Archive | May 2013

Traveling to Musandam

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Separated from the rest of Oman by the east cost of the UAE, Musandam is a land of beautiful Khors (bays) and is dubbed the “Norway of Arabia”, small villages and amazing mountain hugging roads. If you enjoy a true taste of wilderness, this beautiful archipelago with its cultural eccentricities is a must visit when exploring Oman.

Musandam is a scuba divers paradise with over 25 dive sites available all year round; these diving spots are accessible for divers of all experience levels while a few drift dive sites are recommended only for experienced divers. While diving you be able to get up close and personal with a wide variety of sea creatures such as green turtles, marbles sting ray spotted eagle ray, king fish, king barracuda, reef sharks, obtuse barracuda and many more, The most notable sea creature most divers encounter is the gentle whale shark which grow up to 8 meters.

For photographers the sea bed of Musandam offer a fascinating variety of shots with plenty of nudibranchs, cleaner shrimps, thor shrimps, box shrimps and much more.

For the history buffs a visit to the Khasab Castle would make a nice pit stop on a tour of Khasab, the capital city of Musandam with interesting tit-bits about the region allowing you to take a glimpse of the hardships and history of the people of Musandam, Oman.

The Bimmah Sink hole is another great tourist destination to visit when travelling through Musandam. Located at the Hawiyat Najm Park this unique geological wonder has amazed visitors with the beauty of its crystal blue waters and mystifying rock formations that seem to invite you in for a dip. You’re sure to find tourists jumping into the pool from the top but for the faint of heart the Omani government have provided steps to walk right in. Another plus point of taking a dip in the waters of this sink hole (apart from the unmistakable refreshing feeling one gets afterwards) is that you get your get your feet cleaned by the little fish that live in the ocean. So one gets a fish spa treatment while having a lovely dip!

Nature lovers, we would recommend going dolphin watching on a traditional Oman Dhow, these boats fixed with Arabic finishing and carpets offering an almost endless supply of Arabic tea will also provide you with the most wonderful dolphin watching experience, they (the dolphins) come and swim alongside the dhow putting on a show and many even respond to the captain’s whistles, keep in mind that these creatures are still wild, but over many generations have formed a relationship with the local fishing community.

For the 4×4 enthusiast Musandam has a number of mountain roads to test your skills. One of which even takes you way high up to 1800m at Jebel Kiwi. This track in particular is made in a wadi (dry river bed) thus allowing you to explore the full capabilities of your 4×4

Apart from all the activities mentioned above, some of the other outdoor activities one could indulge include an overnight camping tour, a trip to the evening fish market and a boat tour of the Musandam sea coast which would provide some fantastic sights including a closer look at the Omani fjords which are only accessible by boat

So with all this and many more natural wonders to behold at Musandam can one really miss out this nature’s paradise when traveling through Oman?

Oman Air flies daily from Muscat to Khasab.

Passion for Red!!! Oman vs Iraq

Oman vs IraqHaving knocked the favourite team of Group-B to second place, the red warriors are all set to battle it out against Iraq on the 4th of June. With just three points needed and three matches to play, Oman needs this crucial win to cross another step towards the ultimate goal of qualifying for the World Cup 2014.

The Oman team were late starters when it came to FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaigns, their first bid in 1990 concluded with the side coming last in their group behind Qatar, Iraq and Jordan. In 2002 they had another opportunity, this time making it through to the final round of the Asian qualifiers, where in a tough section that included continental heavyweights Japan, they succumbed to the pressure.

A promising new generation of Omani players savoured their first taste of the world stage at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Ecuador in 1995 and blossomed during the qualifiers for Japan/Korea in 2002 and the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China. The same side took the runners-up spot in the 2004 Gulf Cup of Nations, a tournament they eventually won and also hosted in 2009. Missing out on a place at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup finals was a blow, but Oman have opened brightly in Asia’s qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014, eliminating Myanmar 4-0 on aggregate to reach the third phase.   

The red warrior roster contains a number of outstanding talents, the most promising of which is goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, who attained genuine star status during stints with English clubs Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. Strikers Imad Al Hosni and Badr Al Maimani as well as midfielders Fawzi Bashir and Ismail Al Ajmi are the main players to watch in the upcoming preliminary competition.  

With the home ground advantage and the professional expertise of former French football player Paul Le Guen, the red warriors are prepped to take on Iraq and earn their place in FIFA history.

Oman Air is soon to announce their incentives to win 10 tickets each for 20 lucky winners. Watch our social media platforms for the announcement and sign up to win! In case you’re busy we will bring you the match live on Twitter on the 4th of June when Nabeel will be tweeting noteworthy moments of the match. The match will be played in the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex and will kick-off at 5:00 p.m.

Oman, the official airline of the Sultanate of Oman, wish the red warriors all the very best. Go Red and go win!

Our Top Books to Read on a Flight

No oablogmatter how wonderful the destination, long flights can be quite tiresome. After all no matter what flight you’re on there is no way you can avoid having to be seated for a large portion of the flight, if not throughout it! Even though we at Oman Air provide in-flight entertainment and daily newspaper, unless you’re a really slow reader this normally tides you over for a little over an hour. But what do you do after that?

So we’ve come up with a small list of books (category wise) to keep you engrossed the next time you take a trip with us

  1. Fantasy: For the fantasy book lovers any book from the Harry Potter series is a sure winner, despite the fact that you’ve most likely have already finished the series years ago and the move series is now out on blue ray and your local movie channel it still seems to gains a new flavour  every time you read it! For the non Harry Potter lovers my next choice would be George R Martin’s Game of Thrones series or Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series of books
  2. History: A long flight is always a good time to catch up on your history be it a book on the Tudor history (John Gillingham’s The Wars of the Roses), the renaissance (The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall by Christopher Hibbert) or the more recent Dofar insurgency (In the service of the Sultan: Ian Gardin) a book on history is a sure fire way to either keep you occupied or ensure that you’re asleep throughout the whole flight!
  3. Mystery: The typical ‘who done it!’ is a great way to kill a few flight hours, we recommend the following books by the masters of mystery: The complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Daughter of time by Josephine Trey and Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
  4. Horror:  As long as the novel doesn’t involve a plane the horror category is a decent pick for you on flight read, keeping in mind the best horror novels of all time keep  the call of Cthulhu by H.P Lovecraft , the haunting of hill house by Shirley Jackson and Pet Sematary by Stephen King  in mind when picking up the reasons for nightmares, after all it was these  greats authors that inspired a whole genre of horror movies
  5. Sci-fi: the year 2000 has come and gone over a decade ago but sadly the promised alien invasion and flying cars have still yet to arrive, so for all true believers who still have hope for a robot butler and the TARDIS appearing on your doorstep we recommend taking a glance at Enders Game (Orson Scott Card), Sphere (Michael Crichton) and the foundation trilogy (Isaac Asimov) when you’re on the flight wondering why instant teleportation isn’t here yet!

Happy flying!!

Travelling with kids

blog-kidTravelling with kids? The very thought makes many parents more than a little jittery, here are a few tips and tricks from us at Oman air to help you survive a looong journey with your sanity intact

 

  1. If you have a choice, take a night flight. This way your little ones should be asleep for a larger part of the journey.
  2. Check in early and inform our staff that you are travelling with kids in tow. We would be happy to provide you with front row , has  seats & a bassinet can be attached if required for babies
  3. Use bags with wheels: this comes in handy especially between transit flights.
  4. Pack right: make sure you have enough little toys, colouring books, activity books etc, it would also help to carry comfortable clothes, a zip loc bag for diapers, little snacks and lots of water. A favourite toy or blanket will always be welcome and helps the child adjust to the upcoming change; at the same time try to keep it easy as you wouldn’t want to lug around a truckload of stuff that your kids wouldn’t even notice while travelling.
  5. Technology is your friend: Even though our A330 fleet aircraft have in-flight entertainment options, a tablet or Gameboy can be wonder tools in keeping your child entertained both in the air and while you’re waiting.
  6. Prevent ear problem: for babies it’s particularly necessary during takeoff or landing, bottles of juice or water, pacifiers, baby snacks that dissolve quickly can help in easing ear ache.
  7. Avoid dehydration: As children are more prone to dehydration carry or ask for lots of water, also use snacks that help saliva flow such as fruit. Again check with the airline staff before you carry them on-board.
  8. Doctor knows best: Always have your child checked up at max a week before your flight, especially if showing signs of a cold. An infected ear drum is always at risk of rupture due to pressure change, unpleasant but true!
  9. Stretch it out: use every opportunity you can before the flight to allow your kids to work out their restlessness, relay races when you pack (or a few hours before you leave for the airport), jumping contests at the waiting lounge go a long way in combating the eventual fidgetiness your little ones would feel when forced to sit in the airline seat for a few hours.
  10. Some of Oman Air’s flights have children’s activity kit. It’s a pretty fun kit and can keep your children occupied for a long time. Do ask for it while on board.

And the most important thing is stay calm and don’t panic. Do not pass on your nervousness to your children. Things can go awry and your little one may not behave perfectly at every moment but with a cool head and lots of deep breaths I’m sure that everything will work out fine. Have a safe and happy flight.

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