From its inception in 1993 until now, Oman Air has witnessed only success. The tiny airline, which began operating only one aircraft for its flights to Salalah, has now grown to a mighty airline ready to challenge all major airlines.
Many great achievements have paved the way to success and among the first was completing the International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audits. Oman Air attributes the successful completion of the audit to its conforming with the standards and regulations set by IATA. This places the airline to be in the list of companies that comply with internationally recognized safety standards.
Tourism in Oman
Oman Air continues to have a large impact upon the inflow of tourism into Oman. It went on to win The Oman award for Excellence, as tourism promoter for 2001. The award is instituted by OCIPED to recognize accomplishments of individuals and organizations that contribute to the Oman economy.
The airline shows continuous support and dedication to premium sports events though a several sponsorships, among the most recent the Oman Sail event and the National Bank of Oman Gulf Classic. Oman Air’s sponsorship also includes the Oman Football Association and motorsports star Ahmad Al Harthy. Their sponsorship also extends abroad as they support polo events in Europe. These events are aimed at raising awareness for the Oman Air brand and their awards-winning products and services, but also creating increased exposure for Oman’s unique attractions as part of a fabulous holiday destination.
Impeccable Products and Services
Oman Air soon started expanding its destinations and aircraft and now it flies to more than 40 destinations throughout the world. Its strengths lie in the high quality standard of their aircraft and cabin and the always-fantastic service offered to their customers. With such impeccable service, the awards soon followed. Oman Air was named winner of the “World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat” award at the 2011 World Airline Awards, in a ceremony held in the French Air and Space Museum at the Paris Air Show. Also in 2011, The Passenger Choice Awards presented them with the award for “Best In-flight Connectivity & Communications”. For the second year running, they won ‘Best Business Class Airline Seat’ at the prestigious World Airline Awards™, run by Skytrax. The prestigious Business Destinations Travel Awards have awarded Oman Air the title of ‘Best Business Class Airline, Middle East’ in 2012.
Looking to the future
Oman Air is striving to be ahead of the rest and place great importance on technological innovation. They found it imperative to implement the Electronic Ticket system and become the Second Middle East carrier to issue e-Ticket (ET) in 2005 and targeted 100% e-ticketing by end of 2006 while IATA mandate is 2007. More recently, Oman Air is celebrating reaching second place in the December 2013 issue of the highly competitive Heathrow Punctuality League Table, in recognition of its enviable on-time departure record. This success is being accredited to the extensive planning, organization and logistical resources that they have put into ensuring that the highest service standards are consistently maintained.
This great level of success has been the fuel for hard work and ambition of Oman Air. The fame and reputation that they have achieved throughout their existence is the result of dedication, passion and perseverance. Their aim is to improve their services and technology and always provide the highest level of customer satisfaction.
A wedding is always one of the happiest moments in a couple’s life, but in Oman it’s never just about bringing two people together to start their lives anew, it’s about bring two families and sometimes two villages together and binding them in one of the strongest bonds ever known for a lifetime!
In Oman even the engagement takes quite a bit of preparation. When the groom visits his bride-to-be’s house, it is inappropriate for him to come alone but with his entire family. From there once the two families have agreed on the union and the bride says yes, it’s becomes a long celebration of life until the marriage is taken place. First off, the two families have to agree upon the dowry to be paid by the groom’s family, normally given to bride directly (to start her new life). The dowry can either be in cash or kind and is considered the sole property of the bride to use as she sees fit. This ceremony is attended by family members only, and on this special day, the groom and his family arrive at her house with the appropriate gifts in trays decorated with bars and covered with fabrics, special songs are sung for this occasion as it is on this day that the wedding contract is signed.
After that, Mulkah is conducted in the mosque and is attended by the groom and his male friends and family. The couple is now technically considered married and thus culturally acceptable for them to be seen together publicly and talk on the phone unsupervised.
Now the celebration of wedding itself takes place in two houses, the groom’s, and the brides, where each of the families celebrate before the groom and his family leave their house to come and pick up the blushing bride. At each of the homes the men celebrate outside with the women inside. There’s music, dancing and an abundance of food, even with excess of 400 people that will visit both the homes on this special day!! Outside the men dance with wooden canes called assas and are regally dressed with their dishdashas, sayf (straight swords) and of course the Omani Khanjars. Inside, the women away from the prying eyes of men, dance and feast unencumbered in their finest jewellery, with their hands painted in intricate mehndi designs particular to the region (one can easily learn where a women is from based on the designs of the mehndi on her hands)
After three days like the actual wedding takes place. The groom’s family and his guests pile on into busses and cars, honking, singing and clapping in a cacophony of festive noises, the men wait while the women bring out the beautiful bride, blushing at the thought of going to her new home and from there the festivities continue at what now becomes their home.