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’? John Kerry was seen shopping for gifts in Mutrah Souq with lots of advice givers, emphasising the problem of choosing carefully. However one area has been dealt with today the Omani dishdasha – 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’”

Saudi to Oman Road still to open

The Saudi to Oman Road opening has been planned for many years. 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 to Oman Road still to open”

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”

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

The announced Oman Road to Saudi opening will create the 1st direct tarmac road linkage between Oman and Saudi Arabia, despite the border between the two countries being some 700 kilometres long. This is all about to change with the Oman Road to Saudi opening 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”

Opinions about Oman

in a volatile region

Giorgio Cafiero, contributes articles to a number of media organisations about the Arabian Gulf (yes as we are in Oman it’s not the Persian Gulf at the moment). After some analyses of the background of foreign fighters by ‘The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence’ (an organisation created by various academic institutions)  in Syria he noticed there were none from Oman. In his article in the online Huffington Post he notes that “unlike other Gulf Arab monarchies, hard-line Wahhabism/Salafism is not

Red Bull 5Pics opening
Red Bull 5Pics opening

a pillar of Muscat’s Continue reading “Opinions about Oman”