull the strings in your brain. But then again, neither does Dora from the cartoon series, Dora the Explorer. Everybody in this film rushes from clue-spot to clue-spot as if they’re at a treasure hunt for children. But in the end, none of it makes sense either. For instance, why would the scientist (assuming he’s clever) leave behind a trail of clues for Robert to solve? You’re planning on “saving” the world (by diabolically killing billions), for crying out loud! And that’s what this film is all about: plot holes and ludicrous scenes. The ending for the movie is far twisted from the book, too. If I were you I’d skip this one and read the book instead. Sorry, Mr Hanks. Review by Alvin Thomas

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE TO WIN, just answer a question based on the week’s cinema reviews and send your answer to, along with your name and contact information. Tickets must be collected from Y’s Seeb offices in person only. For the rest of the terms and conditions, see voucher. Contact: Movie enquiries 2460 7360


unforgiving desert terrain where the odds are stacked firmly against them. Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, it’s a must-watch for thriller fans.

Many Mexicans see the United States as the land of opportunity despite the best efforts of Donald Trump to deny them. But crossing the border can be harder than you would imagine. And in this case, what begins as a hopeful journey towards a better life becomes a journey of life or death for a bunch of Mexicans. A deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases the group of unarmed men and women through the harsh and

I.T. Mike Ryan (Pierce Brosnan) is a selfmade man who has it all: a gorgeous wife, a beautiful teenaged daughter and a sleek, state-of-the-art, smart home. However, just as his company is on the verge of sealing a deal that will change the face of aircraft leasing, Mike’s relationship with Ed Porter (James Frecheville), his IT consultant goes south. After this, Mike soon finds himself in a deadly, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse when Ed starts stalking his daughter and using technology to threaten his family, his business and his life. Don’t hold your breath for this one.

Bollywatch OPPAM Jayaraman (Mohanlal) is a blind but hard-working man who, despite his disability, has great sensory vision. And when his trusted friend and mentor, the retired Judge Krishnamoorthy, is found murdered in his flat, he is soon the prime suspect for the gruesome murder. Jayaraman must now recollect his final moments with his friend, and also the intricate details from the night of the murder to help solve the case. This tie-up between Mohanlal and director Priyadarshan takes us back to the good old days of Malayalam cinema, and is a must-watch.

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NATION Presented by

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fter the fantastic success of last year’s first-of-its-kind art event, Portrait By A Nation is back, bringing the children of the Sultanate together to mark 46 glorious years under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said. Building on the historical inaugural event, 2016’s instalment is set to be a much bigger competition, taking place in cities across the country, including Sur, Nizwa, Sohar and Salalah, as well as the capital. Children from all regions in Oman will be given the opportunity to display their creativity as they paint or decorate a printed canvas of His Majesty in any way they wish as they compete for huge cash prizes. Presented by Al Mouj Muscat, powered by Shell Oman Marketing, and with associate sponsors A’Soud Global School, Atana Khasab, Atana Musandam, Burjeel Hospital

and IDdesign, the event will be held on November 4 and 5 in the interior regions and on November 11 and 12 at The Walk at Al Mouj Muscat. National Day is a special time in the Sultanate when everybody joins hands to commemorate the years of Renaissance and the road of evolution Oman has taken to become a nation that can proudly hold its own on the world stage. The progress and prosperity of the past 46 years has been achieved under the guidance of His Majesty The Sultan, who continues to lead the country with a steady, inspirational hand, and there is no better way to celebrate National Day than by creating a lasting tribute to our visionary leader. Last year’s competition attracted more than 1,200 entries from children across the country, who came together under one designated banner to create their portrait. Now in its OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441


third year, this year’s Portrait By A Nation could see numbers double as we celebrate this momentous milestone together. This year’s event will again be open to three age categories, each with prizes for first place, runner-up and second runner-up, giving children more chances to win. The age categories will be five to nine years old, 10 to 13 and 14 to 17. “Once again, we are very proud to present Y’s annual competition, Portrait By A Nation. The past two years of the competition have been a huge success and we have received an overwhelming response from many children across the Sultanate, all of them inspired by the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said,” says Felicity Glover, the managing editor of Y Magazine. “And we believe that the 46th National Day will be even more special.” At the end of the painting events, 46 finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges that includes representatives from our sponsors and Felicity. The finalists will then be invited to a special ceremony on November 18 to reveal the winners. The final 46 portraits will also be collated and spread onto a larger canvas that will act as a collage of the many faces of His Majesty, as seen through the eyes of the nation’s children. This larger piece of art will then be on public display for the duration of the country’s National Day celebrations. The art competition is a great chance for children to show their pride in the nation they call home and Y is encouraging as many children and parents as possible to get involved and support the initiative. Portrait By A Nation is a fantastic opportunity for children to display their creative prowess on a wide platform and to also show their love for the nation and express their gratitude to His Majesty The Sultan. Khaled Elwan, the cluster general manager of Atana Khasab and Atana Musandam, says: “Atana Khasab and Atana Musandam are proud Omani owned and operated hotels and we are delighted to be part of the Portrait By A Nation. “We firmly believe in honing the skills of the children as they are, after all, the future of the country. Oman is such a beautiful country made even more special with the outpouring of love of all to His Majesty. We look forward to seeing the creations of the children as they explore their creativity and individual expressions of how they see Sultan Qaboos, a

visionary leader who continues to shape the country to further success.” To take part, children need to register their interest and select the correct age category they will be entering. Entrants will be invited to take part in the event hosted by SABCO Media, Y Magazine’s parent company, at a designated venue depending on where they live. Apart from the cash prizes, participants in the five to nine year age group also stand a chance to win an art scholarship thanks to our associate sponsor, A’Soud Global School (AGS). The Sultan Qaboos Art Scholarship, which is provided by Al Najah Education, offers the winner a 50 per cent reduction in school fees at AGS – a saving of at least RO2,000. “AGS is delighted to be supporting the Portrait By A Nation campaign as an associate sponsor. As a leading British international preparatory and senior school, we know how important creative arts are to our children,” says Andrew Hurst, the headmaster of AGS. “As an associate sponsor and by offering an art scholarship, we hope that the real potential of a young child in Oman can be realised and that their talent is nurtured and developed to the highest level possible. Good luck to everyone!” he adds.

HOW TO TAKE PART Simply pick up a registration form from the following locations: • Y’s office in Seeb • A’Soud Global School in Seeb • OMRAN • IDDesign in Markaz Al Bahja Mall • Oman Automobile Association • Lulu in Darsait, Bausher, Sohar, Salalah, Nizwa • City Cinemas


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• Complete the form and post it in the drop box on site. You will also find a registration form on Y’s website at We will need various details, such as your name, age and contact number, to verify your registration and add you to the event. • Parents may complete the registration form – but remember: the children must complete the actual portrait. • Entry is restricted to children aged between five and 17 years. • There are three categories to enter: one for five to nine year olds, another for 10-13 year olds and a third category is open to teenagers aged from 14-17. • Only one entry per child. • Paints and other materials needed for the painting/decorating of the pre-printed canvas must be brought by the child to the event. • Y Magazine will supply the pre-printed canvases depicting His Majesty’s portrait used by the entrants. • Children selected to go forward for the painting event will be notified and must be free to attend on November 4-5 for all regional cities and November 11-12 for Muscat. • The judges’ decision is final.

TIPS FROM A WINNER CHRYSEL ANN DELOS SANTOS, 18, WAS THE RUNNER-UP IN THE SENIOR CATEGORY OF PORTRAIT BY A NATION 2015. HERE, SHE SHARES HER ADVICE TO FUTURE CONTESTANTS AND HOW THE EVENT HAS CHANGED HER LIFE I actually heard about Portrait By A Nation from my aunt who said that it was to become the first event of its kind in Salalah. It was also my first time at an art exhibition where there were many contestants. You could say that it was my first-ever competition. “I had quite a lot of experience in art during that time, as I began painting when I was 13 but I was still extremely nervous at that time despite being excited to take part in the event at that time. “But it was only after the event that I learned that it was an experience to cherish beyond anything. I learned that the event helped me meet new people and make new friends. “Of course, because it is a new environment, so many would be tense and perhaps not be able to produce what they were capable of because of that. I just want to tell this year’s contestants that there’s no point going through any form of pressure. It’s all part of the learning experience. “Even if you don’t win, you’re going to take home a lot of new experiences. For me, taking home the runner’s-up position changed the way I approach certain things. I am more confident as well as more motivated in my art now. Also, winning the competition has made my parents believe more in my talents and because of that, they are now extremely supportive of my artwork.”

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jali Zed k & Me l a o i a y Bo alush hain But CEO, M quel al B ha uty Dep apher: S r g o t o Ph

i ush Bal anker l a b lushi er, an Em ect manag uel al Ba Proj Shaq pher: a r g o Phot


Every picture tells a story, and here Y casts the spotlight on some of the Sultanate’s most successful and talented women

i lush l Baher a ushi a Sar Art teac el al Bal u Shaq her: p a r hotog



ani abh N l r a a playe midi FatmTennis stafa Ha u M her: ograp t o h P


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he is ambitious, she is driven and she is on top of her game. But that is just what her portfolio says. As she looks into the lens of the camera, it is evident she is more than what her image suggests. It becomes clear she is motivated: she has a vision and a goal, both of which are not only aimed at making her and her family proud of her but also to show the whole country what she can do. In the process, she will craft a sense of achievement in the minds of those following in her footsteps. This, she believes, will set afoot a new generation of youth, which will create its own waves and etch names into the history books. Having just celebrated Omani Women’s Day last Monday – a landmark day for Omani women, although the whole month is dedicated to women in the Sultanate – we turn the spotlight to a few of those women who have embarked on journeys across various paths, from CEOs to artists and sportswomen, all united by one thing – the belief to succeed and make a difference for their country.

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IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS Staying in touch with family back home is important, especially for grandparents wanting to be involved in the daily lives of their expat grandchildren


randparents have special relationships with their grandchildren, of that there is no doubt. Whether they are a couple of hours’ drive away or a flight half way across the world, distance doesn’t dissolve this bond. Life as an expat can be an amazing experience for families but leaving behind our loved ones can be difficult. There’s so much to consider, such as the distance, different time zones and feeling disconnected. At a time when grandparents are winding down and perhaps even retiring, one of the things they look forward to is having the time to bond with their grandchildren. But when your grandchildren are expats and living so far away, it can be hard to maintain those special bonds and be a part of their everyday lives. “I have to say that I have missed my parents being a part of my daughter’s life,” says one Muscatbased expat mum, who did not wish to be named. “And my mother was devastated when she couldn’t be there for the birth of her granddaughter as she came earlier than expected and she couldn’t change her flight bookings. “It took us a while to figure out how to strengthen the bond between them. But in between visits to us and trips home, we relied on weekly phone calls, in which they’d talk for hours, and lots of cards. “My mum has passed away now but I know that she and my daughter were very close – and my daughter has some wonderful memories of her grandmother that even her cousins at home didn’t experience.” While Grandparents Day is celebrated at various times of the year around the world, here at Y, we think grandparents and families shouldn’t have to limit the celebration to just one day of the year. Here are five fun ideas for staying in touch with family, no matter how near or how far they live.


Play games online together

Technology can be a wonderful way for different generations to connect long-distance. Beyond phone and video calls, why not schedule time for grandkids and grandparents to play virtually? There are numerous programs that let players in different locations challenge each other to cards, checkers, chess and more. Interactive sketching apps make drawing or playing tic-tac-toe a breeze from two locations. A little play can make everyone’s day.

Schedule weekly phone calls

Making a weekly phone date ensures everyone stays in touch. Longdistance phone calls are easy and budget-friendly when you use an affordable mobile phone provider.

Read a book together

The written word has a way of bringing people together. Pull up video calling for the whole family to read a goodnight story together. Older kids can select a series of interests with their grandparents and read at the same time, meeting each week via a video or phone for a discussion. Perhaps grandma or grandpa can start by suggesting their childhood favourite, and family members can take turns selecting books from there.

Pen pal exchanges

In a digital world, it’s rare to receive letters. However, kids love to get mail so why not start a pen pal exchange? Small kids can colour pictures while big kids can practise penmanship and writing skills. Grandparents and grandkids alike will love receiving fun surprises in the mail from each other. Strive to send items once a week so everyone has something to look forward to.

Video performances

If you cannot connect in-person but the kids and grandkids want to show off their talents, try a video performance! Whether it’s demonstrating the year’s dance recital choreography, practising a new tune on the piano, or acting out a fun play, kids will enjoy showing off and grandparents will feel extra-loved. Hit the “record” feature and send grandparents the file afterwards so they can revisit any time they’re missing the grandkids. * BPT

My mum has passed away now but I know that she and my daughter were very close – and my daughter has some wonderful memories of her grandmother that even her cousins at home didn’t experience.

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New Restaurant



Serve up some healthy Halloween treats, such as cooling watermelon, to counter the sugar rush.


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Gouge out some ghoulish grins in this healthy fruit for Halloween


pooky, silly or symbolic; carved pumpkins are an essential ingredient to any Halloween celebration. However, this year why not scare up some special fun for your party with a wicked watermelon carving instead? After crafting your watermelon into an artful effigy, take advantage of the healthy, immune system-supporting qualities of this lycopene leader among fresh produce. At 92 per cent water, as well as an excellent source of vitamins A and C, watermelon is a hydrating post-art snack. Carving a creative design into a watermelon is a simple way to kick off the festivities, and requires only a handful of common tools. Add a twinkling candle to make a fantastically frightful centrepiece or fill it with a fresh fruit salad or salsas for a more functional, practical approach. Find more recipes, carving patterns and inspiration at – Family Features

Choosing a Watermelon

With a thick rind covering the fruit inside, you may wonder how to choose the best watermelon at the market. Here are some tips for picking the perfect one: • Look it over. Look for a round, oval or oblong shaped watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents • Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. On average, a 454g watermelon yields 15 cups of edible fruit • Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun

Watermelon Mummy

Supplies and Tools: § Oval or round seedless watermelon § Cutting board § Kitchen knife § Small bowl § Dry erase marker § Paring knife § Melon baller, fluted or regular § Scoop § Assorted peelers § Cheesecloth

§ Straight pin § Battery-operated candle or light § Candy eyeballs or blueberries Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry. On a cutting board, place the watermelon on its side and use a kitchen knife to cut off 0.5cm to 1.25cm from the bottom (end opposite stem) while taking care to avoid cutting too deep into the white part of the rind. Cut 1.25cm to 2cm from the stem end to create an opening

Frosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls Servings: 35-40 Ingredients: § 1 small watermelon 1 package (85g) watermelon or other red flavour gelatin dessert Method: § Using a melon baller, scoop out 35-40 small watermelon balls. Place on paper towels and set aside. § Pour the gelatin into a shallow bowl. One-by-one, gently drop watermelon balls into a bowl, roll around, take out and place on a plate covered with a paper towel. Repeat until all the gelatin is used. § Place the plate of frosted watermelon balls into the freezer. Allow at least two large enough to fit a small bowl. Using a dry erase marker, draw eyes, nose and a mouth, along with wavy slits around the carving to let more light flow through. Use a paring knife to cut out the design, being sure to cut through to the red fruit. Use a fluted or regular melon baller to hollow out the inside of the watermelon. Use a scoop to remove excess watermelon. Peel the green rind off outside the watermelon. (Tip: Different peelers work

hours to make sure they are completely frozen. Remove from the freezer and let them sit for a few minutes before eating. Note: To serve with toothpicks, place these in before freezing to help in serving.

well for different parts of the watermelon, depending on how flat or round the melon is). Wrap thin strips of cheesecloth around the effigy carving and secure with a straight pin, if needed. Put a battery-operated candle or light into the carving. Fit a small bowl into the top of the carving and trim away the excess rind to make the bowl fit securely. Fill the bowl with melon balls and attach sweets or blueberries to make eyes with.

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Tr e n d

New Restaurant

Midket r Ma


Info Box


Oman Avenues Mall, Baushar Tel: 2200 9812 Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 10:30pm Dinner for two: RO27


Verdict : 10/10 SERVICE 8/10 FOOD 8/10 AMBIENCE Excellent food with service to complement. Y Magazine reviews anonymously and pays for its meals



ost of Y’s readers will already know that I’m quite the regular around the malls of Oman. I enjoy spending my weekends wandering around them, window shopping and exploring new outlets to shop in. And it was during one such outing when I stumbled upon Ruby Tuesday, a casual dining eatery at the Oman Avenues Mall. However, because I wasn’t very hungry that day, I didn’t hop on board for a meal. And of course, over time I grew to ignore the outlet, and found myself walking past it. But then this week, the boss proposed that I take my brother – who is on a short break in Oman – for a spot of dinner at this very restaurant. So without much haste, and with quite an appetite after a long day’s work, we headed there for a late dinner. Tucked into the far corner of the mall, Ruby Tuesday is nestled next to famous names such as The Great Kabab Factory and the Zen Asian Bistro. We headed there at 9.45pm – only half an hour before it closes – but the waiters were delighted to serve us. We were the only ones at the outlet so we decided to enjoy the view and opt for the seating outside. The waiter arrived promptly with our food and drinks menus, which I found to be really diligent. The menu itself was quite elaborate, with choices ranging from a good deal of starters, pastas, burgers and steaks, as well as ribs. The waiter also helped us with the drinks menu, which offered everything from mocktails to milk shakes. Meanwhile, he also graciously handed us the chef ’s special: garlic and cheese biscuits, which were on the house. The biscuits were freshly baked and quite delicious albeit not as crunchy as I had expected but they were definitely a good way to start our meal. 030

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For starters, I was in half a mind to order the fish strips or shrimp fondue but owing to my brother’s request, we decided to settle for the Buffalo Chicken Tenders instead. For the main course, I opted for a Smokehouse Burger and my brother, an Avocado Grilled Chicken Sandwich. We also ordered a pitcher of Cocktail Supreme, which looked quite stunning on the menu. To my surprise, it only took five minutes for our starters and the drink to arrive. To sum up our Buffalo Chicken Tenders, they were absolutely fantastic. The portions were extremely generous, and we got four slices of golden-crusted chicken beautifully garnished in spicy and hot Cajun sauce and panko breading. The chicken was melt-in-the-mouth tender, and the sauce was tangy and spicy. The tanginess made my nose burn ever so slightly, just to make me aware of how spicy the chicken really was. Meanwhile, the accompanying drink was served to us beautifully in two glasses from a pitcher. The base for the drink was apple juice garnished with slices of red and green apples, lemons, and tinted ever-so-slightly with a hint of passion fruit. The drink was then mixed with Perrier water. The beverage was extremely rejuvenating after my long day, and my brother found himself topping up the drink constantly. It was that amazing! The burger and the sandwich were the next to follow. My brother dug into his sandwich and fries with ease but I found myself struggling with my burger due to its sheer size. The sandwich essentially comprised a grilled chicken patty with Swiss cheese, beef bacon and sliced avocado. He immediately gave the

sandwich the thumbs up, and said that the avocado added a “nice punch” to the sandwich. He also found the bread to be very soft and tasty. My smokehouse burger, in true American style was large, complete with a ground beef patty, cheddar and Swiss cheese, beef bacon, tangy barbecue sauce with tomatoes and crispy onion rings. Overall, the burger tasted amazing: the beef patty was extremely consistent with excellent flavour, and the beef bacon accentuated the crunchy onion rings very well. The freshly-cut fries were also very crunchy. My brother said it felt very “natural”, as opposed to the frozen cut fries available at other burger joints. Finally, we asked for two strawberry cheesecakes for dessert. The waiter brought them out immediately, and explained to us how the cheesecakes come prepared from one of their outlets in the United States. They definitely tasted good, with just the right amount of flavour and consistency. The base was crunchy, adding to the experience. After this, the waiter even stood beside us and indulged in small talk. He was more than happy to say where he came from, and told us interesting facts about his hometown (Chennai, India) that we asked him for places we could visit if we were to tour there. Our conversation lasted well until the closing hours, after which we paid the bill, and headed out of the mall, tummies full and taste buds thoroughly satisfied. Aah, good times! Do you have a favourite restaurant that you’d like to see reviewed? Let Y know at


24/7 /yTaBLoID




sCaN Our Qr CODEs WITH aNY Qr rEaDEr aPP


GHOULISH GLAM Halloween is a fun, festive

celebration, especially when it’s time to put your outfit together. By adding a few accessories you’ll be ready for a fun Halloween party, such as this ensemble from Primark.


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k o o L e h

, reet look t s igh t the h e th to ge o t nd s you e h lp g e hi jali he h t d Fromin al Za Fat

T t Ge

Now that the weather is cooling down, this embellished leather jacket from Accessorize is a fun goth touch. From RO30

This chic peep-shoulder jumpsuit from River Island will add a glamorous touch to your Halloween weekend. From RO20

Halloween is about costume jewellery and accessories, like this funky tiara from Accessorize. From RO5

Add some sparkle to your night in this fun jumpsuit from M&Co. From RO8.5

A “chandelier” choker from New Look is an elegant yet gothic statement. From RO4

This “It’s a Fright Night” tote from New Look is perfect for your evening essentials. From RO5

For the final touch, peep-toe strappy sandals from Steve Madden completes your look. Check the store for prices

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Health Fashion

TRANSITION TIME Five beauty tips to take you from summer to autumn


s the sunny days and sizzling heat of summer have come to an end, it’s time to change to a new hair and beauty routine. The shifting seasons can be the perfect time to try a new trend, and there are plenty of style tricks that will help you gradually change your look. Our favourite style experts share valuable tips here for men and women to help you take your look to the next level. 1. Take a day of TLC After hours under the sun, spend a day pampering your skin. Use a sugar or salt scrub to get rid of rough patches, impurities and lingering dead skin cells. Then, use a scented body wash like Caress Mystic Forever bodywash to seal in moisture. The American plus-size model Denise Bidot is a fan. She says: “There is nothing more attractive


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than soft skin and good fragrance. I love how the scent is released hours after I use it.” The fragrance touch technology in the bodywash releases bursts of iris and amber scent throughout the day.

oil-free. After that, moisturise and prime your face before putting on make-up.

2. Embrace your confidence The transition period between summer and autumn is a great time to re-energise. Men can up their game by changing deodorants. AXE Adrenaline Dry Spray Antiperspirant leaves no visible residue and will help guys take on their day with the long-lasting fragrance of fresh, green woods.

4. Give your hair an intensive treatment The elements can be hard on your hair but you can fight the damage with a coconut oil treatment. Celebrity hairstylist Leonardo Rocco recommends using a repairing oil, like Suave Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Oil Treatment, to bring your strands back to life. Rocco says: “In the shower, put a few drops into your hands, rub them together and apply it to your hair from the middle to the ends. Leave in for three minutes, rinse and style as usual.”

3. Start with a blank canvas Before you begin your beauty routine for the day, make sure your entire face is clean. Iris Beilin, the YouTube beauty guru, uses cleansing wipes like Pond’s Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes, to make sure her face is both dirt and

5. Deepen your colour palette Swap your gold, nude and bronze shades for a colour palette more suitable for the autumn season. Rich shades of plum pair well with matte textures and add warmth when you’re getting ready on those cooler autumn mornings. – BPT





Regular eye tests can detect defects in your child’s vision, and avoid serious problems later


onitoring the continual health of your child’s eyesight is a must for any parent. However, until a problem arises, we often ignore this vital part of our children’s well-being. The importance of diagnosing vision problems at an early age has been stressed by numerous studies in recent years. Many parents often assume that an optometrist’s examination is taken on by their children’s school system. However, in many countries, a number of school-age children have vision problems that – if untreated – could affect their learning ability, personality and behavioural development, and, ultimately, could lead to blindness. While it’s true that schools may provide vision screenings for younger children, one study found that even if a child were to fail such an exam, 50 per cent of parents were unaware of the failure two months after the screening. Furthermore, these screenings do not adequately test for prevalent vision disorders such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes)

or significant refractive error. Such disorders can, if left untreated, have an economic impact, too – children’s vision disorders cost an estimated US$10 billion (RO3.8m) annually in the United States alone. These issues could be addressed earlier if children were given comprehensive eye examinations, and the sooner they are identified, the better. A recent study from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the US evaluated the status of vision in the US health care system. It recommended comprehensive eye exams as the “gold standard” in identifying potential vision disorders for pre-school children – even though this is something only US three states currently require of their school systems. Moreover, research has shown that, of children in the nine-to-15 age group, only 10 per cent who needed spectacles actually had them. Regardless of whether or not your local schools require eye exams before entry into kindergarten, your child deserves to start school without any unnecessary hurdles to academic success. One eye exam could change your child’s academic

future forever. In the meantime, watch for these signs that your child may benefit from glasses, and schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. • Squinting is a classic symptom of either nearsightedness (not seeing well far away) or farsightedness (not seeing well up close). • Closing one eye to see better could indicate a structural problem like astigmatism. • Eye rubbing may be the result of eye strain. • Sitting too close to the television or lowering the head while reading a book are signs of nearsightedness. • Losing your place while reading due to skipping lines may mean there is an eye muscle problem or vision problem, such as a stigmatism. • Frequent headaches or brow aches are often a result of uncorrected farsightedness. Find more information about the importance of early eye exams for children at * Family Features OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441


GRAB IT BEFORE IT’S GONE GET YOUR FREE COPY OF Y AT THE FOLLOWING DISTRIBUTION POINTS… Capital Region Azaiba • Amara Dermatology Clinic • Audi showroom • Bentley showroom • Costa Coffee • Al Fair • Jaguar Showroom • Jeep Showroom • Al Maha Petrol Station • Mazda showroom • McDonald’s • Mitsubishi Showroom • Oman Arab Bank • Oman Oil Petrol Station • Peugeot Showroom • Range Rover Showroom • Sayarti Auto Care • Shell Select • Skoda Showroom • The Sultan Center • Volkswagen showroom • Volvo Showroom • Yamaha Showroom Bawshar • College of Banking and Financial Studies • Dolphin Village • Modern College of Business and Science • Muscat College • Muscat Private Hospital (Emergency and Outpatients) • Oman Medical College CBD • Al Maya Hypermarket • Alizz Islamic Bank • Bahwan Travel Agencies • Bank Sohar • Copper Chimney Restaurant • Costa Coffee • HSBC • Lama Polyclinic • NBO • Oman Arab Bank • Standard Chartered Bank • Woodlands Restaurant Darsait • Indian Social Club • Khimji’s Mart

KIMS Oman Hospital • LuLu Hypermarket • Muscat Bakery • Shell Petrol Station Al Falaj/Rex Road • Al Falaj Hotel • Badr Al Samaa Hospital • Golden Oryx Restaurant • Kamat Restaurant • Toshiba Showroom Ghala • National Mineral Water Ghubra • Al Hayat International Hospital • Al Maya Hypermarket • Bank of Beirut • Costa Coffee • Crêpe Café • GMC Showroom • LuLu Hypermarket • Moka & More • Oman Oil Petrol Station • Park Inn • Porsche Showroom • Al Raffah Hospital • Stationery Hut • The Chedi Muscat Al Hail • Burger King • Caledonian College of Engineering • Markaz Al Bahja Mall • McDonald’s • Omantel • Starcare Hospital Al Khoudh • Al Fair • Badr Al Samaa Hospital • Pizza Hut Al Khuwair • Badr Al Samaa Hospital • Bait Al Reem Mall • Caffè Vergnano • Centrepoint (Splash) • Diplomatic Club • Grand Hyatt Muscat • Harley-Davidson Showroom • HSBC • KFC • Khimji’s Mart • Khimji’s Watches • KM Trading • Landmark Group

• • •

McDonald’s Muscat Bakery Oman Bowling Center • Oman Oil Petrol Station • Oman United Insurance • Omran • Pizza Hut • Radisson Blu • Shell Petrol Station • TGI Friday’s • The Great Kabab Factory • The Tikka Place • Zahara Travel • Zakher Mall Mabela • Gulf College Oman Mawalah • Chili’s Restaurant • Costa Coffee • Al Makan Café • The Noodle House • Starbucks • Tim Hortons • VLCC Wellness MBD • Bank Dhofar • Centrepoint (Splash) • Khimji’s Mart • NBO • Oman Oil Petrol Station • Pizza Hut • Pizza Muscat • Shell Petrol Station MGM • Caribou Coffee • Gloria Jean’s Coffees • Just Falafel • Ooredoo • Paul • Tim Hortons Al Mina • Bait Al Baranda • Bait Al Zubair MQ • Al Fair • Arab Open University • British Council • Costa Coffee • D’Arcy’s Kitchen • Hana’s Slimming & Skincare Centre • Kargeen Caffe • KFC • MacKenzies Café & Deli • Mood Café • Oman Oil Petrol Station • Papa John’s Pizza

• •

Pizza Hut Saharz Beauty Salon • Starbucks Al Murtafa’a • Bank Muscat • KFC • Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club Muscat International Airport • Caribou Coffee • Majan Lounge • Plaza Premium Lounge Mussanah • Millennium Resort Muttrah • Shell Petrol Station Qantab • Al Bustan Palace • Marina Bandar Al Rowdha • Oman Dive Center • Shangri-La Qurum • Al Araimi Complex • Balance Health & Fitness • Bank Nizwa • BMW showroom • Burger King • Chili’s Restaurant • Crowne Plaza • Finland Eye Center • Fun Zone • Gloria Jean’s Coffees • The Jungle Restaurant • Left Bank • McDonald’s • Mercedes-Benz Showroom • Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant • Nandos • Nissan Showroom • Oman Oil Petrol Station • Pizza Hut • Qurum Commercial Complex • Ras Al Hamra Club • SABCO Centre • Second Cup • Starbucks • The Sultan Center • Tche Tche Café Rusayl • Knowledge Oasis Muscat -1 • Knowledge Oasis Muscat -2 • Knowledge Oasis Muscat -3

Knowledge Oasis Muscat -4 (ITA) • Middle East College • Omantel • Waljat College of Applied Sciences Ruwi • Apollo Medical Centre • Kamat Restaurant • KFC • Khimji’s Mega Store – Swarovski Showroom • Khimji’s Watches • KM Trading • Oman Air • Oman UAE Exchange • Oman Trading Establishment • Saravana Bhavan Sarooj • Al Fair • Al Masa Mall • City Cinema • Ayana Spa • Cosmeclic • Emirates Medical Center • McDonald’s • Shell Petrol Station • VLCC Wellness Sawadi • Al Sawadi Beach Resort Seeb • Golden Tulip Hotel • McDonald’s Shatti Al Qurum • Bareeq Al Shatti Complex • Caribou Coffee • D’Arcy’s Kitchen • German Eye Centre • The Indus Restaurant • InterContinental Hotel Muscat • Jawharat Al Shatti Complex • Kaya Skin Clinic • Muscat Eye Laser Center • Oasis By The Sea • Second Cup • Starbucks • VLCC Wellness Sifah • Sifawy Boutique Hotel SQU • Diplomatic Club • College of Economics and

Political Science Students Banking Area • Reception/ Canteen Wadi Kabir • Al Maya Hypermarket • LuLu Hypermarket • Muscat Pharmacy • National Hospitality Institute • Pizza Hut • Shell Petrol Station Wattayah • Ahli Bank • Best cars • BLS International Services • Chevorlet/GM showroom • Ford Showroom • Hatat House • Honda Showroom • Hyundai showroom • Kia Showroom • Lexus Showroom • National Travel & Tourism • Passage To India Restaurant • Shell Petrol Station • Subaru showroom • Suzuki Showroom • Toyota Showroom The Wave • Almouj Golf • Costa Coffee • Oman Sail • Shakespeare & Co. • The Wave Head Office •

Other Regions Barka • Al Nahda Spa and Resort • LuLu Hypermarket Nizwa • University of Nizwa Sohar • Centrepoint (Splash) • Crowne Plaza • National Gift Markets • Ooredoo • Pizza Hut • Safeer Mall • Sohar Beach Hotel • Sohar Port and Freezone • Sohar University


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D E S T I N AT I O N P o s t c a r d s f r o m

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is known for its amazing trekking paths, which are perfect for a quick cardio session. I started my drive there at my usual time of 4am, just before sunrise. But driving there was quite easy. You can take the main road to Al Amerat and head out through the exit where the board says “Samkat”. From there you simply follow the path until you see a chicken slaughterhouse, which is the landmark. So I parked my car there and limbered up with my camera, bags and a bottle of water and decided to start running, with the aim of reaching the foothills of the red mountains in a few minutes. However, it turned out not to be. I found myself gasping for breath in a mere five minutes. I quickly blamed it all on the gear and my falling stamina, and decided to walk up instead. As you walk the path, you can see that the gradient slowly changes from a smooth road to a rocky one as you approach the foothills of the mountains. This is perfect for adventurers as you can head there with your mountain bikes or even your trekking gear to get your daily dose of cardio

exercises. I was so exhausted I could hardly hear my heart beating. I was thoroughly exhausted now, and slowed down my pace to gather a few pictures of the surroundings. As you get near the foothills, you begin to realise how beautiful the area actually is. There are some stunning rock forms here from earlier landslides as well as trees that look like they were covered in snow. The entire area looks as if it is covered in a layer of white dust. The rays of the sun refract from this white dust to give passers-by an illusion of the mountains being red. It all seemed like a page out of an alpine travel catalog from Switzerland, sans the snow, obviously. I quickly ranked it as one of my favourite spots to trek, and probably even to camp overnight. As for trekking, I particularly liked this place because it is isolated from everyone and everything. There aren’t any people, cars or even the regular urban hustle and bustle. And just as I settled in for a short break, I saw the morning sun gleaming across the rocks. Suddenly, I realised that despite being alone I was in the company of Mother Nature. And boy, she never fails to amaze me.



f you are an avid follower of this page, you will have read of my recent overnight camping trip to Al Khadda beach with my friends, which resulted in some spectacular photographs (all credit to Mother Nature). As a photographer, I found the area to be an absolute paradise, providing me with some much-needed pictures for the magazine as well as time out from my daily routine. And beating my last destination, Al Khadda, was going to be quite difficult so I had to put a lot of thought into where I would be heading this week. But that’s when I remembered: back when I was young and in school, my friends and I used to stare at what we called the “red mountains” from our classroom window. That was probably two decades ago but because I still stay at Al Amerat, I get the opportunity to wake up to the scenery of the beautiful mountains stretching across the morning sky. Despite that, I have also never been there. Therefore, I made up my mind that this would be my location for scouting this week. I also had an ulterior motive for going there: to have a long morning workout. One of my buddies had told me that Samkat

From Muscat, take the main road to Al Amerat and then take the exit when you see the sign for Samkat. Keep an eye out for the chicken slaughterhouse, which is your marker that you are in the right place

GPS location: N23°17’38.8” E58°31’35.6”

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SETTING SAIL This year sees the silver anniversary of the longest offshore sailing race in the region. Anchors aweigh!


t’s the longest offshore sailing race in the region, and this year, the Dubai to Muscat Race is promising to be even bigger, with 2016 marking its 25th anniversary. Launched in 1992, the Dubai to Muscat Race started out as a small event that has grown over the years. Now officially recognised by the UK-based Royal Ocean Racing Club, it’s a 360-nautical mile challenge that now attracts some of the region’s best sailors. Starting out from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club in Dubai on November 10, the race will head up past the Northern Emirates, through the sparkling blue waters of Musandam and the Strait of Hormuz, then head south through the Gulf of Oman and on to the finishing line at Al Mouj Marina, where crowds of sailing fans are expected to cheer on the winners. “The race is scheduled for five days and ends on November 14,” says David Worrall, the co-ordinator of the Sailing and Rowing Federation of the UAE. Worrall, who is the Dubai to Muscat Race defending champion and is hoping the broken mast on his boat is fixed in time for the November 10 start date, adds that Oman Sail will have two boats competing in the race this year. “The first boat is Renaissance and will be skippered by the Omani champion sailor Fahad al Hasni, who regularly sails in the professional Oman Sail racing team worldwide,” he says.


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“The second boat is EFG Bank Monaco, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, with a team of professional sailors from the Oman Sail stable.” The race will include a mixed fleet of various types of sailing boats, including 60-foot ocean race boats that have competed in the Volvo Round the World Race. Worrall, a veteran of the race, says the competitors will face many challenges. “Offshore sailing is a marathon and not a sprint,” he says. “So staying focused and alert the whole way is a challenge: some 100 hours, managing food, rest and sleep. Staying alert at 3am is a challenge as well, as is managing the whole shift system on board; usually three hours on, three hours off with two teams of crew sailing separately.” But staying awake and alert are not the only challenges. Worrall adds that there is also the racing element to take into account, such as making the best boat speed in all types of wind and weather conditions. “Sailing the correct course to optimise the breeze varies enormously hour

by hour because of the shoreline effects and the impact of the mountains, and changing sails to best suit the conditions,” he says. “Then there are the surprise elements: the fishing nets and pots, fishing boats, smugglers, pirates, huge oil tankers and military ships, severe weather events, rocks and other hazards. All of this while looking after the health of the crew, avoiding injuries and being prepared to fix any breakage on the boat.” Organised by the Sailing and Rowing Federation of the UAE in association with Oman’s Ministry of Sports Affairs, the fleet for this year’s race is the biggest ever, with more than 30 boats expected to take part. The boats will be racing in different divisions of similar speeds but they will also be competing for the overall prize: the coveted Sohar Sailing Trophy. While it’s hard to predict, Worrall says the first boats are expected to enter Al Mouj Marina from Saturday, November 12 – and sailing fans are welcome to cheer them on.

Get involved: Some boats are still looking for crew to take part in the race. If you are interested, email the race organisers at coordinator@ or Previous sailing experience is required for those looking to participate, while good offshore sailing knowledge is preferred.

Follow the race Go to to track the race in real time. This will go live on November 3, while you will also find a link to an app that will allow you to follow all the action of the race from your smartphone. For more details, go to OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441



TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO: 1. Bask in the magnificence of La Scala’s impressive auditorium 2. Walk on the roof top of the Duomo to enjoy panoramic views of the city 3. Check out the trendy Navigli district with its Da Vinci-designed canals, and plethora of buzzing cafes 4. View Da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper 5. Take a train to Varenna, on Lake Como, and catch a ferry to Bellagio


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The northern Italian city is so much more than football and fashion, and offers visitors a rich cultural experience like no other.






Kevin McIndoe recommends


t’s probably the only place in the world where you can pay €750 (RO316 ) for a pair of jeans. But Milan means so much more than just fashion and football. This Lombardy city is often overlooked in favour of Rome, Florence, Verona or Venice. However, it boasts some of Italy’s most exciting and contemporary art and isn’t any harder on your pocket than most other major cities in Europe. As the country’s second city, it is undeniably its engine-room, and amid Milan’s noble history, beatific charm and inescapable elan is a dynamic population working in industry, the arts, fashion, finance and food. And talking of food, Italian fare is there to be imbibed; in traditional trattoria, funky bistros or swanky restaurants. You can enjoy real risotto (yellow, with saffron), cotoletta (a breaded veal chop fried in butter) or even some panettone (a bread and butter pudding). And of course, coffee here is unsurpassable, and cheap, too. You don’t buy it in polystyrene cups here. Italy’s timelessly elegant lake district is also within easy reach. An hour’s train ride from the city’s majestic Milano Centrale railway station can take you up to picturesque towns alongside Lake Como or Lake Maggiore, where multi-hued Belle Epoque-era villas abound, and labyrinths of narrow, cobbled (and steep) streets will lead you to some delightful shops and cafes. To get there, Oman Air offers flights to Milan, and the flight takes about 7hours and 15 minutes from Muscat.



My favourite place

For me, La Scala, the world’s most famous opera house. If you haven’t dug deep for a box for that night’s performance, you can buy a ticket (€7) that will admit you to the magnificent 18th-century auditorium and also to an enchanting museum that includes paintings of legendary composers, singer and directors, such as Verdi, Callas and Zeffirelli, montages of legendary performances as well as information boards, instruments, actual scores and stage costumes. You will view the auditorium from a box from which you can take pictures and, if you’re lucky, watch an orchestra in the early stages of rehearsal. Make sure you don’t use flash though or a Mussolini-like usher will (quite rightly) tell you off !


Obviously, the Duomo. And it’s not hard to see why it took nearly 500 years to finish. The cathedral is a marble, neo-Gothic wonder that boasts 135 spires, more than 3,000 statues and gargolyes, with the venerable, gold-plated La Madonnina bestriding the main spire. Inside, you’ll find the most translucent and intricate stainedglass windows you’ve ever seen. A stroll on the roof of the cathedral simply can’t be missed, and you can take the lift if 166 steps are a bit much for you. To the left of the Duomo, in the Piazza del Duomo, you can saunter into the Victorian-era Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II. It’s a shopping arcade that exudes elegance, and opened in 1877. A 10-minute walk in a north-easterly direction from the Duomo will bring you to Via Montenapoleone, in the fashion district. Yes, if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it; as they say. However, for fashionistas, the few displays that do add a price tag make window-shopping fun. If you do go in, you better know your stuff. The girls and guys on the door may look like models moonlighting between catwalk jobs but they have the defenestration skills of the Mafia. For an understanding of the city’s heritage, visit the stately Castello Sforzesco. Built in the Renaissance era, the castle is now a cultural centre with several fine museums including the Museum of Musical Instruments. For some fresh air, the Parco Sempione lies just behind the castle, and offers a lush and landmark-strewn expanse to chill out in.


Lowlights Taxis are not always so easy to get, even at places where you would expect to find them. Drivers will also charge you from the time taken to reach you; NOT from the time you get in. However, you can download Uber for use here. To view Da Vinci’s The Last Supper masterpiece in the monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie you must book online weeks, maybe months, in advance, and may have to do so as part of a guided tour. Prices can range from €12 to €40. Souvenirs Unlike in most European cities, there are (thankfully) far fewer kiosks offering the usual, overpriced assortment of tack. Around the Piazza Duomo, you can find shops selling good-quality, eclectic artefacts and costume jewellery.



Where to stay

Milan is the “office” of Italy, so hotels tend to fill up quickly and can be expensive if not booked in advance. I stayed in a funky apartment hotel, the Zambala Luxury Residence (at a very reasonable price) in the congenial Porta Romana area – five minutes’ walk from both a rail and a subway station. OCT 20 - 26 / ISSUE 441




D e s t i n at i o n





Halloween is all about fun, sweets, costumes and scary themes — including turning your home into a place of horror. Matthew Herbst checks out which gadgets are scary, creepy or just plain weird.

Just for the record, this isn’t an actual skull, it’s a 4 port USB hub and sweets holder designed to look like a skull. However, your co-workers don’t know that and you could tell them it’s the last guy who took your sandwich from the communal fridge. That’ll frighten them. At, from RO20.

FOGGING JACK If your sculpture skills aren’t up to scratch and the kids are embarrassed about a poorly-carved, poorly-lit pumpkin bursting into flames on the front terrace, why not save yourself and get the Fogging Jack O’ Lantern and keep it safe this Halloween? The eyes, nose and mouth light up and it will produce fog from a tank of water for hours. At www. hammacherschlemmer. com, from RO192.

LIGHTSHOW Invest in the Whirl A Motion Witches and Cats projection light Lightshow, and stun neighbours and fellow trick or treaters. Project the witches in motion on the front of your home to bring your Halloween themed home to life. It’s easy to set up, and just stakes into the ground. At, from RO11.50.





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INTO THE VORTEX If money is no object and you really want to pull out all the stops this year, then consider using this vortex tunnel as your entrance. The vortex rotates around a walking platform and includes trippy blacklights and illuminated artwork. And if you really want to brag then get the version that sports a 3D-printed fabric, which is viewed with glasses. At, from RO3,000.

NEW SENGLED PULSE SOLO All the visuals around your villa won’t be as effective unless you add some sound to frighten friends and family. Adding Halloweenthemed soundtracks is easy just by screwing in a light bulb, with the Sengled Pulse Solo. This dimmable LED light bulb has built-in Bluetooth speakers for easy music and sound effects, and screws into regular light bulb sockets to draw power. You can find the Sengled Pulse Solo in shopping malls around Muscat or at Amazon. com, from RO20.

App of the Week

HALLOWEEN! Halloween is a great all-in-one app, with a library of Halloween ringtones, wallpapers, costume ideas and trivia at your fingertips. It is also packed with a built-in countdown as well as a torch, perfect for trick or treating! www.itunes. com for free

BEHIND THE CURTAIN Showers can be invigorating but after experiencing a shower with the electronic serial killer curtain, you’ll never feel more awake. After hearing the Psycho theme music play as well as the screaming, you’ll feel lucky to get out alive. The audio clips are activated by both sound and motion and anyone in there will want to get out as fast as possible. At, from RO8.50. JULY OCT 03 20 -- 09 26 / ISSUE 327 441




Postcards from


With enduring driveability, this US staple keeps the customer satisfied and its German rivals at bay, finds Alvin Thomas


hink Cadillac: chances are, your mind immediately wanders back to the 1970s when the brand was known for producing stunning cruisers that could comfortably haul passengers from one end of the United States to the other. And that was indeed the selling point of early “Caddys”. However, fast-forward to the early 2000s and the brand went through quite a transformation. From nowhere, Cadillac came out with the CTS and the corresponding CTS-V super sedan: a sporty four-door car with stunning, angular looks and excellent driving dynamics, making the car perfect for tearing down the infamous Nurburgring racetrack, giving Ferraris and Maseratis a run for their money. Of course, that didn’t please the loyal Caddy boffins in the US. However, the brand has stuck to its new image and has garnered quite a lot of respect in the GCC market since the refresh. Now in its 12th year here, the carmaker currently serves the market with offerings such as the new ATS, ATS-V, CTS, CTS-V, XT5 and the Escalade. But recently, and without much fanfare, the company unveiled its new CT6 sedan in Oman and I have been aching to get behind its wheel ever since I learned of its existence here. There are two reasons why I think I particularly fancy the CT6. One: because it takes the brand back to its good old days of tailoring long cars for long hauls, and two: because it looks absolutely futuristic despite its proportions. The Cadillac CT6 aims to compete with cars such as the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class as well as the Audi A8, and for the most part it does


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so very well. But starting at RO25,000, I must say that the car sits much lower in the price bracket, meaning it competes with the likes of the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, at least in terms of pricing. Design-wise, however, the Cadillac CT6 has all the Germans covered. The car looks absolutely stunning, with its thin LED headlamps that swoop down, and the sharp angles that finish the bumpers and the bonnet. It’s all an angular affair. It also sits rather low and wide, making its oversized proportions look rather appealing. Despite being the standard version of the CT6, my tester also came with plenty of chrome on the doors, the door handles (which illuminate in blue), as well as 45cm comfort alloys. The inside is also a classy affair, with tonnes of leather covering almost every panel. They’re all soft to the touch too and very easy on the eye. My test car also received a brilliant 25cm touchscreen upfront that was loaded with Cadillac’s CUE system. The system controls everything from the air-conditioning to the vehicle settings. For once, I was pleased that the system was easy to use. Most carmakers cram their vehicles with incredibly difficult software that is almost impossible to use while driving. Cadillac’s system wins points over such systems. But if there’s a niggle, it would have to be the fiddly, touch-sensitive volume knob that didn’t register my finger at times. Powered by a capable 3.6-litre V6 from GM, my test car was more than just potent on the road. The engine pumps out a very respectable 321hp and 372Nm of torque, and is quite the workhorse hauling its 1.8-tonne body along. It hits the 100kph mark from a standstill in a mere seven seconds,

Y- F i C A R S

2016 Cadillac CT6 Specifications: Engine: 3.6-litre V6 engine Transmission: eight-speed automatic transmission Horsepower: 321hp Torque: 372Nm All-Wheel Drive Four wheel independent suspension 10-speaker Bose audio system with Bluetooth & iPod input Destination Guidance Cadillac CUE entertainment system LED headlamps and taillamps

which is almost close to the dealer-claimed 6.4 seconds. There is a slight lag to register the throttle upon hard acceleration but that could be partly due to the eight-speed automatic transmission’s unwillingness to thrust passengers around in the car. The transmission is incredibly smooth, and shifts are virtually undetectable. I didn’t push the car to its extremes this time since it was showroom-fresh with only 300km on the clock. But I did switch it into Sport mode to check out if it lived up to the CTS’s sporting pedigree. And joy of joys, it does. My test car didn’t come with the optional four-wheel steering function but it did take corners with quiet rigour. The CT6 handles extremely well for a car that spans 500cm in length. As a driver, you feel that the car warps very gently around you thus giving you a feeling that you’re driving a smaller car. Mind you, the ride is neither bone-jarringly hard nor does the car drift into corners. But what it does is to provide you with acres of confidence to take corners without making a fool of yourself, as well as keep your back seat passengers happy. Believe me, I tried to powerslide the car; it just won’t. That is also the case when you’re just cruising around the highways. Switch the car to Tour mode and you’ll be treated to a silky, smooth ride and almost 1970s Caddy levels of comfort. It becomes extremely civilised. The CT6 is a brilliant car, and it strives to make you feel really special. It looks good, it feels better and it drives brilliantly. You really can’t dislike this car. If you do, you’re probably looking at in the wrong way.

Y Magazine #441, October 19, 2016