Sooty Falcon in Oman

Oman is a destination for migratory birds during  Spring and Autumn. Some pass through, others like White Storks and Steppe Eagles overwinter in Oman using it as a food larder and return to breeding grounds to the north. But there are some that come to Oman and breed, and included in these are the Sooty Falcon, Falco concolor.

Sooty Falcon Falco concolor - Oman
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor – Oman

The Sooty Falcon is a medium-sized falcon with, as its name suggests, a colour that is a shade of grey, perhaps slate grey. It’s a relatively rare bird whose world population is estimated as 10,000 of which some 500 breed in Arabia. Though the bird was first studied in Oman in 1978 its only since 2007 that an in-depth analysis of this Falcon has taken place with core research undertaken from 2008-2014 by a team, including Waheed Al Fazari of Sultan Qaboos University and Dr Mike McGrady of International Avian Research.

Sooty Falcon Falco concolor nest - Oman
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor nest – Oman

The choice of nest location in Oman is ideal for the Falcon as they face Continue reading “Sooty Falcon in Oman”

Oman’ Roads are better than Britains says report

With a Tax spend towards car transport of GBPound33Billion the United Kingdom still lags behind countries in The Gulf in terms of their repair state

Muscat Nizwa Road Oman
Muscat Nizwa Road Oman

with the UAE rated as Continue reading “Oman’ Roads are better than Britains says report”

President Rouhani to visit Sultan Qaboos on Wednesday 15th February

Iran is rapidly become a key element in Oman’s economic and political future. On Wednesday 15th February 2017 Iranian President Rouhani will pay a brief visit to Sultan Qaboos in the morning before flying to Kuwait, which is the next chair of the GCC. Both Oman and Kuwait have important Shia Muslim populations, in Kuwait these are focused in business; my employer in Saudi whose family is Shia being perhaps the largest private company in Kuwait.

President Rouhani to visit Sultan Qaboos
President Rouhani to visit Sultan Qaboos

In Oman however Continue reading “President Rouhani to visit Sultan Qaboos on Wednesday 15th February”

Al Bustan Palace to have room closures during 2017

Oman’s Al Bustan Palace, though remaining open throughout 2017 will have restricted room bookings for 7 months. There will be limited number of rooms available from 1st March – 30th November 2017 and no room bookings at all between 1st May 30th September 2017.

Al Bustan Palace Announcement
Al Bustan Palace Announcement

This Oman government owned hotel last Continue reading “Al Bustan Palace to have room closures during 2017”

Omani dishdasha – the Five Approved Designs

Buying a souvenir of Oman can be problematic, with a key question ‘is it authentic’? However one area has been dealt with today. Oman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry have today issued details to support a Ministerial Decision issued last year.

Omani Dishdasha
Omani Dishdasha

You can Continue reading “Omani dishdasha – the Five Approved Designs”

Oman Budget 2017

The Oman government has published the Budget for 2017. Not unexpectedly, given the country’s reliance on oil, it shows a substantial deficit which is anticipated to be 28% of Government Revenue. The deficit during the remaining years of the government’s 5-year plan to 2020 is again projected to remain between 25-30% each year. The government is anticipating a rise in its expenditure from a projected Omani Rials (OMR) 11,165Billion in 2017 to (OMR) 14,100 in 2020.

Oman Budget 2017
Oman Budget 2017

This will partially be supported by a Continue reading “Oman Budget 2017”

Oman is joining the ‘Islamic Military Alliance Against Terrorism’

Reports in many media including separately by Reuters and Bloomberg say that Oman is joining the Saudi-led ‘Islamic alliance against terror’. This alliance is widely assumed a force lead by Saudi Arabia against Iran, despite any doubt suggested by its name.

Sayyid Badr 3rd Left Prince Salman 4th Right thanks to Getty
Sayyid Badr 3rd Left Prince Salman 4th Right thanks to Getty

The timing of the letter signed by Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib al-Busaidi, Continue reading “Oman is joining the ‘Islamic Military Alliance Against Terrorism’”

Omans 10 month Budget Deficit announced

Oman’s budget deficit has been reported on by the Times of Oman. It was US$8.46 in 2015 from Jan-Oct; in 2016 the Times reported it was US$12.49 (using Omani Rial US$ conversion).

Oman Currency
Oman Currency

This 47% Continue reading “Omans 10 month Budget Deficit announced”

Saudi Oman Road near opening

In Oman’s north-west is the small town of Tanam, which was a small part of Oman’s Oil production leap. Its just about to feature again as the much talked about Saudi – Oman road seems about to open early 2017; Tanam is the last anything before the border.

Rub Al Khali Oman
Rub Al Khali Oman

I wrote in September 2015 that the road was ready to open Continue reading “Saudi Oman Road near opening”

Rome the end of the Frankincense Trail

South of Florence and, equally important for me, at the north-west terminus of the Frankincense Trail from Oman is Rome. We arrived into Rome on Italo Train’s excellent service.

Corner of the former Vicus Tuscus now San Teodoro
Corner of the former Vicus Tuscus now San Teodoro

After the Continue reading “Rome the end of the Frankincense Trail”

Beaches in Dhofar

After a drive from Muscat, via Nizwa, we arrived in Dhofar where the tail end of a weak Khareef (Monsoon) season was still evident. Most of Dhofars beaches are soft white sand, beloved by Humans and not surprisingly animals.

Camels on a Dhofari Beach
Camels on a Dhofari Beach

These Continue reading “Beaches in Dhofar”

Oman and Yemen

close neighbours

The Saudi lead attacks on Yemen seem to have become more aggressive and widespread following the death of 50 Bahraini and UAE troops who are engaged in military action in Marib Yemen.  Inexplicably the damage includes the home of Oman’s Ambassador to Yemen.

Shibam Yemen
Shibam Yemen

Oman, which is not involved the attacks lead by the other five members of the GCC,   Continue reading “Oman and Yemen”

Oman Saudi Road near opening

possibly as early as October

Up until now there has been no direct road linkage between Oman and Saudi Arabia, despite the border between the two countries being some 700 kilometers long. This is all about to change with the finish of the Saudi section of the road link about 70 kilometers south-east of the international border intersection between Oman, Saudi & the UAE.

Rub Al Khali
Rub Al Khali / Empty Quarter

The Oman section runs from Continue reading “Oman Saudi Road near opening”