Battle of Mirbat

In the far south of Oman is the location of one of the Britain’s Special Air Service’s (SAS) more publicly known battles ‘The Battle of Mirbat’. On 25th October, Prince Harry unveiled a memorial, in Nadi, western Fiji, to one of the key participants, the Fijian Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, of SAS.

View from Jabal Ali - Mirbat - Oman Battle of Mirbat
View from Jabal Ali – Mirbat – Oman

19 July 1972 the Continue reading “Battle of Mirbat”

Cyclone Mekunu aftermath

Cyclone Mekunu brought what is probably Dhofar’s most intense rainfall ever, which in turn brought some deaths (6 reported and perhaps a few more), caused destroyed roads and spectacular waterfalls.

Cyclone Mekenu 23 May MODIS NASA
Cyclone Mekenu 23 May MODIS NASA

The effect can be seen by the closure announcment, by the National Committee for Civil Defense, of major road links – shown in a diagram issued after Cyclone Mekunu. As the diagram Continue reading “Cyclone Mekunu aftermath”

Shisr the location of Ubar Oman

Over 170kms by road north of Salalah is Shisr, an unremarkable settlement on the edge of the Empty Quarter Rub’ Al Khali in southern Oman. It, however, gained fame as the site of Ubar Oman – (the Oman Government prefers the term Wabar which appears to be the name used locally).

Ubar Tower
Ubar Tower

The archaeological re-discovery achieved front pages Continue reading “Shisr the location of Ubar Oman”

Oman’s Top 5 to do June

June though its mid-summer is often not as searing as May, though that’s often because the rise in humidity also drops the temperature so Oman’s Top 5 to do June takes that into account. This year June is the month of Ramadhan when many hotels offer special meals after dusk. So here are the top 5 things to do in June in Oman.

Bowling at Fun Zone - Muscat Oman’s Top 5 to do June
Bowling at Fun Zone – Muscat

Indoor bowling included in Oman’s Top 5 to do June as its a great activity during Ramadhan as Continue reading “Oman’s Top 5 to do June”

Travco ‘InterCity’ Hotel in Salalah

Travco, the Egyptian conglomerate which seems to operate under an integrated system looks as if it is focusing on Oman. The company has operated as a low profile tour operated company in Oman for a number of years with much of its business fed in from Dubai.

InterCity artists image
InterCity artists image

As an integrated operator it probably will try to operate in the entire field a client requires and certainly in Egypt as 50% partner in Air Arabia Egypt, various hotel brands Sol Y Mar, Jaz, Nile Cruise ships & ground operator the model worked well, until the down turn in tourism.

The focus in Oman should be a surefooted one, having operated as a tour company in the country since 2006. They intend to open a new ‘InterCity’ Hotel in Salalah. The hotel will be a town based hotel in the main commercial office area which will give it good access to much of the town and region. This will be the first intercity hotel outside Europe, where Travco also own a number of other chains, and suggests that they feel Oman will offer a good alternative to Egypt, as do Orascom who set up Muriya in Oman a few years ago.

Esmeralda shipwreck

possibly the oldest wreck ever found from Europe’s initial period of colonization in Asia

The Esmeralda shipwreck is one of the earliest shipwrecks from the start of Portugal’s entry into the Arabia Sea.
There can have been few countries whose population exploded around the world as quickly or indeed violently as the Portuguese. From a small insignificant land on the edge of Europe, they swept into East Asia. Leading the charge in many respects was Vasco de Gama who crossed the Arabian Sea in 1498 with 4 small ships landing into the Indian port of Calicut. In 1502 he led the 4th Portuguese fleet into the region, this time with the clear intention to subjugate the coastal populations, largely in retaliation for defeats in previous years and to monopolise trade destined for Europe. His fleet was of 20 ships, indicative of the value of the potential trade as well as the numbers of ships lost during the previous annual sailings from Portugal that made larger numbers of ships essential to achieve success.

Vicente Sodré
Vicente Sodré

After Vasco de Gama returned Continue reading “Esmeralda shipwreck”

Oman’s famed plants in Dhofar

Within the slopes and valleys of the southern mountains of Oman are an extraordinary variety of flora. The plants in Dhofar inhabit an environment that can change from wet cloud soaked biome to bone-dry desert in the period of a few days or meters. Grass dominates the mountain upper plateau while the sea-facing slopes are have Anogeissus dhofarica as their dominant plant.
Though many plants catch a visitors interest, four are Continue reading “Oman’s famed plants in Dhofar”

Frankincense in Dhofar

Frankincense is such an evocative word for many religious people, but few have a chance to visit the real Frankincense in Dhofar. Its associated with religious ceremonies worldwide and of course with the gifts brought by the 3 Kings, or Continue reading “Frankincense in Dhofar”

Salalah Sunshine

Having been together in the heart of all the storms before the National Day holidays it was great to fly down for some  Salalah Sunshine with a couple of tourists so they could ‘dry themselves out’!

Salalah Roads
Salalah Roads

We came across Continue reading “Salalah Sunshine”

Victor the buggy in Muscat from Salalah

Tucked away under the shade of my breakfast source, Lulu in Darsait, I saw this well travelled car. Well travelled not just from Salalah, where I photoed it last week, to Muscat – but after 6 years on the road it has the most kilometres of any non production car.

Elayne in Victor the Travel Bug in Salalah
Elayne in Victor the Travel Bug in Salalah

Victor the buggy is a hand made gem, with a Continue reading “Victor the buggy in Muscat from Salalah”

Khor Rori Oman with a visiting group.

Flying down to Salalah after visiting northern Oman our group from Steppes Travel have been visiting some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Oman.

Khor Rori the UNESCO Site in southern Oman
Khor Rori the UNESCO Site in southern Oman

Some of the group enjoyed Continue reading “Khor Rori Oman with a visiting group.”