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pearl of the emirates pearl of the emirates pearl of the emirates


									                                                                          YOur Free COpY
                                                                          Volume 3 - 2007

 Abu Dhabi
 pearl of the emirates
A year-round
                16    A bountiful   22   Gliding    28   Your            30
                      harvest            through         lipid profile
tourist destination                      Omani waters                     
Dear Passenger,

  It gives us pride to say that Oman Air is marching ahead with full zeal. Foreseeing demands for flights between Oman and
other destinations, we have commenced operations to four new destinations in May and June, such as Abu Dhabi in the UAE,
Chittagong in Bangladesh and the Indian destinations Lucknow and Jaipur. Flying to over 20 destinations, Oman Air is poised
for rapid expansion and has recently augmented its fleet with its recent purchase of a new B737-800NG aircraft. The acquisition
of this aircraft brings the Oman Air fleet to five B737-800s and three B737-700s.

  With a view to the comfort and demand of our discerning customers, this summer season will witness an increase in the
frequencies of our flights. Oman Air Holidays have also unveiled a slew of attractive holiday packages and keeping abreast
with times, a 5 per cent discount is being offered for bookings made online. Notwithstanding the addition of destinations or
increase in frequencies, it is Oman Air’s commitment to continue to provide unmatched quality service.

  The redesigned inflight magazine “Wings of Oman” has been well acknowledged. This time we take you to Abu Dhabi, the
Pearl of Emirates, where we have recently commenced our services. With its shimmering glass landscapes and progressive
developing infrastructure, Abu Dhabi is fast catching the eye of the business traveller.

  This is the season wherein every road is adorned with the sight of palm trees burgeoning with luscious dates. The date
palm and its fruit continues to be a very vital strand in the fabric of Arab culture. A colourful feature on dates covers all aspects
related to this succulent fruit. With a long and idyllic coastline, Oman offers fascinating dhow cruises and our feature on the
subject entices you to glide down the waters here. Every one of us is waiting in eager anticipation of the Asian Football Cup
2007; a primer on the Cup is included in this issue. Besides, a good number of articles on Creativity, Lipid Profile, Health and
the Office, will make for useful reading.

  We hope you a pleasant and comfortable journey with us.

Ziad Karim Al Haremi
Chief Executive Officer


                                                                   Cover Story
                                                                   Abu Dhabi:
                                                                   pearl of the emirates

                                              16                                                  16
      Salalah emerges as a year-round
                   tourist destination
        Until now, Salalah has been known mostly
         for its Khareef (monsoon season) when a
         misty fog nourishes the mountain ranges
                  transforming the countryside into
        emerald-green grasslands. But the city has
          much more to offer throughout the year


                                                          A bountiful harvest
                                                          These are the months wherein the sight of
                                                          succulent dates dangling from palm trees
                                                          greets you everywhere in Oman


        Gliding through Omani waters
      A cruise in a dhow, a traditional boat, is likely
                 to be an unforgettable experience

                                               Your lipid profile
                          There have been so many health warnings
                         about high cholesterol that many of us now
                          give it at least a passing thought. But what
                       does cholesterol do in the body, and what can
                                  be done to reduce bad cholesterol?

                                                                                Your health
                                                                                and the office
                                                                                Your health could be under renewed attack the
                                                                                minute you return to work after the holidays.
                                                                                Many offices are stressful and hazardous and
                                                                                can even be a breeding ground for disease.
                                                                                Here we present ways to ensure that your
                                                                                workplace doesn’t sabotage your wellbeing

                                          Managing creativity
                   Cross-functional collaboration, exchange of ideas,
                         concept creation and sharing of knowledge
                            virtually at every level of the organisation
                        are needed to manage and fully harness the
                                 potential of inspiration and creativity


                                                                                Fun Corner
                                                                                Fascinating facts

Oman Air’s inflight magazine is issued by:
Corporate Communications & Media Department - Oman Air
P.O. Box: 58, Seeb Airport, Postal Code 111,                    For regional/international advertising enquiries contact:
Seeb International Airport, Sultanate of Oman
Tel: +968 24519616, Fax: +968 24510771                          Media Score Services
E-mail:                                      Dubai Media City,
Website:                                       P.O. Box 502023, Dubai, UAE.
                                                                Tel: +971 4 3908030,
For Oman advertising enquiries contact:                         Fax: +971 4 3908031
Publishers:                                                     E-mail:
National publishing And Advertising LLC (NpA)                   The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for errors or omissions
P.O. Box: 3112, P.C. 112, Ruwi                                  contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman                                       contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers.
Tel: +968 24793098, Fax: +968 24708445
E-mail:                                 All copyrights are reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced
Website:                                        without our written permission.


Oman Air launches Direct Flights
to Four More destinations
   Oman Air, the designated carrier of the Sultanate of Oman,       routes of Oman Air are part of its rapid network expansion, and the
has celebrated the launch of its new services from Muscat to        move will boost Oman’s trade and tourism with these cites, and
Abu Dhabi (UAE), Chittagong (Bangladesh), Lucknow and Jaipur        will provide international travellers and cargo-shippers with new
(India).                                                            direct links. These flights will create new non-stop connections
   An Oman Air spokesman said, “The Company is delighted to         that are expected to promote tourism and business traffic between
have the opportunity to expand its services. Oman Air will open
                                                                    our brotherly and friendly countries. The announcement of these
new gateways. We have been looking to expand our operations
                                                                    new destinations is a significant milestone for Oman Air.
for some time, and we are pleased to be able to launch our
                                                                      The Corporate Communications and Media Department of
new destinations. Our aim is to make Oman, the Middle East's
                                                                    Oman Air stated that the airline is gearing up to demonstrate its
premium hub for tourism, and we believe these new direct air
                                                                    future plans to fly to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Bangkok,
links will stimulate more trade and tourism exchange between
these two destinations. We are confident our service would prove    Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. Oman Air, the flagship
popular with both business and leisure time travellers."            company of the Sultanate of Oman’s Civil Aviation sector operates
  The spokesman further stated that Oman Air is continuing its      scheduled domestic and international passenger services, as well
aggressive fleet and market expansion programme. The new            as local air taxi and charter work.

AL BurAIMI joins Oman Air fleet
   A new B737-800 NG has joined the Oman Air fleet. The aircraft    destinations in the near future. Also, it will provide more
was named after 'Al Buraimi' (An Omani renowned Governorate         convenient connections particularly that we are on the verge
bordering the United Arab Emirates). By the joining of this         of the summer season, where our frequencies will increase to
aircraft, Oman Air fleet consists now of 5 B737-800s and 3 B737-    all major destinations. We aspire to provide convenient and
700s. 'Al Buraimi' originating from Seattle, USA landed at Seeb     comfortable services to our esteemed customers.
airport on May 9, 2007.                                                Commenting on the occasion, the Corporate Communications
   On this occasion, Mr Ziad bin Karim Al Haremi, Chief Executive   and Media Department said, Oman Air, the national carrier of
Officer of Oman Air said that this comes in sequence with           the Sultanate of Oman was the first commercial operator in the
our plan to prop up and upgrade the company's fleet for short       Gulf to purchase Boeing's new version of the 737. The all-new
and medium hauls. This also facilitates attaining all advantages    Next-Generation 737 is the best selling airplane in commercial
of operating the Boeing 737 aircraft in terms of efficiency and     aviation history, and will offer us the opportunity to enhance
cost saving thus ensuring the presence of Oman Air on the           our network schedules and frequency. We also can offer our
map of the regional aviation industry, in order to maintain the     customers enhanced onboard comfort and even greater on-
distinguished eminence accomplished by the national carrier         time reliability, as these airplanes feature the latest design
of the Sultanate of Oman. The Boeing 737 NG is the most             technology. This new aircraft is equipped with a highly advanced
technologically advanced airplane in its class and will certainly   technology winglets allowing the carrier to save on fuel, extend
enable us to offer better-quality services, and contribute in       its range, carry more payload and reduce engine maintenance.
making Oman Air the best choice for valued passengers. This         Overall, the 737 is the most-produced large commercial jet
prompted the company to increase the number of this aircraft,       airplane in aviation history, as the Boeing Company has been
which goes with the capacities of our sectors, by providing the     awarded with purchase orders for more than 6,000 aircraft. On
necessary flexibility to plan convenient flight timings.            Feb. 13, 2006, Boeing delivered the 5,000th 737 to Southwest
   He further added that these aircraft will stimulate our future   Airlines. Guinness World Records acknowledged the 737 as
operations, and are considered as a step forward towards            the most-produced large commercial jet airplane in aviation
the introduction of the wide body aircraft to reach long haul       history.


Oman Air offers Discounts
on Bookings through its Website
   Oman Air, in its quest to extend further services to its esteemed         Our booking engine can be accessed to check the availability
customers, has implemented a discount on all bookings/sales               of seats, applicable fares, alternative flights, choosing the
made via the internet booking engine. Effective Saturday, 19              preferred seat, booking and paying for the ticket, printing the
May 2007, all bookings made via the Oman Air website booking              itinerary, etc. A confirmation will be e-mailed to your e-mail
engine, will be eligible for an immediate 5% discount off the             address provided, and you can then access the booking through
applicable fare.                                                          the e-mail link provided. Normal market fares are offered on
    E-ticket (or 'electronic ticket') is a paperless ticket. Instead of   online booking. Special online booking fares may be available
receiving a physical ticket, a confirmation number is sent to you         from time to time. The booking engine searches the availability
via e-mail to be used at the airport check-in with your photo ID          of a seat at the lowest fare on the requested date & time
(such as ID Card or passport) to receive your boarding pass. Using        and displays it. Conditions / rules attached to the fare display
an E-ticket is very simple and completely secure. E-tickets have          appropriately, before confirming your purchase. If you so wish,
many benefits. You cannot lose an E-ticket since your ticket is your      you can override this feature to get a lowest fare ticket on any
confirmation number and photo identification. In the event that           other day, by simply selecting the 'Lowest fare' option within the
you forget the confirmation number, the flight number or your             flight request page.
name will do the job.                                                        Currently Online booking is available for Muscat, Salalah,
   Booking online is the easiest way to reserve and purchase tickets      Dubai, Cairo, Kuwait, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Trivandrum, and
by using our online booking engine. It is one of the most advanced        Amman. Tickets are acceptable on Oman Air operated flights
booking engines in the world and handles thousands of bookings            only. Itinerary can be One Way or Return or Multiple Cities
a year. Our online booking engine allows bookings 24 hours a day          within the above destinations. Oman Air is in the process of
and seven days a week. You can book for a maximum of 330 days in          introducing this service in all Oman Air stations, once the airport
advance from flight departure date, and the minimum time required         authorities at the company’s destinations upgrade their systems
is four hours prior to the scheduled departure of the flight.             to initiate this service.

     Cover Story

OpuLeNCe: The Emirates Palace Hotel

    Abu Dhabi

   pearl of the emirates
                                      From the rolling desert to the glistening waters
                                      of the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi offers ceaseless

                                                                      The hotel bears testimony to the fast-paced development
                                                                    of Abu Dhabi. Fifty years ago, Abu Dhabi was a desolate dot
                                                                    on Earth, not much more than a few huts and lots of sand.
                                                                    The Heritage Museum where the history is chronicled will give
                                                                    a fair idea of what Abu Dhabi was 50 years ago.

                                                                                                 The gleaming glass
                                                                                                 buildings speak
                                                                                                 about the city’s

                                                                      Today Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates,
                                                                    which only became a nation in 1971. It is a modern and steadily
                                                                    growing metropolis.
                                                                      One can take a stroll at the lovely corniche watching residents
                                                                    and tourists savouring the sight of the aquamarine sea. The
                                                                    gleaming glass buildings speak about the city’s wealth.
                                                                      From there, a road leads to the Breakwater, an area of
                                                                    reclaimed land off the main Abu Dhabi Island. Featuring a
                                                                    luxury shopping mall, water sports club and Heritage Village,
                                                                    this area has a number of Arabic cafes and restaurants along
                                                                    the waterfront and a new marina and housing development are
                                                                    almost completed. Tourists can take a traditional boat (dhow)
                                                                    and cruise along savouring the sights.

                                                                      If you want to soak in history a visit to Qasr Al Hosn, also
                                                                    called the white fort, located along Sheikh Zayed the First Street
                                                                    is a must. It started out as a round watchtower defending the
                                                                    only freshwater well on Abu Dhabi Island in ca. 1761.
                                                                      This tower was later expanded to a small fort in ca. 1793, at
                                                                    which point it became the permanent residence of the ruling
                                                                    sheikh. It remained the royal palace (hence the name Qasr
                                                                    Al Hosn, meaning palace-fort) and seat of government until

“An enchanting landmark that’s a wonder to behold for all
who venture through its magnificent gates”, so describes the
Abu Dhabi’s official tourism website. And when one checks
in at The Emirates Palace hotel, where opulence is at its finest,
one realises that Abu Dhabi is really a wonder to behold.
Decorated with 114 cupolas, the hotel looks enormous from
a distance. The facades reflect the many hues of desert sand.
A total of 92 luxury suites, 302 deluxe rooms, 7,000 doors
and 1,000 crystal chandeliers adorn the building. The private
beach is 1.3 kilometres in length.
                                                                                                         DeLIGHTFuL: Women making handicrafts

GLeAMING: An aerial view of downtown Abu Dhabi

   Adjacent is the Cultural Foundation, a modern complex           parks and beaches:
designed in traditional architectural style, and home to the         Abu Dhabi has some 20 well-maintained parks. These lush
National Library, an auditorium, exhibition halls and a cinema.
                                                                   pockets of greenery reflect the commitment of the ruling
The Foundation is the hub of Abu Dhabi’s cultural life,
                                                                   family to the beautification of this desert city, and most
staging concerts, plays, lectures and a variety of other events.
The new Heritage Village on the Breakwater chronicles the life     contain water features and children’s play areas.
before the oil era. Its display offers an insight into Bedouin       Located on an island and surrounded by the warm and
life, as well as courtyard houses, wind towers and an example      welcoming turquoise waters of the Gulf, the city is well
of the ancient irrigation system used in the region’s oasis.
                                                                   endowed with a number of golden beaches. Some of these
In different workshops craftsmen and women demonstrate
                                                                   have been developed into beach parks, offering facilities
traditional skills and the museum has displays of garments,
coins, Holy Qurans, diving equipment, jewellery and weaponry       such as changing rooms, adjacent gardens and food
from a bygone era.                                                 outlets.

TrADITION: Qasr Al Hosn (White fort)                                                                             HerITAGe: Folk dance

Action and adventure:
  For the keen golfer, Abu Dhabi offers several options, with
excellent clubs boasting world-class facilities.
  The Abu Dhabi Golf Club by Sheraton and The Abu Dhabi
Golf and Equestrian Club have excellent facilities. For those
wishing to plumb the depths of water Abu Dhabi offers rich
marine and coral life. Many good dive sites are easily accessible
from Abu Dhabi, including wreck or deepwater dives and reef
dives. If you enjoy the desert, explore the desert as part of a
Desert Safari. Take a 4x4 and drive over the dunes and then
barbecue at a traditional desert camp.

  Traditional arts and crafts, such as weaving and producing
hand-made souvenirs, are practised at The Women’s Craft
Centre on Al Maktoum Street. Visitors may purchase these                                                          TrADITION: The falcon, the symbol of the UAE

artefacts at fixed prices. For high-end brand lovers the Abu
Dhabi Mall near the Beach Rotana Hotel and The Marina Mall                          Transportation
on the Breakwater will certainly wow with its chic shops.                           Taxis are plentiful and cheap in Abu Dhabi. Individually
                                                                                    registered taxis can be flagged down at the roadside.
  Gold is very competitively priced in Abu Dhabi and there
                                                                                    Many taxi companies run fleets of upmarket cars and
are many jewellery shops around town, with the biggest                              limos that can be booked in advance by telephone.
concentration of outlets in the Madinat Zayed Gold Market.                          Abu Dhabi Municipality operates a comprehensive and
Other malls include Madinat Zayed Shopping & Gold Centre,                           cheap network of bus routes. There is a regular 24-hour
                                                                                    service linking Abu Dhabi International Airport and the
Liwa Centre, Al Hana Shopping Centre, Al Muhairy Centre,
                                                                                    city centre. The major car hire firms are well represented
Fatouh Al Khair, Hamdan Centre, Khalifa Centre, Rotana Mall,                        in the cities and at the airports and may be contacted
Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society and the Lamcy Plaza.                                 through the hotels. Oman Air flies seven flights a week
                                                                                    to Abu Dhabi.
Future projects:                                                                    Accommodation
  Saadiyat Island or the Island of Happiness is being constructed                   Most of the hotels in Abu Dhabi city are located around
on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi City and is expected to become                        the northern end of the city near the Corniche and the
                                                                                    journey from the airport takes roughly 40 minutes. Many
a major tourist destination. Three yacht harbours are planned
                                                                                    of the hotels are either new or recently refurbished
along with two golf courses and 29 hotels including one seven-                      and provide spacious, well-equipped luxury rooms and
star facility with more than 7,000 rooms.                                           public areas.
  Saadiyat will host a gallery of modern and contemporary art
operated by the Guggenheim.                                                         Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
  Scheduled to open in 2011, the museum’s being designed                            Tel: +971 2 4440444
by none other than Frank Gehry. For the devouts the Great                           Fax: +971 2 4440400
mosque is almost complete. It should soon accommodate up
to 70,000 worshippers, making it one of the biggest masjids
in the world. Makrana marble from India was used, the same
material used for the Taj Mahal.
  So, here is a place where everything blends so well.

                                        • Abu Dhabi: +971 2 6266800 • Al Ain: +971 3 7669943 • Amman: +9626 5 626644 • Bahrain: +973 17 225383 / 225282
                                        • Beirut: +961 1 485076/ 511786 • Cairo: +202 5759797 / 5789393 • Chennai: +91 44 52147676 • Dammam: +966
                                        3 8961412 • Delhi: +91 11 2332 4097 / 2332 4087 • Doha: +974 4424579 / 4320509 • Dubai: +971 4 3521777
                                        • Hyderabad: +91 40 23245500 • Jeddah: +966 2 6456893 • Khasab: +968 26731592 • Kochi: +91 484 2358185
                                        • Kuwait: +965 2412284 / 2452796, Ext.103/104/105 • Mumbai: +91 22 22819180 • Muscat: +968 24765129
                                        • Salalah: +968 23292777 • Sharjah: +971 6 5748212 • Thiruvananthapuram: +91 471 2728127 / 2728137


Frankincense Tree at Wadi Dawkah

emerges as a year-round
tourist destination
                             until now, Salalah has been known mostly for its Khareef (monsoon
                             season) when a misty fog nourishes the mountain ranges transforming
                             the countryside into emerald-green grasslands. Thousands of tourists flock
                             here during this time to retreat to the cooler weather that the region offers.
                             Today, as the city strives to become a major tourist destination many are
                             realising that the city has plenty to offer the visitor, any time of the year.

  The beach near Al Bahri Road is full of action in the afternoons.     The grains of pure-white sand found on the shore are unique to
Boys kick footballs into miniature goals with onlookers cheering      South of Oman, given the proximity to the Indian Ocean. Driving
them on, while mothers take their children to play at the water’s     is possible on public beaches, if you have a four-wheel drive and,
edge. Men sit on the sand in circles to enjoy a game of cards         as the sun sets, fishermen drag their nets ashore bursting with
and share the latest ‘news’.
                                                                      sardines – or other fish – depending on the season. Flocks of
  The stretches of white beach near the town, lined with leaning
                                                                      seagulls shriek in anticipation and swarm down on the fishermen
coconut palms, are a delightful place to watch the sunset. Outside
                                                                      as they unload their catch into the back of their trucks. Lagoons
the town, Salalah’s kilometres of beaches offer a multitude of
camping opportunities, providing the winds are not too strong.        near the sea also attract flamingos and other birds.

                                                                                            Article by: Michelle Balmer. photographs by: Kirsten Holst

                                                                                                                        Birdlife at a lagoon in Salalah

  Besides birdlife, Salalah is a haven especially for large fish and     An insight into the history of the city can be found in the ruins
pristine reefs which offer the adventure seeker some of the best       of the ancient and medieval port, Al Baleed Archaeological Park.
game fishing and diving opportunities in South Oman. Both of           Evidence suggests this site was once an important trading centre
Salalah’s five-star hotels arrange numerous water-based activities,    for Arabian horses and Omani frankincense. The famous explorer
making an exceptional day out. The best time for fishing and           Ibn Battutta is said to have visited the port in the 14th century
diving is during the winter months when the sea is calm and the        – fast forward to the 21st century and it remains an attraction for
fish, prawn and lobster season are at their peak.                      travellers due to its historical and cultural importance.
                                                                         A visit to Al Hisn souq provides a chance to choose from a large range
                                                                       of some of the finest frankincense in the world, for which Salalah is
                              The stretches of
                                                                       renowned. Shopkeepers scoop the rock-like crystals into plastic bags
                              white beach near                         which are then weighed and priced according to quality. Swirls of
                              the town, lined with                     smoke waft from burners offering a fusion of sweet, woody aromas to
                              leaning coconut                          entice shoppers. Majmars (terracotta burners) of all shapes and sizes
                                                                       line the shelves of stalls. Some are painted in shades of blue, red,
                              palms, are a
                                                                       yellow and green while others are encrusted in decorations including
                              delightful place to
                                                                       glitter and jewel-like stones. Another treat for the senses is bokhur,
                              watch the sunset                         myrrh and local perfumes which are available in abundance.

                                                                                                       The Dhofar region was
  The compact size of the city makes it easy to navigate. One                                          once the centre of the
of the more interesting short walks is through the oldest part                                         frankincense trade
of town to see some traditional Dhofari houses, some of which                                          and an important area
                                                                                                       for this unique plant
have been abandoned. In the early evening the activity heightens                                       is Wadi Dawkah, a 45
as many people meet to enjoy a meal together at some of the                                            kilometre drive north
sandwich stalls, which are open until late, or one of the numerous                                     of Salalah
coffee shops or restaurants. Those with a sweet tooth should
look for the bright coloured containers stacked in the windows           The Dhofar region was once the centre of the frankincense
of traditional Omani sweets shops to sample an array of infused        trade and an important area for this unique plant is Wadi Dawkah,
jelly-like desserts. Alternatively, the papaya, coconut and banana     a 45-kilometre drive north of Salalah. At this UNESCO World
plantations that thrive here offer a perfect opportunity to stop at    Heritage Site visitors can see frankincense trees along a route said
a fruit stall and sip the juice of a freshly cut coconut. These lush   to date back to ancient times. In Dhofar, each year approximately
tropical fruit plantations that are spread about the town give way     7, 000 tonnes of the milky resin is harvested during a three month
to Salalah’s alternative name – ‘The Garden City’.                     period beginning in late March or early April.

Natural springs in Salalah

    Wadi Dawkah is just one of the many day trips within easy reach of Salalah. Head east of
the city on an easy 70-kilometre journey to Mirbat for some impressive views of the coast
and its clear waters. Turn right into Bin Ali Street just before the fishing village of Mirbat
to see the crisp white mosque housing the tomb of Islamic scholar Mohammed Bin Ali.                     Salalah Fast Facts
Surrounding the tomb, said to be of medieval architecture, is a cemetery where burial sites             WHeN TO GO: Any time of the year.
with two stones indicate the grave of a female whereas three stones indicate the grave
                                                                                                        HOW TO GeT THere: The drive from
of a male. On the return to Salalah take a detour in the mountains to locate the Baobob
                                                                                                        Muscat is approx. 1040 kilometres on route
trees (sometimes called the ‘upside-down tree’). One particular tree in the Baobob forest is
                                                                                                        31. For those who prefer to fly-in, the city
thought to be around 2000 years old. The gravel road gives way to stunning views back over
                                                                                                        has an airport that is serviced by several
the Arabian Sea although sometimes the track needs to be shared with resident goats and
wandering camels. (In fact, when driving anywhere around Salalah it is important to watch               international and domestic flights.
out for camels as they also plod across many of the major roads.) Alternatively, follow the             WHere TO STAY: Bring camping
main road back to Salalah and turn left at the Khor Rori signpost to see a picturesque lagoon           equipment and select your preferred
and another significant archaeological site.                                                            camping spot. Alternatively check into
    To the West of Salalah, lies the recently constructed ‘zig zag’ road – a fine piece of              one of the many guest houses or one of
engineering. The tarmac road has been carved out of the cliff-face and motorists must                   the two five-star hotels.
proceed slowly. It’s worth the drive and, along the way, you will pass by Al-Mughsayl beach             uSeFuL INFOrMATION:
and glimpse many other parts of the coast as well as caves, fishing villages and picnic spots.          Salalah is Dhofar’s main city and is
Few tourists continue onwards to the small village of Rakhyut because of its distance from              situated in Southern Oman overlooking
Salalah (approximately 130 kilometres).
                                                                                                        the Arabian Sea.
    With additional hotels currently under development Salalah is set to take on a new identity as
                                                                                                        Oman Air is operating 22 flights a week
it reinvents itself from ‘a place to visit during the Khareef’ into a major, year-round international
                                                                                                        and will increase its flights during the
tourism destination. The appeal of Salalah lies in its unique seaside setting, lagoons,
                                                                                                        Khareef Festival.
mountainous backdrop and nearby expanses of desert – all waiting to be explored.

Fishermen remove sardines from their nets

   Culture &

SuCCuLeNT: The juicy dates

A bountiful harvest
                                These are the months wherein the sight of succulent
                                dates dangling from palm trees greets you everywhere
                                in Oman.
  Hospitality in this part of the world begins with an offering    still attach great importance to the date palm in the same
of succulent dates, the chewy fruit along with freshly ground      way they used to do it in the yore. Arabs are devout Muslims
Arabic coffee ‘kahwa’. This is the land of Arabs for whom the      and attach a lot of importance to dates as it is a part of the
date palm has been a vital source of livelihood since ages.        Islamic history. During the holy month of Ramadhan, they
  The date palm, symbolic of a culture rich in history and         maintain the tradition of breaking the fast by eating dates
religious traditions, forms the bedrock of Arabian civilisation.   till today.
There was a time when the entire Arab economy solely                 The date palm (phoenix dactylifera) belongs to the Palm
depended on the production of dates and using the parts
                                                                   family, arecaceae, and can grow up to 30 metres. The date
of the date palm for different purposes. Notwithstanding the
                                                                   palm has no branches, only a graceful crown of long feathery
fact that oil has dramatically changed the economic profile
of the majority of Arab states, the Arabs, steeped in tradition,   green leaves atop a single bare trunk.

   The trunk is characterised by a spiralling pattern of leaf scars           by the farmers. The farmers then introduce the pollen to the
developed from the bases of earlier leaves. Date palms are                    flowers by placing the bundles of male flowers in the spadix
either male or female with their respective flowers carried                   of the female tree, thus fertilising the plant so that it produces
in bunches at the top of the tree. Each male tree produces                    dates.
enough pollen to fertilise around 45 female trees. Only the                      The fruit passes through several separate stages of maturity,
female tree bears the fruit.                                                  traditionally described by changes in colour, texture and taste/
   The best time of pollination occurs at the beginning                       flavour. Green dates (Arabic kimri) contain maximum moisture
of the year when the shell containing the female flowers                      and are firm in texture. At the second stage (Arabic khalal),
begin to crack – this time is locally known as Al – fatrah.                   dates begin to lose moisture and in parallel accumulate
The inflorescence combs of the male flowers are collected                     considerable quantities of sugar. In the third stage (Arabic
                                                                              rutab), loss of moisture is accelerated and the fruit becomes
                                                                              softer in texture. In the final mature stage (Arabic tamar), the
                                                                              fruit contains the least amount of moisture and maintains a
                                                                              soft texture and a sweet taste
                                                                                 Under ideal conditions, a healthy date palm can carry up
                                                                              to 800 dates. Each tree can produce eight to 25 bunches of
                                                                              dates. The date palm in Oman generally flowers in the late
                                                                              winter and early spring while the date ripens from May to
                                                                                 Dates from the farms are brought to the processing factories.
                                                                              After a series of processes like fumigation, washing, drying and
                                                                              packing they are then either locally marketed or exported to
                                                                              foreign countries. Dates processing and packaging factories are
                                                                              located in industrial areas like Rusayl, Ghala, Ma’abela and Sohar.
IN ABuNDANCe: There are more than 200 varieties of dates produced in Arabia
  The export of dates was the mainstay of the Omani economy          Every part of the tree has its uses. Palm leaves are
before the discovery of oil. There are more than 200 varieties     woven into mats, baskets, crates and are used for making
of dates produced in Arabia. In Oman some of the varieties         attractive creations such as flag-shaped fans, toys, candle-
relished for their delectable taste and succulence are Khalas,     sticks and ornaments sculpted into camels and horses.
Khunaizi, Khasab, Mabselli and Fardh.
                                                                   The wood, bark and leaves provide timber and fabric for
                                                                   houses, fences, boats and fish traps. The fibrous bark is used
 Date palm was once
 referred to as ‘Omm                                               for making ropes, cordage and packing material. Bases of the
 al faquir’ (mother                                                leaves and the fruit stalks are used as fuel and buoyancy in
 of the poor) in the                                               unique palm tree boats known as shashas. Even the stone
 yore, an indication of                                            (seed) of the date is a meal for the cow camel.
 the multitude uses                                                  The temporary summer and winter Omani retreat houses,
 that a date palm can
                                                                   called Orghan and Al Doon respectively, are constructed using
 be put to besides the
 food value                                                        palm leaves as the main component. Sajam, a large collective
                                                                   bed of about six metres in length and four metres in width, is
  Current estimates of the number of trees in the country          made using palm wood.
approach eight million with the maximum fruit yield reaching
                                                                     The seeds are ground and used as cattle food. Other uses
40 kg per palm.
                                                                   of the palm trees include chicken coops (qafas), clothes
  To date Khalas remains the cultivar of the highest quality but
                                                                   fumigators (mibkhara), carrying sacks (makfa), cosmetic
experimental introduction of new cultivars along with easier
production practices are poised to increase the extent of large    buckets (habba) and ropes.
scale farming in the country. Date palm was once referred            Dates are eaten fresh plucked directly from the trees in
to as ‘Omm al faquir’ (mother of the poor) in the yore, an         summer or as tamar throughout the rest of the year. Besides,
indication of the multitude uses that a date palm can be put       date juices locally called in Oman as ‘dibs’ are savoured by
to besides the food value. The date palm has been adopted          many. Dates are also made into candy, often combined with
as logos for several wilayats.                                     marzipan or hazel nuts.

LIFeLINe: Date palms abound in Oman

popular varieties of
dates in Oman
Khalas:                                                     Khunaizi:
Greatly relished for their delicious taste and succulence   Cultivated in most areas of the Sultanate, these dark red
and is the most sought after. It thrives in the Interior,   dates can usually withstand high humidity levels. They
Sharqiya and Dhahirah region, besides Al Rustaq. The        are relished fresh in season or dry outside the season.
fruit is bright yellow, oval-shaped, and is eaten either
fresh or half-dry.                                          Naghal:
                                                            An early crop, the Naghal is sensitive to humidity and
Khasab:                                                     thrives best in the hot, arid Interior region. A large
A late-season crop, the Khasab grows in all date-farming
                                                            part of the Naghal harvest is destined for Oman’s date
regions of the Sultanate, though quality yields come
                                                            processing factories.
from Al Rustaq, Ibri and parts of the Sharqiya region.
The fruit is dark red in colour, but some sub-types are
                                                            Reddish-yellow in colour, these oblongish dates grow in
                                                            the Interior, Dhahirah and Batinah regions.
A mid-season crop, the Mebselli, in line with traditional
practice, is cooked and dried and exported to markets       Hilali Oman:
in the Indian sub-continent. It is also eaten fresh or      Cultivated in various parts of the Sultanate, this late-
naturally dried. It grows extensively in the Interior,      season crop has light yellow dates with a 60 per cent
Sharqiya, Dhahirah and Batinah regions.                     sugar content.


CruISe: Fun in the middle of the sea

Gliding through
Omani waters
A cruise in a dhow, a traditional boat, is likely to be an unforgettable experience.

   Given the long coastline dotted with sylvan and scenic spots in           Inside the dhow, an Arabic décor, complete with velvet upholstery
the country, dhow cruise in Oman has tremendous potential to              offering views through the stained glass makes the sea cruise an
drive economic growth, generate employment and benefit the                unforgettable experience. Outside, a raised majlis, a comfortable
hospitality industry. A cruise in a dhow, a traditional boat, is likely   seating area will transport you to a blissful world.
to be an unforgettable experience.                                           Below the deck one can marvel at the lush trappings of a self-
   The sea is beautiful, and dazzled in its mutation of colours           contained master bedroom and two guest bedrooms. A short
ranging from pale aquamarine, sometimes plunging into deep                flight of steps will take you to the upper deck with a panoramic
sapphire with a roll of the waves, at times merging into a turquoise,     view. Meals are provided on board while a live band will entertain
visually impacting against the music of the sea gulls... and the          you at nights.
thrashing of the waves.                                                      Visitors are encouraged to sit on a suspended plank which gives
   A variety of services are offered to the tourists who want to          them a feeling of skimming over the water. They get to have a
savour the sea and its sights. The common three types of services         wonderful view.
offered here are chartered dhow cruise, dinner dhow cruise and               The pick up point in the Muscat area is the Marina Bandar Al
the sunset dhow cruise. Besides, special services like anniversary        Rowdah which has a scenic backdrop. The cove with its coloured
parties, birthday parties, staff parties and picnics can be organised     yachts, boats and dhows bobbing gently in the waters will titillate
in the midst of the sea. Dolphin and whale watching are yet               your senses even before you embark on a cruise.
another activity which can be combined with dhow cruise.                     The sights included in such cruises include Al Bustan Palace,
   Dhows like the 75-feet long Lubna are crafted incorporating the        opulence at its finest, Bandar Al Jissa, where the wind sculpted
Omani elements of boat building in the historic town of Sur. Most         cliffs provide for a lovely spectacle, the serene Yeti Beach, the
of these dhows are navigated by a captain and crew having a long          Bandar Khyran, a popular beach and a great spot for snorkelling
standing experience. As the sea sometimes can be rough, their             (for which equipment is provided free of cost) and a rendezvous
experience come in handy to tide over the crisis.                         with frolicking dolphins and whales.

   For sunset cruises, the sights are the Yacht Club, the
picturesque village of Sidab, followed by Port Sultan
Qaboos, Jalali and Mirani forts and Al Alam Palace.
   The boat is well equipped with life jackets, life rings, life
rafts, distress signal, first aid box, fire extinguishers, tender
boats, etc.
   With Musandum being promoted as a hot destination,
dhow cruises in the region are gaining popularity. A full
day dhow cruise in Musandum glides through spectacular
fjords anchoring at several places.
   Surrounded by spectacular mountains and serene remote
white sand beaches, tourists will enjoy dolphin watching,
swimming and snorkelling in pristine waters teeming with
friendly, colourful fish before being transported to their
hotels at Khasab harbour. Among the famous cruises in
this region are the full-day cruise to Khor Sham and a two-
day cruise to Kumzar.

HerITAGe: The inside of a dhow resembles a majlis
     Health &

                                             Your lipid profile
                                             There have been so many health warnings about high
                                             cholesterol that many of us now give it at least a passing
                                             thought. But what does cholesterol do in the body, and
                                             what can be done to reduce bad cholesterol?
  Without cholesterol your body wouldn’t work: it’s vital                     Too much cholesterol or high lipids in the blood,
to ensure the body’s normal function. Like specialised                      however, increases the risk of coronary heart disease
bricks, it forms part of the outer membrane that surrounds
                                                                            and disease of the arteries. What are these lipids and can
every cell. It’s used to insulate nerve fibres (and so make
nerve signals travel properly) and make hormones, which                     timely detection of high lipids and their control thereafter

carry chemical signals around the body.                                     prevent heart disease?

BeST DIeT: Add more fibre in one’s normal diet along with seasonal fruits

  Lipids are fatty substances found in blood. Though a           It is also known as the good cholesterol because it
certain amount of fat is important for the body’s normal       helps remove the LDL particles from the arteries and
working, too much fatty substance is bad. High levels          bring them back to the liver. Here, they are duly recycled
of fat contribute significantly to the development of          or broken down.
heart disease as well as stroke. If detected in time, this       Usually, the damage caused by high lipids is a silent
situation can also be corrected. Hence, a lipid profile test   process in terms of clinical symptoms. It is mostly realised
is essential.                                                  late in the day, mainly when the person has a heart
                                                               problem or is hospitalised for an unrelated problem.
Two forms
                                                                 However, it is possible to get a sneak preview into the
  There are two basic forms of lipids — Cholesterol
                                                               process if patients do a regular lipid profile test.
and Triglycerides — and four types of carrier proteins.
Both forms are manufactured internally in the liver and        Lifestyle problem
intestines and externally consumed in our diet. When             Actually, high blood lipids are a lifestyle problem. In
the digested fat reaches the liver it is attached to certain   our daily life, we eat too much, the wrong kind of food
carrier proteins.                                              and exercise too less. In fact, proper and adequate diet
  This makes fat soluble in blood to be able to flow in        as well light exercise form the cornerstones for lowering
and reach each cell. There are four types of proteins          cholesterol and other lipids. Therefore, a consultant
depending on the type and concentration of fat they carry.     should formulate a patient’s diet and expert pattern.
The types of fats are HDL (High Density Lipoproteins),           The best diet is to avoid red meat, egg yolk, fried
LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins), VLDL (Very Low Density         food, coconut oil, butter, cheese, full cream milk and
Lipoproteins) and IDL (Intermediate Density Cholesterol).      chocolates.
These lipoproteins have a peculiar role in fat metabolism        On the other hand, try to add more fibre in one’s
and interpretations of the test report.                        normal diet along with seasonal fruits, seeds, beans as
  As LDL cholesterol initiates the formation of plaque, it     well as whole grain. In addition, note that fried food is
is also known as bad cholesterol. On the other hand, HDL       bad, whereas boiled and baked food is good.
is the tiny lipoprotein that usually transports very little      The best exercise pattern is to walk, jog, swim, cycle or
cholesterol and more proteins from the liver through the       do aerobics for at least 15-20 minutes daily. In the case of
blood vessels.                                                 extreme problems, consult a qualified physician.

IMpOrTANT: Ensure that your workplace is kept clean

Your health
and the office
                                           Your health could be under renewed attack the minute you
                                           return to work after the holidays. Many offices are stressful
                                           and hazardous and can even be a breeding ground for
                                           disease. Here we present ways to ensure that your workplace
                                           doesn’t sabotage your wellbeing.
Avoid office infections                                             Remove debris from your keyboard at least once a week.
   Research by the microbiology department at Arizona               “Wash your hands regularly and avoid eating at your desk,”
University revealed that the average office desk is home          says Dr. Rosemary. “If you must eat there, avoid dropping crumbs
to 20,961 germs per square inch — 400 times more than the         on your keyboard and never put food directly on your desk.”
average office toilet.
                                                                  protect your eyes
   This is because toilets must be cleaned regularly while
                                                                     Take an eye test at least every two years and more often if
cleaners aren’t asked to be so thorough with desks.
                                                                  you have problems. Continued use of a VDU can increase eye
   “One main source of infection is from keyboards or phones,
                                                                  strain because your eyes have to focus at an unnatural fixed
especially when they’re shared,” says Dr Rosemary Leonard.
                                                                  distance for a long time. Look away from your VDU every 20
     “Food and debris can also collect inside keyboards and
                                                                  minutes and focus on an object between 12 and 15 feet away.
attract bacteria, which can spread stomach bugs.”
                                                                     Another common problem is dry eyes caused by air
   Clean your desk regularly with alcohol based detergent wipes
                                                                  conditioning and a tendency for VDU users to blink less
or antiseptic wipes and wipe your computer and phone with
lint-free antistatic wipes.

  If you’re stressed and working to a deadline, you’re even less       Half a million office workers suffer from neck and back
likely to blink. Blinking covers the eyes with a protective, moist   problems every year but these and RSI can be avoided.
layer. Not blinking will dry out eyes, and in the long term, cause     Sit with your back straight. Your eyes should be in line with the
damage.                                                              top of your monitor and your feet on the ground. Your keyboard
                                                                     should be at elbow height so you can type while keeping your
                                       One main source               forearms and upper arms at a right angle. Don’t rest your wrists
                                       of infection is               on the keyboard or mouse pad.
                                       from keyboards or
                                                                     Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
                                       phones, especially
                                                                        An inability to concentrate or stay awake at work could
                                       when they’re shared           be caused by SBS. It’s caused by poor air circulation and the
                                                                     chemicals and radiation released by computers, photocopiers,
  Train yourself to blink every time you press a common key
                                                                     printers and office electronics.
such as the enter button.
                                                                       Employers should ensure heating and air conditioning work
Avoid repetitive strain injury, rSI and back pain                    efficiently and cleaned regularly. Photocopiers and printers
  RSI covers any injury caused by repetitive movements but           should be at least five feet away from desks.
is more commonly associated with injuries to hands or arms
                                                                     Keep stress at bay
caused by misuse of computers.
                                                                       Pressure can be healthy — stress isn’t. Avoid stress by taking
  The injury can start as tingling but soon develops into pain.
                                                                     several breaks a day, even just to get a drink. Always try to take
At least one office worker in every 50 suffers from RSI.
                                                                     a short walk at lunchtime.

CLeAN: Good environment is necessary

	 	 	 	creativity                    Cross-functional collaboration, exchange of ideas,
                                     concept creation and sharing of knowledge virtually at
                                     every level of the organisation are needed to manage and
                                     fully harness the potential of inspiration and creativity.
  One attended a seminar recently on managing creativity         Every company, big or small, will be eager to come up with
and innovation in business. It was about how to generate       innovations that can capture the public imagination; which in
thinking and construct knowledge on creative and innovative    turn can strengthen its image and brand name.
practices in the corporate scenario and to establish synergy     To face today’s complex challenges, one needs to incorporate
between Creativity and Innovation and develop strategies to    a wide range of styles, skills and perspectives. This is true
implement this mix in business. It was very useful. Based on   particularly in multi-functional organisations, where people
our experiences in such a field one shares one's thoughts:     carrying out different functions and working in different

 INNOVATION: Creativity is the key

divisions have to get                                                                                                        M     a     k      e
together to resolve                                                          encourage                                  brainstorming a
mutual       problems                                                                                                   religion, practise
                                                                             focussed and
and come up with                                                                                                        it       every       day,
solutions          that
                                                                                                                        and       weave         it
are         universally                                                      observation of the                         into the cultural
acceptable.                                                                  right people -                             fabric of your
  While individuals
                                                                             people who are                             organisation.
can exude creativity
                                                                             naturally creative or                      Cross-functional
and      innovation,                                                                                                    c o l l a b o ra t i o n ,
only team effort                                                             those who do things
                                                                                                                        exchange              of
can              ensure                                                      a little differently                       ideas,         concept
that        something
                                                                                                                        creation             and
worthwhile comes
                                                                                                                        sharing               of
of it. Organisations, on their part, can create an ambience where
                                                                     knowledge virtually at every level of the organisation are needed
creativity flourishes. One can do a lot to inspire employees and
                                                                     to manage and fully harness the potential of inspiration and
facilitate free exchange of ideas within the organisation.
                                                                     creativity. In fact, the free flow of ideas should be encouraged
  When everyone in an organisation falls into the trap of
                                                                     not only within the organisation, but also between the
approaching problems too similarly, there can be little or no
                                                                     organisation and other companies and businesses as well.
creativity. Encourage your people to think innovatively about
                                                                       Make cross-pollination of ideas an integral part of your
your business, your industry and your customers. Egg them
                                                                     workplace - expect to find answers from unusual places.
on to ask questions - different questions, or even ask them to
                                                                       As business today is about passion and winning and creating
word the same question in a different way. By approaching a
                                                                     new things, fun has become a big element in the business
problem, response or a prospect from a different perspective,
you create an opportunity for new understanding and new              strategy of many highly successful businesses. Make fun a

learning.                                                            part of the workplace culture. It not only keeps the team in

  Everybody has a different agenda. Customers want quality           good spirits, but also creates an atmosphere where people

products and services, employees want better compensation,           naturally tend to take chances to resolve issues or come up
recognition or career opportunities while companies want             with innovative suggestions. Lastly, do remember that winning
greater profits and a better market share. Learn to recognise        solutions are not born in a compliant environment.
and develop empathy for diversified needs, even if they are            They are often the product of a vortex of divergent
very different from yours. After all, the best solutions are those   perspectives, paradoxical beliefs, conflicting emotions and
that embrace people’s differences.                                   cross-pollination of ideas rather than a narrowly focussed
  Encourage focussed and insightful observation of the right         search for an answer.
people - people who are naturally creative or
those who do things a little differently. Observe
them in motion, in their natural settings;
combine careful watching with occasional well-
chosen questions. Such people often have the
ability to inadvertently spark off brilliant ideas
or solutions in an offhand manner, sometimes
even without realising their value. Inspiration
often comes from seeing, hearing, feeling and
being there. Sensory immersion is a powerful
source of innovation.
  So, make sure that you keep close to where
the action is.
                                                                                                         SpIrIT: Make fun a part of work culture


Come July the football fans in Asia are in for a great treat. The Asian
Football Confederation’s Asian Cup 2007 finals will be held in July. The high-
profile championship begins on July 7, 2007 with the finals slated for July 29
in Jakarta, Indonesia. For the first time in its history, the competition will be
co-hosted by four nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam
History of the Asian Cup                                           to win the competition in 1980 before Saudi Arabia claimed
   The Asian Cup is held once every four years from 1956           three of the next four championships, reaching the final five
onwards, the last of which was held in China in 2004. It is the    times in a row.
first major tournament in which Australia will participate as         Japan’s Asian Cup victories in 1992, 2000 and 2004 signalled
member of the AFC. It was the first non-host nation to qualify.    a shift in power back to East Asia at the turn of the Millennium
   The tournament had it roots in the formation of the Asian       although the highly competitive nature of the most recent
Football Confederation in Manila in 1954. The 12 founder           tournament in China is a clear indication that competition
members of the AFC sought to shape the development of the          remains keen among the sides looking to be crowned Asia’s
game in Asia and one of the keys to achieving that aim was         top national team.
the organisation of a regional competition for the continent’s
international teams.                                               The format of the tournament
    Just two years later, the first ever Asian Cup was staged in   Qualifications
Hong Kong with seven of the 12 affiliated national associations       For the Asian Cup 2007 tournament, qualifications ran
vying for the title of Asia’s best football team.                  from February 22, 2006 to November 15, 2006. Four co-hosts
     Over half a century later, the Asian Cup has grown to         Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were granted
encompass teams from throughout the continent                                   automatic qualification. For the first time, the
and has become the barometer by which the                                                     defending champions Japan needed
continually changing balance of power in Asian                                                         to attend the qualification
football is measured.                                                                                  stage. 24 teams attempted
    From the dominance of Korea Republic in the                                                       to qualify for the 2007 AFC
early years of the competition, the Asian Cup                                                       Asian Cup. They were divided
became the providence of the mighty Iranians                                                      into six groups. Each group had
who won three consecutive tournaments from 1968 to                                              four teams to nominate the 16
1976.                                                                                        teams; the first and second in each
       During the 1980s, the Gulf states asserted                                       group in addition to the four teams from
themselves with Kuwait becoming the first Arab side                                   the co-host nations.

                                                                             Oman has made it to the Asian Cup for the second tournament
                                                                          in succession. The Omani team aspires to achieve better results by
                                                                          putting up a better performance than in the earlier tournament.
                                                                          Though the Omani team was in a group comprising strong teams,
                                                                          in the match against Japan, the Omani players put up a better
                                                                          performance than the professional players and lost 1-0. Whereas
                                                                          in the match against Iran, the Omani team could not maintain
                                                                          their two-goal lead towards the closing stages of the match and
                                                                          drew 2-2. Though they won against Thailand 2-0, the win was not
                                                                          sufficient for Oman to qualify for the next stage of the tournament.

                                                                           Oman is playing in
                                                                           Group A alongside
                                                                           Australia, Iraq and
  It has been divided into two steps.                                     Armed with the best ever team, Oman is leaving no stone
  Group-wise, the 16 teams in the four groups would play each             unturned to put up a scintillating performance in the Asian Cup
other. The first and the second teams in each group would                 2007. Experts themselves have praised the performance of
advance further.                                                          players such as the morale-boosting captain Mohammed Rabia,
    In the knock-out stage, the winner of each match would                goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, Fawzi Bashir, Imad Ali, Ahmed Hadeed
advance into the next step to reach the finals.                           and the other professional players who have playing experience
                                                                          in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and England, in addition to the young
The Omani team’s ‘outstanding performance’                                players such as the star of the Oman league Hussein Al Hadri.
   Oman has since built on their success and has geared up for               And with Gabriel Calderon as Oman's coach and his strategy of
the Asian Cup 2007 edition after finishing second in the Group            having a blend of experienced players and youngsters, the team
C qualifying group behind United Arab Emirates and ahead of               looks forward with renewed vigour and zeal to perform well at the
Jordan and Pakistan in the 2004 edition in China.                         Asian Cup 2007.

                                       AFC ASIAN CUP 2007 FIXTURE
                   GROUP A                               GROUP B                               GROUP C                              GROUP D
    Oman              Australia                 Japan           Qatar             China         Iran                 Bahrain             Indonesia
    Iraq              Thailand              UAE                 Vietnam           Malaysia      Uzbekistan           S. Korea            Saudi Arabia

07/7/07 - Thailand   Vs        Iraq    08/7/07 - Vietnam   Vs      UAE 10/7/07 - Malaysia       Vs     China 10/7/07 - Indonesia    Vs      Bahrain

08/7/07 - Australia Vs      Oman       09/7/07 - Japan     Vs     Qatar 11/7/07 - Iran          Vs Uzbekistan 11/7/07 - S. Korea    Vs   Saudi Arabia

12/7/07 - Oman       Vs   Thailand     12/7/07 - Qatar     Vs   Vietnam   14/7/07 - Uzbekistan Vs Malaysia 14/7/07 - Saudi Arabia Vs Indonesia

13/7/07 - Iraq       Vs   Australia    13/7/07 - UAE       Vs     Japan 15/7/07 - China         Vs       Iran 15/7/07 - Bahrain     Vs     S. Korea

16/7/07 - Thailand   Vs    Australia   16/7/07 - Vietnam   Vs     Japan 18/7/07 - Malaysia      Vs       Iran 18/7/07 - Indonesia   Vs     S. Korea

16/7/07 - Oman       Vs        Iraq    16/7/07 - Qatar     Vs      UAE 18/7/07 - Uzbekistan     Vs     China 18/7/07 - Saudi Arabia Vs      Bahrain
                                                                   Quarter Finals
                               21/7/07 - QF 3 – B 1st Vs A 2nd                      21/7/07 - QF 1 - A 1st Vs B 2nd
                               22/7/07 - QF 2 – C 1st Vs D 2nd                      22/7/07 - QF 4 - D 1st Vs C 2nd
                                                                    Semi Finals

               25/7/07 - SF 1 – Winner QF 1 Vs Winner QF 2                   25/7/07 - SF 2 – Winner QF 3 Vs Winner QF 4

                                Loser’s Final                                                     Final - 29/7/07
           28/7/07 - 3/4th Place - Loser SF 1 Vs Loser SF 2                                  Winner SF 1 Vs Winner SF 2

  Fun Corner

                                                        Fascinating facts
                    Humour                              • Ants evolved from wasps more than 100 million
                                                          years ago.
Two campers are walking through the woods when
                                                        • Parrots have the largest brains, in relation to their
a huge brown bear suddenly appears in the clearing
                                                          body size, of any bird.
about 50 feet in front of them. The bear sees the
                                                        • The average person loses between 40 and 100
campers and begins to head towards them. The first
                                                          strands of hair a day.
guy drops his backpack, takes out a pair of sneakers,
                                                        • Pablo Picasso and Louis Pasteur both had Paris
and frantically begins to put them on. The second guy
                                                          Metro stations named after them.
says, “What are you doing? Sneakers won’t help you
                                                        • To escape the grip of a crocodile’s jaws, push
outrun that bear.” “I don’t need to outrun the bear,”
                                                          your thumbs into its eyeballs – it will let go of you
the first guy says. “I just need to outrun you.”          immediately.
                                                        • Mice will nurse babies that are not their own.
One day, Bill and Tom went to a restaurant for          • The dollar symbol ($) was originally a U combined
dinner. As soon as the waiter took out two steaks,        with S (for US).
Bill quickly picked out the bigger steak for himself.
Tom wasn’t happy about that: “When are you
going to learn to be polite?”
Bill: “If you had the chance to pick first, which one
would you pick?”
Tom: “The smaller piece, of course.”
Bill: “What are you whining about then?
The smaller piece is what you want, right?”

DeADLY: Alligator

                            First man
                            in space                         July-August: The Khareef Festival, Dhofar, Oman
                            Sending man into space has       The Khareef Festival celebrates the monsoon splendour and
ADVeNTurOuS: Yuri Gagarin
                                                             the cultural heritage of the Dhofar region of Oman, and is
                            become quite a routine thing     projected to draw a record number of visitors from different
                                                             parts of the Gulf and outside.
                            these days. The United States,

in fact, does it with regular frequency. But it was the      21 June – 31 Aug: Dubai Summer Surprises, Dubai
                                                             Second only to the frenzied bargain-hunting of the Dubai
then Soviet Union that blazed a new trail in space           Shopping Festival in spring, Dubai Summer Surprises is an
science.                                                     event which encourages visitors to shop, save and celebrate
                                                             during ten weeks of entertainment.
  Yuri Gagarin of Russia was the first man in space
                                                             27 June: rath Yatra, Orissa, India
whose legendary space journey took place on April
                                                             Each year, the 12th-century temple town of Puri on the Bay of
12, 1961 when in a flight lasting 108 minutes orbited        Bengal transforms under the weight of one of India’s most
                                                             impressive festivals, which draws hundreds of thousands of
Earth at up to 205 miles. Gagarin was born in the            ecstatic devotees from all over the subcontinent.
village of Klushino near Ghatsk (now called Gagarin),
                                                             3 July to 26 Aug: Baalbeck International Festival,
west of Moscow on March 9, 1934. He first worked as          Lebanon
                                                             The International Festival takes place every year in the
a foundryman but learnt to fly in his spare time and
                                                             massive complex of Roman temples at Baalbeck, the
in 1955 began military flight training. He died in 1968.     UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year’s line up includes
                                                             Johnny Halliday, a French production of the opera Carmen,
But his name still evokes tremendous awe. In honour
                                                             jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, and violinist Fabio Biondi.
of his great contribution to space exploration, a crater
                                                             14 July to 31 Aug: Muharraq Summer Festival,
on the Moon was named after him.                             Bahrain
                                                             The Summer Festival celebrates youth and family at
                                                             Muharraq’s garden. This year’s slant is on tackling drug
                                                             abuse and environmental issues, although there’s plenty of
                                                             less weighty fun to be had too.

                                                             19 July to 23 July: The Material Worlds of Tourism and
                    Why?                                     Travel, Leeds, uK
                                                             Committed to advancing the understanding of the dynamic,
        Why do our teeth chatter                             multi-layered relationships between tourism and culture(s)
                                                             at regional, national and international level, through critical
              when we are cold?                              research and transdisciplinary exchange.
Our bodies are designed to function
                                                             23 Aug to 25 Aug: International Istanbul Fashion
 at around 37 degrees C. If we are                           Festival, Turkey
                                                             Istanbul, the second-largest supplier of clothing to the
colder than that, our muscles try to
                                                             EU, hosts its international fashion festival twice a year,
warm us up. These muscles include                            showcasing trends for the coming season.

   the ones that control our teeth                           24 Aug to 26 Aug: India Travel Mart, Jaipur, India
         – and that explains why                             A single platform for Marketing, Promotion & Awareness in
                   they chatter.

                                                ear Force HpA2
                                              headphones: Sleek
                                          Turtle Beach’s Ear Force HPA2 headphones
                                          include front, centre, surround and subwoofer
                                          speakers for each ear. From sound to fury, video-
                                          game enthusiasts can be truly immersed in an
                                          alternate reality, but they need more than just a
                                          PC or a game console for that experience. Enter
                                          a number of developers, who have adapted
                                          off-the-shelf products to make game play more
                                          realistic and to offer the promise of giving
                                          players a leg up on the competition.

                                          Share your broadband Internet account
                                          with all your networked computers
                                          Connecting the Belkin N1 Wireless Router to your cable or DSL modem lets you share your
                                          broadband Internet account with all your networked computers. Now you can exchange
                                          documents, share resources, and distribute large video and music files throughout your
                                          network within a greater range, at faster speeds.N1 offers the easiest setup ever, and our
                                          built-in Network Status Display lets you see your connections working. Each icon represents
a network component, so you can easily monitor your connections for fast troubleshooting. Based on the 802.11n draft, N1 Wireless
uses smart-antenna technology to enable multiple receivers and transmitters to send and receive data wirelessly.

                                                                                  Quik pod:
A High-definition projector                                                    Shoot self-pictures
                                                                           If you are vacationing by yourself or with just one
                                                                           other person, you may not always have a kind
                                                                           stranger handy to take your photo. Good arm’s-
                                                                           length picture-taking requires longer arms -- or a
                                                                           Quik Pod. A telescoping wand with a camera mount
                                                                           at one end, the Quik Pod adds about 18 inches to
                                                                           your reach and carries a diminutive curved mirror
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080 costs about as much as a
                                                                                                showing you roughly what
large-screen TV and lets you project a 100-inch HD picture on any
                                                                                                the camera will see.
                                                                                                   Both are available from
The Home Cinema 1080 supports 1080p resolution and connects to
                                                                                          and many
HDMI-compatible devices like HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc players. It
                                                                                                       camera dealers.
has a 12,000:1 contrast ratio and projects at a bright 1,200 lumens.

The projector can be mounted on the ceiling and its lens can be
configured to ensure a sharp, evenly aligned picture in any position.
Its lamp has low and high settings and offers about 3,000 hours of
viewing time before it needs replacing.


                         Scared lion
There was a lion who feared nothing the elephant’s head, frightening him
except the crowing of cocks. A chill out of his wits.
would go down his spine whenever he
                                      «If it gets into my ear I’m doomed!» he
heard a cock crowing.
                                      shrieked, flailing at the insect with his
One day he confessed his fear to the trunk.
elephant, who was greatly amused.
                                      Now it was the lion’s turn to feel
“How can the crowing of a cock hurt amused.
you?” he asked the lion. “Think about
                                      Moral: If we could see our fears as
                                      others see them we would realise that
Just then a mosquito began circling most of our fears make no sense!

    to Oman

We extend to you a warm welcome to Oman, a country where hospitality is legendary.
The Sultanate of Oman is located on the south-eastern shores of Arabia and covers 309,500 sq. kms. Flanked to the north-west by the
United Arab Emirates, to the West by Saudi Arabia, and to the south-west by the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, Oman is
divided into 9 administrative regions: Muscat, Al Dakhiliyah, Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Al Sharqiyah, Al Dhahirah, Musandam, Dhofar and
Al Buraimi. Mythical home of Sindbad the Sailor and dubbed as Gulf’s favourite getaway, Oman delights with its blend of modern
elegance and historic charm of a sea-faring nation. A nation of warm people, Oman is emerging as a favourite haunt for tourists.

With eco-tourism catching up fast all over the world, Oman has its own share. The Ras Al Hadd Turtle
Reserve is known for turtle nesting beaches while the Oryx is found in its natural habitat at the Haylat
Jaaluni. The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was established in 1994 to help protect the oryx and to conserve
desert habitat and threatened species. The Al Saleel Park is a nature reserve located in the town of
Al Kamil wal-Wafi, in the interior of Oman, and was established to protect gazelles and plantations of Samr
and Ghaf trees (Acacia tortilis and Cineraria). Beaches like Qantab, Shatti Qurum, Azaiba, Shatti Bahja and
Sawadi beach offer quiet retreats.

Forts: Oman’s strikingly beautiful landscape is punctuated with several impressive forts, castles and watch
towers. Dotted throughout Oman, these edifices add a picturesque element to the country’s landscape.

Aflaj: It is the splendidly-engineered aflaj, the system of underground and surface canals, that have
watered the country’s agriculture for millennia, which will astound visitors. These aflaj still course like
arteries beneath the hills and plains of Oman, twisting along precipitous cliffs and threading villages and
date-palm groves, bringing to the parched land water and coolness and life itself.

The Omani culture has its roots firmly in the Islamic religion. Hospitality is legendary as any visitor to homes
is offered kahwa and dates. The bukhoor which perfumes the house is usually burned in a mabkhara,
traditional incense burner. It is traditional in Oman to pass bukhoor amongst the guests in the Majlis,
this is done as a gesture of hospitality. Oman is permeated with frankincense. Government buildings are
censed daily, even the elevators. The annual Muscat Festival, held during the early months of the year, is
                         a celebration of the cultural heritage of Oman. Another period of festivity is the 'Khareef Festival' in Salalah,
                         starting from the mid of July till the end of August. The National Day, celebrated on November 18, is also a
                         day to rejoice.

                         Single entry visa - Valid for one month. It can be obtained on arrival at all land, sea and air terminals and
                         at Oman diplomatic missions abroad. Fee is OR 6.

                         Multiple entry visa - Valid for one year. It can be had on arrival at all land, sea and air terminals and also
                         at Oman diplomatic missions abroad. Fee is OR 10. This type of visa allows its holder to stay in Oman for 3
                         weeks in each visit during the validity period of the visa. A minimum of 3 weeks must elapse between each
                         express visa – It is issued on the same day through the DG of Passports and Residency and at diplomatic
                         missions abroad. Fee is OR 7. Validity is two weeks.

Shopping: Oman is a great place for shopping as it blends the new and the old. The snazziest
shopping malls stand alongside the wonderfully quaint traditional markets like the Muttrah
souk, Nizwa souk, Hala souk in Salalah and Sinaw souk. Malls include Markaz Al Bahja, Al Araimi
Complex, Sabco Centre, Khamis Plaza, Al Harthy Complex, Capital Commercial Centre, LuLu
Hypermarket, Centrepoint, Muscat City Centre, among others.

Hotels: Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Hotel, The Chedi, Muscat InterContinental Hotel,
The Grand Hyatt, Sohar Beach Hotel, Al Sawadi Beach Resort, Radisson SAS, Al Falaj Hotel,
Ramada Hotel, Hilton Hotel - Salalah, The Crowne Plaza, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
and Golden Tulip Hotel, Sheraton Oman Hotel, Sheraton Qurm Resort.

Museums: Bait Al Zubair, Natural History Museum, Oman French Museum, Sultan’s Armed
Forces Museum, Children’s Museum, Bait Al Baranda, Bait Al Muzna Gallery.

Dive Centres: Oman Dive Centre, Bluzone Water Sports, Capital Yacht Club, Marina Bander
Al Rowda.

Cinemas: Al Nasr Cinema, Ruwi Cinema, Star Cinema, Al Shatti Cinema, Al Bahja Cinema,
Al Wafi Plaza (Sur).

 - at a glance
                                                                    CLIMATe: The hottest months are May through August.
                                                                    The summer monsoon just touches the southern coast of
                                                                    Dhofar during these months bringing regular light rain to
                                                                    Salalah and reducing the average daytime highs to 15°C.
CApITAL: Muscat
                                                                    The most pleasant months to visit Oman are mid October
AreA: 309,500 sq. kms                                               through March when daytime temperatures fall into the
TIMe: GMT +4 hours                                                  lower 30s and below.

LANGuAGe: Arabic is the official language. English is               AIrpOrT: Seeb International Airport is the main airport
widely spoken.                                                      Salalah also has an international airport. There are domestic
                                                                    airports at Sur, Masirah Island and Khasab (Musandum).
CurreNCY: OR = Omani Rial
Exchange rate: One US Dollar = 0.384 OR
VISAS: Single entry visit visa, Multiple entry visa, Express        Ministry of Tourism:
                                                                    P. O. Box 200,
eLeCTrICITY: 220/380 volts                                          Postal Code 115, Muscat,
HOurS OF WOrK/BuSINeSS: Government departments                      Sultanate of Oman.
are open from 0730 – 1430 hrs and closed on Thursdays               Tel: +968 24588700
and Fridays.                                                        Fax: +968 24588819
Private sector offices are open 0800 – 1300 and from 1600 –
1900 (except on Thursdays, till 1400 hrs), closed on Fridays.


Oman Air’s constant endeavour is to make your journey safe, comfortable and enjoyable. We provide below
the details of the amenities that are provided on board for your convenience. Should you require anything not
listed here, or have any queries, please contact our cabin crew. They will be delighted to be of assistance. If
you have any suggestions to improve our service, please convey them to our cabin crew.

HAND BAGGAGe:                                                                     FIrST AID: Should you require any medical attention due to any pain or
To ensure comfort to all the passengers, hand baggage in the cabin is             discomfort, please contact the cabin crew immediately. They are trained in
limited to bags smaller than 24 cm x 41 cm x 51 cm. These must be stored          first aid procedures and emergency care. A first aid kit is available on board.
either in the overhead baggage lockers or under the seat in front of you.
Please do not leave any baggage in the aisle, galley or in a way that obstructs                              DuTY Free SHOppING:
the emergency exits. Doing so could cause inconvenience and impede                                           A wide range of products are available on board in
evacuation in an emergency.                                                                                  the Duty Free Shopping facility; and you can find
                                                                                                             the details of these in the accompanying literature.
SAFeTY ON BOArD:                                                                                             Please contact the cabin crew if you wish to make
Your safety is our prime concern. You can find a safety card in the seat                                     any purchase.
pocket in front of you. This card gives you the details of the safety features
of the aircraft. Kindly study it carefully, note the emergency exits and pay
close attention to the crew’s demonstration of the emegency drill. When the       SpeCIAL reQuIreMeNTS
captain turns on the “Fasten seatbelts” sign due to any emergency or bad          uNACCOMpANIeD MINOrS:
weather, please return to your seat immediately and fasten your seatbelt. For     If your child aged between 7
your own safety, we also recommend keeping your seatbelt loosely fastened         and 12 is flying unaccompanied,
when seated during the flight.                                                    please inform us while making
                                                                                  the reservation. Our staff will
eLeCTrONIC eQuIpMeNT:                                                             be assigned to take care of
Portable electronic items such as personal computers and handheld games           your     child’s    requirements,
may not be used during take-off and landings as they could interfere with the     safeguarding their passport,
aircraft’s equipment. Pocket calculators, hearing aids and heart pacemakers       immigration        and   medical
are exempt. Use of radios and mobile phones are prohibited on board at            cards.
all times.
                                                                                  pASSeNGerS WITH SpeCIAL NeeDS:
                                   FACILITIeS AVAILABLe ON BOArD                  Our ground and cabin crew will be happy to assist passengers with special
                                   IN-FLIGHT eNTerTAINMeNT:                       needs in every way possible. Kindly inform us of the nature of your health
                                   For your enjoyment we are pleased to           condition in advance while making the flight reservation to help us make the
                                   provide programmes in Arabic, English and      necessary arrangements.
                                   Hindi; we also show Tamil and Malayalam
                                   films in cetain sectors. To listen to the                                                       INFANTS ON BOArD:
                                   programme you wish to enjoy, just plug in                                                       We have a limited selection
                                   the headset and press the channel of your                                                       of baby food on board, plus
                                   choice on the control unit.                                                                     bottles, teats, talcum powder
                                                                                                                                   and diapers. Should you
reADING AND WrITING MATerIAL:                                                                                                      have special requirements
A wide selection of newspapers and magazines in English and Arabic,                                                                for   your     child,    please
both national and international, are available on board. Should you require                                                        inform us while making
aerogrammes or stationery, our crew will make them available to you.                                                               your flight reservation and
                                                                                                                                   we will endeavour to make
TO FreSHeN up:                                                                    arrangements. Our cabin staff will be happy to warm your baby feeding
A selection of deodorants, perfumes, soaps, tissues and towels are available      bottles for you. Our aircraft are fitted with baby bassinets which should be
in the lavatories; also available are electric sockets for electric shavers.      requested while making your reservation. If you are carrying a child on your
Toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs are available on request.                      lap, please ask the cabin crew for a child’s seat belt before take off.


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