The Sultanate of Oman’s National Day is one of the most important dates in the calendar year which is celebrated with great splendor and joy. This year, Oman celebrated its 42nd National Day on 18th November with much aplomb. The brightly lit and decorated streets in the capital city of Muscat add to the sparkle of the occasion and gave one a sense of pride.
Oman Air also celebrated the Oman National Day with a special promotion that offered 18% off on return flights from Oman to 39 international destinations around its global network. The offer not only proved to be a great hit with people but also cemented Oman Air’s commitment, as the national carrier, towards the Sultanate, its citizens and Oman’s international residents. The offer was valid on all ticket purchases, online and offline both.
To keep the celebrations going, we decided that we include our fans on facebook into the festive spirit and decided to give four lucky fans 42,000 Sindbad Frequent Flyer Programme miles. Now, you would be wondering what can you do with 42,000 Sindbad miles, right? Take this in perspective, with these many miles you can fly economy class from Muscat to Paris and back in an off season, effectively it’s equivalent to a free ticket to almost anywhere on Oman Air’s network and back. Doesn’t it sound amazing?
All you have to do to be a part of this promotion is to ‘Like’ Oman Air (www.omanair.com/facebook) on facebook and register for Sindbad (https://sindbad.omanair.com/sindbad/joinffp.jsp) Frequent Flyer Programme. Enrolling and maintaining Sindbad membership is absolutely free of charge and it gives you additional benefits every time you fly with Oman Air.
Oman Air is proud to be celebrating the National Day this year and takes this opportunity to congratulate all Omanis and the people who have made Oman their home.
There are very few cities, if any, in the world that can boast to pack so much punch in terms of pure and unadulterated uniqueness like Mumbai. Earlier known as Bombay, the city was renamed as Mumbai in 1996, the name being derived from the goddess-Mumba Devi.
Mumbai has always been an integral part of India’s history. Once a cluster of seven islands, the Portuguese overlooked this swampy, mosquito infested, marshy island off the west coast of India as a land with little or no potential and gave it to Charles II of England as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza. How very naive of them! The British East India Company leased it from the Crown, and developed the small fishing villages and natural harbours into the subcontinent’s busiest port and the region’s centre for trade, finance and industry.
Over the years, as India attained freedom, Mumbai has transformed itself into a bustling one of a kind metropolitan with thriving markets, businesses-both small and big with many different communities settled in perfect harmony reflecting a cosmopolitan and trendy atmosphere rarely seen elsewhere. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today’s India — the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values.
Its official language is Marathi although English and Hindi are widely spoken and understood and don’t be surprised if you meet a youngster with an accent which might suggest that they have been lucky enough to have travelled extensively. For most people it can be a city that will take time to come to terms with but once it does, you will come back for more or even make it your choice of residence. On the surface, you will see that everyone is rushing to be somewhere and everywhere but upon a closer inspection there is a pattern and everything is in tandem and everybody is just a part of this larger orchestra, Mumbai.
The fast-paced life has given rise to hordes of “fast-food outlets” on almost every road, offering lip-smacking choices of Mumbai’s very own pav bhaji, bhel puri, wada & samosa pavs and wide variety of other delicacies. You can just as well have a classy culinary experience at one of its many high end restaurants with meals prepared by expert chefs.
Mumbai wears several hats or should we say crowns? India’s largest city, commercial capital, industrial powerhouse, fashion capital, ‘Bollywood’– the list goes on and on. The city thrives on contrasts; it is home to the richest and the poorest, expensive imported vehicles jostle cycles, red double-decker buses and three-wheeler auto-rickshaws; new and spanking high rises soar above crowded ugly slums and shanty towns; designer labels fronts amid pavement stalls; glamorous movie stars, homeless beggars and eunuchs all attract attention at traffic lights and amidst all these are people everywhere, for Mumbai is home to more than 13 million inhabitants and growing by the day.
Like a flower to a bee, it draws people from all walks of life. In fact, any Indian with a dream heads for Mumbai and this pulsating, cosmopolitan, multicultural city of opportunity folds them all to its bosom.
Mumbai is a shopper’s delight with bargain buys, exclusive boutiques, ethnic markets and mini bazaars. The home of the Hindi film industry, known as Bollywood, it produces the largest number of films in the world. Mumbai caters to the adventurous and the romantic through its sporting activities, nightclubs, pubs, theatres, beaches and restaurants. Old and new, rich and poor, classical and modern – it’s all here for you to savour and enjoy!
Pulsating, alive, on the move, vibrant, fun – this is Mumbai or as it is still frequently referred to – Bombay. Welcome to the other city that never sleeps!
Oman is one of the few countries in the Middle East which can proudly boast of a geological diversity. One such place in particular is Khasab in the Musandam peninsula, which is unique to Oman in the context that Oman is an Arab country. If you aren’t aware of Khasab or Musandam, let me just inform you about the basics first!
Khasab is the capital of the Governorate of Musandam, it is located 570 kilometers from Muscat. Khasab, thankfully for travellers like us, is still quite traditional. There is a town centre and souqs a few establishments and beautiful mosques but it is still largely. Hence, it has a peaceful environment and a certain charm that is difficult to find.
The juxtaposition of sea and mountains is considered one of the exclusive features of this area. Excursions in boats and traditional dhows give the visitors an unforgettable experience, while divers can see the beautiful coral reefs and archaeological sites are also abound in this area. Seeing the beautiful inlets of sparkling blue water cut into the mountains, you will realize why this part of Oman is called ‘Norway of Arabia’. The gorges and mountains, clearly showing their geological stratification, have cliff-hugging roads that offer magnificent views of the cliffs, plunging into the turquoise sea , and the inlets and fjords that give the peninsula its very distinctive footprint.
As you would imagine most of the local people wear traditional dress, women in black and men in white (dishdasha). Khasab Castle overlooks the harbour and there is also an exhibition in the castle courtyard featuring local boats, houses and other items relating to heritage and culture of the area. The busy work of fishermen and boat builders can be seen in and near the harbour. The colourful dhows that cruise out amongst the fjords (khors) leave from here, as do the fishing boats.
The coastline around Khasab is 650kms long and passes through many small rural villages, the houses made of stone- and is worth exploration. At nearby towns like Bukha and Tawi, there are ancient ruins with pre-historic rock carvings- and 16th century forts still standing proudly. Interestingly Kumzar, a nearby town, has its own particular dialect, formed centuries ago and influenced by foreign maritime contacts.
So if you wish to see a place like you have never seen before and are ready to embrace the life without modern amenities, Khasab is a must visit for you.