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.
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.
This Oman government owned hotel last Continue reading “Al Bustan Palace to have room closures during 2017”
With its long coastline Oman has numerous coast creeks and bays which are important resources for sea life and birds.
Birdlife has Continue reading “Oman’s Ramsar Sites”
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.
Manah Oman has one of the Sultanate’s most complete remaining mud-bricks towns.
About 163kms southeast of Muscat, the mud town is on Continue reading “MANAH OMAN”
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.
This will partially be supported by a Continue reading “Oman Budget 2017”
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.
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’”
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).
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.
I wrote in September 2015 that the road was ready to open Continue reading “Saudi to Oman Road still to open”
a great new service in Muscat
Almost ready for service are Oman’s bright and shiny new Buses under the new brand ‘Mwasalat’.
They are a familiar Continue reading “Oman’s New Bus Fleet”
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.
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.
Oman, which is not involved the attacks lead by the other five members of the GCC, Continue reading “Oman and Yemen”
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.
The Oman section runs from Continue reading “Oman Saudi Road near opening”
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
a pillar of Muscat’s Continue reading “Opinions about Oman”