Oman’s authorities have given an overview of Oman’s Travel Regulation regarding Covid-19 for future visitors entering the country via the airports. I suspect many requirements will also apply if arriving by road or sea, especially insurance and reserved accommodation. Always check with your own Foreign Ministry for their travel advice and with the airline you use for up-to-date information as it is very likely to change periodically. Critical is the entry visa – best obtained through the eVisa page.
In September, 1979 just west of the date oasis in Sinaw a glazed clay jar was dug up at a building site. The pot, with its green glaze, was a common variety of what is called ‘Sasanian-Islamic’, found in eastern Arabia and Persia during the period covering the end of the Sasanian period and its eclipse by Islam.
Records of the Jews in Sohar Oman stretch back to as early as AD 950 when Buzurq ibn Shahriyar wrote about the Jewish merchant Ishaq bin Yahuda in his book “Book of the Wonders of India.” According to this text, Ishaq bin Yahuda traded between Sohar and China some 50 years earlier, where on a visit to Sohar he apparently had goods valued in excess of 3 million Dinars.
Bertram Thomas describes Jews living west of Sohar during the initial period of Islam, one of whom met Amr bin Al As, the Prophet’s representative to Oman.
Oman’s New Tourism Regulations have been issued by Oman’s Ministry of Tourism for the return of in-bound tourism to Oman.
In addition to following the preventive measures needed by the Supreme Committee on COVID-19 at their offices, the ministry said the operators must ensure that travellers have a medical certificate or required permits issued before travelling.
All reservations should be made through the internet, preferable with on-line or contactless payments.
Tours for groups should not exceed 15 people – and while on tour physical distancing should be observed with signed reminders.
Medical coverage insurance will be compulsory for all travellers before finalising any booking.
When a tourist arrives the following procedures should be followed.
The number of people entering the hotel reception area to be limited.
Social distancing requirements should be observed and clean waiting areas with water bottles are to be provided.
At hotel check-in, online registration is prefered and where a physical document is required separate pens should be used for each guest.
An a-la-carte menu is to be offered in hotels and restaurants.not a buffet.
Tour guides should have a digital thermometer to drivers for temperature checks of the guests.
With a break in the gales over Britian and the overcast weather breaking into a bright, sunny day, I took the opportunity to walk to SOAS, where the conversation would take place, and pass through the British Museum on my way to hear them.
Hidden in the museum’s Sir Percival David Collection I found a Ming Dynasty ceramic, which shows the reach of the Arab language and, as a result, Arab world. It’s a piece that may have been a prayer focus for a Muslim at the Ming court.
Deeper inside the Museum I cam across the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World where I found a piece to get me in the mood for Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s overview, a rather splendid Yemeni Jambiyya. Its sheath is covered in gilded filigree, while the fantastic belt is leather with silk and silver embroidery.
Tim’s talk was well attended and though to help promote his book, I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone already had a copy. He was remarkably a character in the book about Yemen by Eric Hansen ‘Motoring with Mohammed’ (under a pseudonym Martin Plimsole) in which he was portrayed as a connoisseur of the rituals and chewing of Qat.
He still is and noted that the leaf was listed as a narcotic in Britain by Theresa May, who went against the advice of here own expert advisers and banned it. One particular reminiscence I enjoyed was Tim recounting a
visit he made to the home of a family in Mali, whose ancestors also hosted the Arab traveller Ibn Battuta. Almost 700 years ago Ibn Battuta made a journey through the Arab’s lands, aided by their common language and religion, and onto China in which Arabic was already a language of trade.
The very sad news that H.M. Sultan Qaboos died on 10th January 2020, has been announced. There will be an official period of three days mourning, and all flags in Oman will be flown at half mast for 40days.
Born on 18th November 1940, Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur Al Said was the 14th Al Said ruler of Oman. His father Sultan Said ruled Oman from 1932 to 1970 when, during a civil war in Oman’s southern province of Dhofar, Sultan Qaboos became ruler aged 29.