BLOG POSTS by Tony 🖋

Procession of the Queen’s lying-in-state for Queen Elizabeth

I joined the crowds assembled to watch the procession of The Queen’s lying-in-state.

Capt Amy Cooper riding Lord Firebrand
Capt Amy Cooper riding Lord Firebrand

Opposite the Cabinet Office and Foreign Office in London, with an uninterrupted, privileged, view of the procession and sunny weather, it was a grand occasion. Continue readingProcession of the Queen’s lying-in-state for Queen Elizabeth

Oman’s new Ministers and senior Government Officials are appointed

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq has made a number of Ministerial and other important changes of personnel in Oman. (He also made changes in 2020)

Oman’s oil minister Continue reading “Oman’s new Ministers and senior Government Officials are appointed”

Jokha Alharthi’s latest book in English, the Bitter Orange Tree

Jokha Alharthi’s latest book in English, the Bitter Orange Tree, is another reflection, through the eyes of a protagonist, about several generations of an Omani family.

In the Bitter Orange Tree Zuhour, who is the protagonist, arrives in a snow covered British city to study. She slumps into a mournful reflection about a newly dead ‘grandmother, a miserable older sister and a depressed mother.

Zuhour lyrically remembers her grandmother’s scent of “civet musk, precious aloeswood oil, and ancient soil”.

Bitters Oranges Jokha AlHarthi
Bitters Oranges Jokha AlHarthi

As with Jokha Alharthi’s last Continue reading “Jokha Alharthi’s latest book in English, the Bitter Orange Tree”

Sultan Haitham to visit London

Sultan Haitham will visit London on 14 December.

Sultan Haitham Al Said

He will be accompanied by Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, the Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs, Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, Minister of Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, General Sultan bin Mohammed Al Numani, Minister of the Royal Office, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi, Foreign Minister of Oman and Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Zaher Al Hinai, Oman’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.
This will be Sultan Haitham’s first visit to Great Britain as Sultan. His son, Sayyid Theyazin, was a diplomat at Oman’s UK embassy.

PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN AL SAUD WILL VISIT OMAN a sign of change in the relationship between the two monarchies.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud will visit Oman on Monday 6 December.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud MBS
Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud – USA State Department photo by Ron Przysucha

This comes after Sultan Haitham visited Saudi Arabia on 11 July 2021. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said arrived in Neom, Saudi Arabia and met King Salman. Neom is the site of a projected city, part of the Saudi Vision 2030 push.
Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, has invested heavily in Oman and has so far probably created more jobs than states such as China, despite the latter’s involvement on Duqm.
Saudi Arabia has just hosted French President Emmanuel Macron part of President Macron’s Gulf tour when he also visited the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Oman will be hoping for additional investment from Saudi Arabia that will be boosted with the expected opening of the road link between Oman and Saudi Arabia through the Empty Quarter, that I blogged about as being near opening in 2015. The road will be useful to improve flow of goods between the two countries, especially for consumer products like Al Marai.
A long hoped for oil-pipeline from Saudi’s oils fields into Duqm Oman is a longer-term project. The Oman-Saudi road will make its construction easier as the road passes through the oil area of Shaybah in Eastern Saudi Arabia. Other infrastructure areas is the much anticipated Gulf Rail project, that would not only link the GCC states but in Oman will be a much needed freight, and hopefully, passenger service that will remove pressure on Oman’s road network.
The announcement about Prince Salman’s visit will doubtless be followed by numerous agreements between the two countries and companies.

Following his visit, Prince Salman will travel through the GCC – meeting with leaders of the UAE on Tuesday and then onto Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

World Travel Market (WTM) London 2021 ExCeL London from November 1 to 3

This week London has been hosting the World Travel Market (WTM) at ExCeL London from November 1 to 3 . Incidentally ExCeL , owned by Abu Dhabi was a centre for overflow Covid hospitalisations in London.

Abu Dhabi at WTM London
Abu Dhabi at WTM London

The theme of the event was ‘reconnect, rebuild’ Continue readingWorld Travel Market (WTM) London 2021 ExCeL London from November 1 to 3

Oman ratifies the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications this protects brand names that are geographic in nature.

Oman ratifies the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications by by Royal Decree 19/2021 on February 15, 2021 .

Omani Halwa
Omani Halwa being made

This Geneva Act in itself is Continue readingOman ratifies the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications this protects brand names that are geographic in nature.

Middle East’s most powerful women

The annual ranking of the Middle East’s most powerful women in business has now been revealed by Forbes Middle East. From the sultanate, four Omani women have made to the coveted top 50 of The Middle East’s Power Businesswomen 2021.

From Oman, Haifa al Khaifi,

Haifa al Khaifi
Haifa al Khaifi

who was recently named CEO of Energy Development Oman (EDO) is ranked 30th. Continue reading “Middle East’s most powerful women”

Tourism needs to focus on local initiatives to support local people

The world is experiencing transformative change with technology developments, demographic changes, changing consumer habits, environmental and climate change. So to build for the future a new emphasis is needed. Local initiatives to support local people

Frankincense Tree - Dhofar - Oman
Frankincense Tree – Dhofar – Oman

These together with continued inequalities and the immense impacts of the COVID-19 have created a new approach, the Continue reading “Tourism needs to focus on local initiatives to support local people”