Oman in Bradt Guide’s 2018 ‘Exceptional Places’

Oman has been included in Bradt Guide’s 2018 ‘Exceptional Places’ and the Bradt Guide to Oman is now available worldwide.

This annual listing is a recommendation of those countries, cities or regions that Bradt, the award-winning guidebook publisher, feels should be visited.

Royal Opera House Muscat
Royal Opera House Muscat

This year’s exceptional places include Continue reading “Oman in Bradt Guide’s 2018 ‘Exceptional Places’”

Carpet Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque visitors to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat are in for a treat with this carpet

Any organisation which had supplied work such as the Carpet of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque would wish to sign the work. The company which created the mosque’s principal carpet managed to do just that and wove into the carpet their details.

Carpet of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Carpet – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

The high density of thread in the Grand Mosque Carpet , over 250 knots per sq inch, and extraordinary craftswomanship Continue readingCarpet Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque visitors to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat are in for a treat with this carpet

Walk in an Omani Wadi

during a stopover in Muscat

A few days stopover during long distance flight via Oman is a great way to make the journey more comfortable – and see a new country (if you haven’t come before) .

Walking in an Omani Wadi
Walking in an Omani Wadi

 

Over a couple of days Oman tour we journeyed up to Oman’s mountain heights where in cooler air we took a nice wadi walk.

Then Continue reading “Walk in an Omani Wadi”

Descending over Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque into Muscat

and an early arrival home

The 22.35 Oman Air flight turns out to be the last flight scheduled from Heathrow each day.

Since at night there is no view – I had lots of time to read the inflight magazine. For the national airline I was disappointed that the In-Flight magazine was riddled with errors about Oman.

Oman Air Bandar Khiran
Oman Air Bandar Khiran

The error standouts were in an article about Bandar Khiran and its “placid bay” with “no sound pollution, vehicle pollution” . While the main photo was of Bandar Khiran; one of the others was of the residential area of Wadi Kabir (not a bit of water in sight should have been a give-away for the team responsible for the article ) and the other of Bandar Jissah – both many kilometers from Bandar Khiran – but both labeled up, Bandar Khiran For any unsuspecting reader who relied on the “How to go” section – they would urgently need an accurate “How to get back” as the “How to go” section is seriously inaccurate !

Key factual errors were added for good measure about the Mausoleum at Qalhat ‘Bibi Miriam’.  This was stated to have been built for a lady ‘Bibi Miriam’ – but was in fact built by her for her Turkish husband, who was the ruler of Qalhat & Hormuz at the start of the 14thC.

Despite all that I managed to get sleep and woke to the announcement that we were descending intoMuscat.

Oman Air over Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Oman Air over Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Swinging round we approached from the East and descended past Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque to land about 45 minutes early .

Shah ‘Abbas in London – Sultan Qaboos in Iran

A bit of Persia in London and Oman in Iran

Walking into the Shah ‘Abbas exhibition in the British Museum’s Reading Room was almost a sense of  ‘déjà vu’ as the very English Sir Robert Sherley & wife Teresia gaze down as they did in the Tate’s ‘Lure of the East’ exhibition last year .

The British Museum’s Great Court
The British Museum’s Great Court

This time they were not included because of the gorgeous costumes but for Robert Sherley’s role as Persian Ambassador from Shah ‘Abbas to various European Courts .

China Blue and White
China Blue and White

In 2007 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which of course has a very Persian flavour to it  with the style of Shah Abbas’s dynasty throughout the interior of the building.

As Sultan Qaboos seems to like Persian art he will enjoy his visit to Iran this month. Perhaps the visit by the Omani Minister of Tourism in May to Homs and other Iranian cities was a build up to this visit – one trusts that the current political uncertainty will not affect His Majesty’s visit.

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As an update – His Majesty’s visit did not take place at the end of June but Sultan Qaboos now should visit Iran during mid-July

Professor David Ford in Oman

A well attended talk in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Oman

Dr David Ford, The Regius (Royal) Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University was in Oman to give talks about the wisdom of the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths today.

David Ford, right, talks to an audience in Muscat
David Ford, right, talks to an audience in Muscat

I was able to make it to his evening talk at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque where he mainly illustrated Christian wisdom .