Sailing to glory

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                                                                                 Volume 5 - 2008


     Sailing to glory
The happening
                18   Samayil:
                     A slice of
                                  24   Arabic Calligraphy:
                                       The art of literacy
                                                             28   Laugh your
                                                                  way to good
place                history                                      health
  From the Ceo’s desk:

  Welcome on board this Oman Air flight today. We look forward to providing you with a comfortable and enjoyable

experience on this and every flight that you take with us.

  Oman Air continues to record remarkable growth against a background of unfavourable economic conditions prevailing

in world markets. During the first six months of 2008, we carried nearly 1million passengers, an increase of 50% over the

same period last year.

  With the addition of two Boeing 737NGs joining our fleet in the coming months, we plan to introduce new regional

routes and increase frequency to several existing destinations.

  In order to provide round-the-clock service to our customers, we have recently opened a new Call Centre in Muscat,
located at Knowledge Oasis. Manned 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, this facility is equipped with state-of-the-art

communications capability, and will in future, provide our customers a full range of reservations and travel services when

calling from anywhere on our fast expanding network.

  In this issue of “Wings of Oman”, we bring you articles featuring places to visit both home in Oman or overseas to one

of our latest destinations – Bangalore, a dynamic city at the heart of “New India’.

  The Wings of Oman has been featuring the hidden gems of Oman and this time we focus on Al Ashkarah as the ideal

getaway for you. The area manifests a unique suffusion of the sea and the desert, the azure expanse of the Arabian Sea

skirting the spectacular Sharqiyah Sands, previously known as the Wahiba Sands.

  The Samayil valley – our main Oman feature – with its beautiful landscape and water channels on the banks of which

lush green date palm gardens are situated, can be a dazzling spot for expeditions.

  Laugh your way to good health, redefining management in the knowledge era, are only some of the many interesting

write-ups covered in this edition, besides the other regular columns.

  On behalf of the entire Oman Air team, I thank you for choosing to fly with us.


                                                                      Cover Story
                                                                      Sailing to glory

                                         18                                                  18
                   The happening place
               A dynamic city at the heart of the
           “new India”. Here the pace of change
                                  is extraordinary

                                                     24 A slice of
                                                     The Samayil valley with its beautiful
                                                     landscape and water channels on
                                                     the banks of which lush green date
                                                     palm gardens are situated can be a
                                                     good spot for excursion

                       Arabic Calligraphy:
                        The art of literacy
          From the beginning of the Islamic era
       (A.D. 622), calligraphy was considered to
        be the most revered medium of artistic
             expression, because it was used to
                      transcribe the word of God

                                                Al Ashkarah: Quaint
                                                  little fishing town
26                                                       The coastal town of
                                               Al Ashkarah is considered the
                                               jewel of the Sharqiyah region

                                                                                      Laugh your way
                                                                                      to good health
                                                                                      Laughter is a refreshing tonic
                                                                                      that elevates the mood, gently
                                                                                      releasing us from tensions and
                                                                                      social constraints

                                         Silk - a history of nature's
                                                        finest weave
                                               Silk...the very word conjures up
                                                potent images of prestige and
                                                    luxury, sumptuousness and
                                                                      yet purity

                                                                                       Fun Corner
                                                                                       Fascinating facts

     Oman Air’s inflight magazine is issued by:
     Corporate Communications & Media Department - oman Air
     P.O. Box: 58, Muscat International Airport,                       For regional/international advertising enquiries contact:
     Postal Code 111, 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.

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     150 countries with more than 300 operators around the globe.

WingOfOman.indd 1                                                                                                                                                                                     8/6/08 10:52:01 AM

Muscat International Airport
Among Top Me
performing Airports
  Muscat International Airport took the fourth place (Best           and commitment of the team, as well as the organisation
Airport by Region Category) in the Middle East, with regard to its   structure, which has been approved for the aim of upgrading
level of service quality, according to the Airport Service Quality   all company activities, he said. We are extremely pleased not
(ASQ) Survey, conducted by the industry body Airports Council        only to be recognised for our quality services, but also to be
International (ACI). The survey proclaimed the top performing        once again internationally recognised for our customer service
airports in Service Quality throughout 2007. This signifies the      efforts. This clearly vindicates every member of our staff's
efficiency and the successful strategies implemented by Oman         ongoing commitment and endeavor to maintain the highest
Air, the sole service provider for Muscat International Airport.     level of services at Muscat International Airport. Al Bahlani
Furthermore, it confirms the excellent record of professional        expressed the management’s gratitude to all employees at the
and high quality service standards that have also been               airport who worked very hard to provide the best service, and
recognised, by various international organisations worldwide.        assured that he, along with the employees would continue
                                                                     efforts to retain this spot.
  The Corporate Communications and Media Department of
Oman Air highlighted that Airports Council International based         The Corporate Communications and Media Department of
in Geneva, Switzerland is the only global trade representative       Oman Air acknowledged that IATA has recognised Oman Air
of the world’s airports. ACI was established in 1991 and counts      as an accredited member of AHS 1000, for compliance with
580 members operating over 1640 airports, which collectively         IATA/AHM 804 measurement of service delivery standards.
handle around 96% of the world's air passengers, in 175              It further noted that since 1997, the company was the first
countries and territories.                                           ground handler in the Gulf region to achieve this recognition
                                                                     and to uphold it to this day.
  They notified that ACI represents airports interests with
Governments and international organisations such as ICAO,              They explained that Airport Handling Standard 1000 (AHS
develops standards, policies, recommended practices for              1000) is a dominant quality measurement and control system
airports, and provides information and training opportunities        introduced by experts of the airline industry, in compliance with
to raise standards around the world.                                 IATA AHM 804 for ground handling agents of airlines, adding
                                                                     that AHS 1000, which not only is now the most extensively used
  The survey which sensor customer service efforts made by
                                                                     quality measurement and control system worldwide involving
airports captured immediate appraisal of 34 airport service
                                                                     handlers and carriers, but is also IATA AHM 804 compliant.
factors, through 200,000 passengers at 99 world airports. The
factors included airport access / navigation and connectivity,         They concluded saying that at Muscat International Airport,
airport services / facilities, security and immigration, airport     the Oman Air team takes pride in delivering quality airport
environment, arrival services, value for money and overall           service and sees it as being part of the overall tourism value
satisfaction with the airport and airline services.                  progression, which is good for their airport and their nation.
                                                                     That means that the commitment is given main concern
  Mr. Hamood Bin Mohammed Al Bahlani, Oman Air’s
                                                                     politically as well as operationally by the airport.
Divisional Manager Service Delivery, stated that Oman Air has
been playing a significant role in ensuring that customers’            The hardworking and dedicated staff genuinely look to
expectations using Muscat International Airport are met,             create the uppermost quality of service environments across
according to the highest international standards. He confirmed       the airport, for all out clients, on a day-to-day basis - this is a
the commitment towards continuing to improve performance             reward that everyone working in the frontline services at the
in this area. No doubt, this recognition reflects the efficiency     airport can be proud of.


oman Air Sindbad FFp
Tie-ups With More partners
   At Oman Air we believe that your journeys with us should be          Integrative Wellness that is housed in a four-storey building and
a rewarding experience, especially if you are a frequent flyer.         combines medical technology with traditional healing therapies,
Sindbad's unique offerings include more generous bonus miles            as well as nutrition and fitness programmes. The philosophy is
per journey. Oman Air takes its Sindbad Frequent Flyer Programme
                                                                        that all-round health requires the harmony of three components:
even further by adding more partners worldwide.
                                                                        the elemental, structural and emotional.
Al Nahda resort & Spa oman
   Al Nahda Resort & Spa is a holiday destination by itself. Set        Sultan Center LLC
amidst exotic fruit trees and enhanced by ample lawns with                 Sultan Center LLC is a leading retail chain across the Middle
flowering plants and exotic palms, Al Nahda Resort and Spa is           East with its presence in Oman, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon. TSC
in every sense of the phrase, sheer paradise. The 30-acre resort,
                                                                        opened its first full-service store ‘TSC Sultan Center’ in Muscat,
which opened in December 2006, boasts over 100 villas.
                                                                        Oman in 1999. The center also features an in-store restaurant,
  A day or two or longer at the resort is a great way to get close to
nature and make best use of the wellness treatments.                    Jeans Grill that serves a wide variety of cuisine from local dishes
piyavate Hospital of Thailand                                           to international favourites. TSC is Kuwait’s largest independent
                                                                        retailer and a leading supplier of supermarket items, perishables,
   Piyavate International Hospital is a publicly owned health care
services facility listed on the Securities Exchange of Thailand.        and general merchandise in the Middle East.
Since it began serving patients in 1993, the 27-story hospital on          TSC is a joint-stock company listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange
Rama 9 Road in Bangkok has continually developed the expertise
                                                                        for more than 12 years. Furthermore, it has 30 years experience in
of its health facility, soon to reach 300 beds, and offers a range of
specialized services. They have been ISO 9001:2000 certified since      retail business. Sultan Center has 47 stores in Kuwait, Oman and
2001 and are licensed by the Royal Thai Government’s Ministry           Jordan, and with their new acquisition in Lebanon recently, the
of Public Health. Part of the Piyavate Hospital includes the TRIA       number of its stores will reach 53.
 Cover Story

Omani sailors are making waves around the world in sailing competitions

Sailing to glory
oman Sail is an initiative to develop and train a core team
of omani sailors who will represent the Sultanate both in
europe and in oman at key sailing events and carry forth
the victorious sailing legacy started by Shabab oman

    The Arabs were not only master navigators, but also experienced
meteorologists and geographers - true scientists of the sea. Their sea
adventures have become legendary. For Oman, Sindbad the sailor is
everyone’s hero. Sohar, a replica of a ninth-century Arab dhow which
sailed from Oman to China in 1980 covering 9,600 kilometres
retracing Sindbad’s trail is fresh in everyone’s memory.
    The key to Oman’s maritime success, however, was the
ancient secret of the monsoon winds: the fact that they could
rely on prevailing winds to carry them eastward in winter
and westward in summer across the Indian Ocean. So,
it is no surprise if Omani sailors make waves in sailing
competitions around the world.

Image source : Kat Birtwistle
               Lloyd Images

Shabab Oman is the striking symbol of Oman’s glorious maritime heritage

   Shabab Oman, the Royal Navy of Oman vessel, recently stood                France was next in her sights when the multi-masted,
13th at the Sailing Boats International Race held in July this year in    ocean-going tall ship set sail on 1 April, 1989 to take part in the
which 35 sailing boats from various countries participated.               celebrations marking the anniversary of the French Revolution and
   Shabab Oman is the consummation of a dream project                     the international declaration on human rights.
envisioning a splendid tall ship that would serve as a striking                    En route, she took part in a pageant of tall ships held in
symbol of the Sultanate’s ancient and glorious                                           Britain on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of
maritime heritage. She was built in Scotland                                                   London's mayoralty.
in 1971 from solid oak and an assortment                                                             In April 1992, Shabab Oman sailed
of other fine Scottish timber, and is                                                                 from Italy to join tall ships in the 500th
ranked among the world’s tallest ships                                                                  anniversary celebrations of Portuguese
today. Little wonder then she has
                                                                                                          explorer Christopher Columbus'
participated in scores of events
                                                                                                           discovery of America in 1492. Two
worldwide winning admiration
                                                                                                           years later, Shabab Oman again
from maritime fans. Over the years,
                                                                                                            sailed to France to participate in the
she has taken part in numerous
                                                                                                            50th anniversary of the Normandy
international regattas and historic
                                                                                                           landing during the Second World
voyages, having visited over 30
countries and logging thousands of
nautical miles.                                                                                              Following His Majesty's directives,
   Her maiden mission was a tour of                                                                      Shabab Oman sailed for St Petersburg in
GCC states as part of the Year of the                                                                 Russia in 1996 to participate in the 300th
Youth celebrations. Three years later, in                                                          anniversary celebrations of the founding of
1986, Shabab Oman embarked on her first                                                         the Russian Navy.
transoceanic voyage to the United States as a                                                Shabab Oman also took part in the international
participant in the maritime show organised to celebrate the                       Cutty Sark race for tall ships in Germany which concluded
anniversary of the construction of the Statue of Liberty in New York.     at Copenhagen, Denmark.

                                                                                     Oman Sail team was in action with their Extreme
                                                                                     40 racing boat, Masirah, during the fourth leg of
                                                                                     the European iShares Cup from 29-31 August in
                                                                                     Kiel, Germany. The Omani team competed against
                                                                                     Olympic Gold Medallists and America’s Cup Winners.
                                                                                     In glorious sunshine, 10-15 knots of breeze had Oman
                                                                                     Sail’s Extreme 40s often powering off the start line
                                                                                     and soaring into the shore on one hull.
                                                                                          With the completion of the Kiel leg, Oman is now
                                                                                     placed fifth overall, as they head towards the last leg of
                                                                                     the competition in Amsterdam from 19-21 September.
Omani sailing team getting ready to venture into the sea
                                                                                     The contest has so far completed the legs in Lugano,
                                                                                     (Switzerland), Hyeres (France), Cowes (England) and
                                                                                     Kiel (Germany).
                                                                                          The iShares Cup 2008 - a series of five events that
                                                                                     place in Europe – not only provides competitive close-
   Her participation won her a prestigious award — a silver shield
for the best tall ship to travel the longest distance without penalty   quarter racing with swift Extreme 40 catamarans but also thrilling
points.                                                                 viewing to the public. Each three-day regatta hosts as many as 18
   In winning the silver shield, Shabab Oman became the first Arab      races with most lasting 15-20 minutes in duration.
tall ship to have bagged an award in Cutty Sark regattas, breaking        The Oman Sail Team’s pre-selection was based on completing
a long tradition of awards hitherto being claimed exclusively by        gruelling land and sea assessments and intensive sail training. It
European ships.                                                         comprises talented members of The Royal Army of Oman, The
                                                                        Royal Air Force of Oman, The Royal Navy of Oman, The Royal
 The                                                                    Omani Police Force and The Sultan’s Special Forces, as well as an
 key to                                                                 exceptional crew of professional British sailors.
 maritime                                                                 Omani nationals, Abdullah Al Busaidi and Ahmed Al Maamari
 success,                                                               were the first of the Omani team aboard Masirah – skippered by
 however,                                                               British yachtsman, Pete Cumming – to take part in the prestigious
 was the
 ancient                                                                iShares Cup competition recently at picturesque Lake Lugarno on
 secret                                                                 the Swiss-Italian border and also in Hyeres, France.
 of the                                                                   The Oman Sail Team had an excellent opportunity to rub
 winds                                                                  shoulders with some of the best professional sailors in the
                                                                        world. Musandam, formerly Dame Ellen MacArthur’s world record
   In February 1997, it added another feather to her cap by winning     breaking B&Q/Castorama, is the Sultanate of Oman’s flagship
a prize in the 1997 Cutty Sark regatta in Osaka.                        sailing boat. The second boat is the Masirah, a catamaran with
   Buoyed by Shabab’s phenomenal success, Oman is going full            two hulls and a deck that is made from a trampoline-like netting
steam in the sailing arena.                                             stretched between the hulls. This sailing machine, innovative in
   Oman Sail Team has been set up under the guidance of Her             design and cutting edge in racing ability, can reach exhilarating
Excellency, The Minister of Tourism, to develop and train a core        speeds and yet still provide a great ride flying around on one hull
team of Omani sailors who will represent the Sultanate both in
                                                                        in light winds.
Europe and in Oman at key sailing events.
   One of the principle objectives of the
Oman Sail Team is to reignite Oman’s
maritime heritage and help promote
the Sultanate as a world class sailing                                                              Team spirit to the fore in facing international competition

destination and a place for inward tourism
and investment from Northern Europe.
The project will also play a pivotal role in
developing a Festival of the Sea as part
of the 40th National Day Celebrations in
   Keeping in tradition with its revered
maritime heritage, the Oman Sail Team has
gained world recognition by participating
in the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Series. The


One of the many splendid temples that dot Bangalore

 The happening place
A dynamic city at the heart of the “new India”. Here the pace of change is extraordinary.
   Bangalore software exports touched Rs. 700,000 million               Wodeyar III as the ruler of Mysore State of which Bangalore
(US $ 16,640 million) last fiscal year and still continue to lead in    was the administrative capital. But in 1831 the British took over
the IT industry. Among the prominent ten software exporters are         and continued to be at the helm till 1881. In 1882, the British-
Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Digital, I-Flex Solutions, Mphsasis BFL, Lucent    administered Cantonment became a separate unit. Bangalore
Technologies, Hewlett Packard, IBM Global Services and Philips          was made into a Corporation in 1949.
Software. Now, you can imagine the standing of Bangalore,
capital of Karnataka and known as the Silicon Valley of India, and       Gowda, a
the attention it deserves worldwide.                                     visionary
   Bangalore is certainly one of the most happening cities in            statesman,
India. With all its natural beauty, pleasant climate and many tourist
                                                                         laid the
attractions Bangalore is known as the ‘garden city of India.’            foundation
  History: This multicultural, hi-tech city made its beginning           of the fort
from a mud fort (near Victoria Hospital, City Market) in 1537.
Kempe Gowda, a visionary statesman, had laid the foundation                From being a key centre in the manufacturing economy and
of the fort. The mud fort was later rebuilt and enlarged by one         later as an information technology hub Bangalore has come a
of Karnataka’s greatest freedom fighters, Hyder Ali. Since its          long way. The public sector, in particular, are the most active
foundation in 1537, Bangalore was ruled by several rulers, like         sectors because it is home to many heavy industries, industries of
Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar of the Yadava dynasty, Hyder Ali and            telecommunications, aerospace industries, readymade garments
his son, Tipu Sultan, known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’. The British       factories, many software companies and even a number of
came to play their role in 1799 by installing Krishnarajendra           defence establishments.
                                                                                                           Image source : Gallo Images/Getty Images
                                                                                                                          Lonely Planet Images

The Cubbon Park, city’s green space                                                                        A butterfly at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

   Sight-seeing: Any tourist brochure of Bangalore cannot do            displays the personal collection of the artist Venkatappa. Adjacent
without a photo of Vidhana Soudha, housing the State Secretariat.       to these buildings is the octagonal-shaped aquarium, home to a
It is a marvel of modern architecture and is a fine amalgamation        wide variety of fishes.
of traditional Dravidian and modern styles. With four floors, it has       Yet another splendid edifice is the Bangalore Palace set amidst
beautiful stone carvings, ornamental motifs and wood work. Its          over 430 acres and has Gothic windows, fortified towers, arches,
annexe, the eight-storey Vikas Soudha, is another splendid edifice.     turreted parapets and carved woodwork. Some portions are open
In the evenings tourists swarm the area for lazing around. On           to the public. The Fort and Tipu Sultan’s Palace is must-see sight
Sundays and public holidays Vidhana Soudha is illuminated and           for those inclined towards history. The Tipu’s Summer Palace is
it becomes a visual spectacle. Just facing the Vidhana Soudha is        made mostly of wood with finely embellished balconies, pillars
the High Court building (called Attara Kacheri), a red-brick colonial   and arches. The two-storey structure, a replica of Daria Daulat Bagh
structure that was originally the headquarters of the East India        in Srirangpattana, served as a summer retreat of the great freedom
Company. To the left is Bangalore’s cricket ground, Chinnaswamy         fighter, Tipu Sultan.
Stadium.                                                                 The High Court
   The entire area comes under Cubbon Park laid out in 1864 by           building (called
                                                                         Attara Kacheri), a
Sir Richard Sankey, the then Chief Engineer of Mysore. It is named       red-brick colonial
after Sir Mark Cubbon, Bangalore’s longest serving Commissioner.         structure was
Lawns with vibrant flower beds, shady bowers and flowering trees,        originally the
                                                                         headquarters of the
make this an ideal place for fitness freaks and the elderly to take      east India Company
their morning jogs or evening walks.
   Just a stone throw from the Chinnaswamy Stadium are the                 Among the jewels of Bangalore is the Lalbagh Botanical Garden,
Visvesvarayya Industrial and Technological Museum, Government           one of the biggest lung spaces in the city, which contains more
Museum and the Venkatappa Art Gallery (all lined next to each           than 2,000 species of trees spread over 240 acres. It was founded
other on Kasturba Road). The museum, developed as a tribute to          in 1760 by Hyder Ali and later expanded by the British, who added
Sir M. Visvesvarayya, one of the architects of modern Bangalore,        a glasshouse, a replica of Crystal Palace, to make themselves feel
showcases modern science and has a mobile science exhibition            at home. At the north side of the garden is a granite mound, at
that goes around the state throughout the year. The Government          the top of which is one of the watchtowers of the original city. The
Museum is a repository of art and artifacts made of pottery,            tower itself is closed, but from the rock there is a view over the
terracotta models, copper plates, etc. The Venkatappa Art Gallery       rapidly developing city skyline.

Lalit Mahal Palace Hotel in Mysore

  Apart from being every photographer’s dream destination,
the Lalbagh flower show held every year on Republic Day
and Independence Day, organised by the Department of
Horticulture, attracts visitors from all over the State.
  St Mark’s Cathedral on Mahatma Gandhi Road is the most
important of the many churches built in Bangalore by the British.
The Bull Temple is another important monument built by the city’s
founding father, Kempe Gowda. The Jumma Masjid in City Market
serves as a religious centre for the city’s Muslim population.
  The ISKCON or Radha Krishna Temple on Chord Road houses
four gopurams, an amphitheatre, a library, a museum, etc.
  Among other sights worth seeing are the Jawaharlal Nehru
Planetarium, Ulsoor Lake (boating is available), Indira Gandhi
Musical Fountain and the huge statue of Hindu deity Shiva on
Airport Road.
  Just 22kms away from Bangalore is the Bannerghatta National
Park spread over 25, 000 acres and has a zoo, a butterfly park,
a museum and a sanctuary. Safari rides are available for tourists
where one can see tigers.
  There is a plethora of sights for those interested in venturing
out of Bangalore: Mysore, Sriranpattana, Chamundi Hills, Nandi
Hills, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, etc.                                                                          The Daria Daulat Bagh in Srirangpattana

  Shopping: An area of shopping where Bangalore excels
is the silk. Sandalwood handicrafts are also widely available.
A profusion of silk shops can be found in the city’s major
shopping areas like Mahatma Gandhi Road, Commercial Street,
Brigade Road, Gandhinagar. Wander through the narrow streets
of the City Market district, where traders barter, carrying goods
in vast packages on their heads or pulled by buffalo carts. The
main market is now housed in purpose-built premises, where
colourful spices are piled high, and marigold flowers are sold.
   The city boasts of scores of elegant malls where branded
items dazzle on its show windows. Some of the famous malls
include the Forum, Central, Garuda, Eva, Orion, etc.
  Hotels and food: There are countless hotels, resorts and
guest houses in all parts of the city of Bangalore. If you are
                                                                                                                                  The Tipu Fort and Palace
looking for an expensive and luxurious stay, the five-star hotels
or five-star deluxe hotels in Bangalore are perfect for you. If you
                                                                            How to fly:         Oman Air flies 5 times a week.
do not want to put much pressure on your bag, you can stay in
                                                                            When to go:         Throughout the year, though April-
cheap or budget hotels in Bangalore.                                                            May is slightly hotter.
  And for food buffs, there are restaurants/international fast              Time Zone:          GMT + 5 ½ hrs.
food joints to suit every palate.                                           Currency:           100 Indian Rupees = US$ 2.33454
   So, if you want to be at a happening place, Bangalore is the                                 4,284 Indian Rupees = US$ 100
right destination.                                                          Dialling Code: For India +91, for Bangalore (80)

                                       • Abu Dhabi: +971 2 6221140 • Al Ain: +971 3 7669943 • Amman: +962 6 5607928 • Bahrain: +973
                                       17500020/17214887 • Bangkok: +66 2 635 1222-5 • Beirut: +961 1 753581/2/3/4 • Cairo: +202 5775304/5789393
                                       • Chennai: +91 44 42147676 • Dammam: +966 3 8961412• Delhi: +91 11 23324097/23324087/23766280/ 23766281
                                       • Doha: +974 4424579/ 4320509 • Dubai: +971 4 3521777 • Hyderabad: +91 40 23245500 • Jeddah: +966 2 6577979
                                       • Khasab: +968 26731592 • Kochi: +91 484 2358185/6/7 • Kuwait: +965 2412284/5 • London: +44 0 8707707 319
                                       • Mumbai: +91 22 22819180/83/85 • Muscat: +968 24765129 • Riyadh: +966 1 2168943/4 • Salalah: +968 23294301
                                       Ext 111 & 112 • Sharjah: +971 6 5748212 • Thiruvananthapuram: +91 471 2314889/2727901/2728137


The town nestles amidst lush date plantations

A slice of history
The Samayil valley with its beautiful landscape and water channels on the banks of which lush
green date palm gardens are situated can be a good spot for excursion
  The history of Oman would be incomplete without a mention                        southeast. Pools of water and running streams enliven the
of Samayil. For, it was the place from where the rays of Islam                     stony grey wadi floor, lined along its bank with palm plantations
radiated throughout the country.                                                   and villages. This fertile, accessible wadi has always been a key
                                                                                   route, the link between the mountains and the coast.
  It was in Samayil, Oman’s first place of worship, ‘Masjid Al
Mudhmar’ (meaning a domain) was built by a resident of the
                                                                                     Sights of interest: Of course, Masjid Al Mudhmar, being
                                                                                   the first masjid of Oman, is a major place of attraction. Masjid
town after he returned from Madinah having been inspired by
                                                                                   Al Mudhmar was reopened after renovations were carried out
a mosque there.
                                                                                   on July 11, 1979. Further restoration work was carried out in
   Geography: Samayil is the name given to twelve                                  1990. The mosque at the far end of the town, set amidst lush
connected, but unwalled villages which lie halfway along                           plantations, attracts scores of visitors.
wadi Samayil. The sixteen kilometres of palm orchards, fields,
watchtowers and large homes create a picturesque and luxuriant                                                          Masjid Al Mudhmar, Oman’s first masjid
settlement. The town is divided into two parts – Sufalat (upper)
Samayil and Alayat (lower) Samayil. Located in the Dakhiliyah
Region (Interior Region) of the Sultanate of Oman close to the
Samayil Gap, a break in the Hajar Mountains, Samayil covers a
land area of 3,500 sq. km. across 55 villages.
  The broad wadi Samayil runs through a natural break in the
mountains, between the limestone bulk of Jabal Akhdar to
the west and the volcanic peaks of the eastern Hajar to the
                                                Image source : Khamis Al Moharbi
                                                               Abdullah Al Shuhi
                                                               Yousuf Al Zadjali

  Overlooking the wadi in Upper Samayil is the Samayil fort standing on a
precipitous cliff rising 90 metres above the wadi. It is an imposing structure,
with a commanding position well suited to its two-fold purpose – to control the
passage of the Samayil Gap and to protect the whole settlement. The plan of the
fort follows the rise and fall of the surrounding rock. The massive barbican is on
the lowest side of the fort and contained the garrison captain’s living quarters.
The barbican is joined to the corner by low curtain walls of irregular shape and                 Such bountiful date palms are seen everywhere
considerable length. Samayil Wilayat has a total of about 115 castles, forts and
watchtowers. Suffice to say that Samayil offers an insight into the history of

    Samayil is
    famous for its
    date palm trees
    and the logo
    of this wilayat
    depicts just that
                                                                                                                       A beautiful, natural view

  Samayil is also famous for its date palm trees which envelope most of its area.
The sight of lush date palms is a feast for the sore eyes. It produces some of the
best varieties of dates in Oman. There are a number of date palm processing
factories in the area.
  The Samayil valley with its beautiful landscape and water channels on the
banks of which lush green date palm gardens are situated can be a good spot for
excursions. The springs, aflaj and green pockets also enhance the beauty of the
wilayat’s verdant landscape. The wilayat is blessed with 194 aflaj and 15 springs.
  Weaving is also a traditional craft still practiced by its inhabitants. The most
important industries of Samayil are tanning, silver, leather products, jewellery
and Omani Halwa.
                                                                                                                             An old settlement
  Samayil abounds in folk culture. Songs like Razha, Azi, Qasifiyah, Nadabi,
Masinia, Maradafa (Taghrud), Bushri, Dana, Rababa and Mizmar continue to
enchant the people of this fertile wadi area.
                                                                                           How to get there
  Thus, Samayil combines culture and heritage with beauty that makes the place
a must-see destination.                                                                Take the Nizwa road and keep
                                                                                     driving until you get a left turn with
                                                                                     a signboard marked Samayil. It is
                                                                                     about 85 kms from Muscat.

Lush date palms line every road in town

   Culture &

Arabic Calligraphy: The art of literacy
Arabic calligraphy is art imbued with spiritual dimension
  Though initially a means of expression, an efficient tool             transcend figural limitations by placing the utmost emphasis on
to convey language, in all its richness of flowing arabesque            pattern, colour, texture and design, to the point of metaphysical
form and crisp geometric design, it became "spiritual pattern           abstraction.
formed by worldly tools", as Islamic sources define it. And                The art of calligraphy wielded potent political power as the
what has become a supreme art form is alive - contemporary              Arabic language evolved from a regional idiom to a lingua
calligraphic artists are continuing to push every creative and          franca, the 'glue' that stuck varied people and an ever-expanding
symbolic boundary forward, way beyond the confines of the               empire together. As early as the 10th century, words were used
Arab world, including some of Oman’s premier graphic artists,           on objects as diverse as textiles, jewellery, steel and tile work,
who use Arabic calligraphy in their mixed media work.                   as well as buildings. Arabic calligraphy is exquisitely carved
   From the beginning of the Islamic era, calligraphy was               in stone at the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in
considered to be the most revered medium of artistic                    Muscat, as well as many other Omani mosques.
expression, because it was used to transcribe the word of God.
The stylised letterforms evolved as an art medium in order to
give visual emphasis to the verses of the Qur'an. The reason
why everyone finds Arabic calligraphy so inspiring and uplifting
is that they are consciously or unconsciously responding to a
numinous appeal. To this day, after arduous training, Arabic
calligraphers strive to attain aesthetic perfection, a balance
between beauty and meaning.
  Calligraphy acquired both a divine and decorative significance
never attained in European culture, or even in the Asian Pacific.
Where it departs from sheer representation, is in its ability to
                                     Image source : Mohammed Alsayegh

    Early manuscripts were not heavily decorated for fear of            The earliest copies of the Qur'an were written in the Jazm
allowing anything to intrude on the text. The arts of the Islamic     script, but within the first century of the Islamic era, it was
book - calligraphy, illumination, illustration and binding came       replaced by a group of more angular scripts known as Kufic,
of age during the middle period. At first decoration was used         after the city of Kufa in Iraq. From about the 12th century, the
within Qur'anic texts to indicate the division between verses or      Kufic script began to be superseded by cursive scripts, of which
groups of verses. The earliest Qur'ans do not seem to have had        Naskhi became the most important, although Kufic continued
titles at the beginning of each chapter, but decorated horizontal     to be used for decorative purposes.
bands were used to fill out the last line of the chapters at a
relatively early date. By the 9th century, illumination and
calligraphic decorative elements entered Qur'anic art, and the
letterforms began to be embellished to the point where they
became decorative forms in themselves.
   Arabic script is written from right to left, and has an alphabet
of 28 letters, though their character may be altered according
to their position in the sentence, making Arabic an infinitely
rich and varied language. And there are apparently endless
modifications available in each script type, according to the
individual style of the calligrapher, with great masters of the art
exercising profound effects.

                                                                         Each style of script required a different writing implement,
                                                                      the most common of which was a reed pen, the qalam. The
                                                                      raw reeds grew in swamps, of which the most prized came
                                                                      from the Persian Gulf, and became valued trade items,
                                                                      often beautifully decorated with ivory, bone or tortoiseshell.
                                                                      However, for some styles of the Naskhi script, the hard, black,
                                                                      thin branches of a Javanese tree were much favoured.
                                                                         Although Arabic calligraphic designs may seem to be
                                                                      uninitiated like an abstract carpet or, in the later Ottoman
                                                                      evolution - a flurry of extravagant loops, they do in fact follow
                                                                      an inspired system, a symbolic interpretation of the order of
                                                                      the universe, in which the factor of change inevitably repeats
                                                                      its cycles. Continuity of life is represented by meandering
                                                                      lines; eternity by the circle; birth and maturity by rosettes and
                                                                      palmettes. For the goal of this unique art of literacy is to achieve
                                                                      a perfect balance between beauty and meaning, decoration
                                                                      and spirituality.


Sunset on Al Ashkarah coast

Al Ashkarah: Quaint                                                                                                     Image source : Khalil Al Zadjali

little fishing town
Very few places in oman can be visited at any time of the year. For that, there should be
one criterion that the temperatures in that place should be cool all year round. Most of us
are aware about Jabal Shams and Jabal Akhdar but few people know about Al Ashkarah, a
quaint little town in the Sharqiyah region. A cool all year round destination, Al Ashkarah
can detox your stressed spirits.
  The coastal town of Al Ashkarah is considered the jewel of the             The surreal scenery of the place is out of the world. As dawn
Sharqiyah region. In the past, the place served as a landing point        approaches, the area gets bathed in pale moonlight, giving the
for merchant ships from Iran, Yemen and India.                            sand a blue haze and the water a grey mass with silver ripples. And
  Al Ashkarah manifests a unique suffusion of the sea and                 then, the scene changes — from being bathed in soft silver light
the desert, the azure expanse of the Arabian Sea skirting the             to being covered in sharp golden rays — in a matter of minutes.
spectacular Sharqiyah Sands.                                                In the evening, a good crowd laze around the beach. As cool
   The inhabitants live in the lap of nature and are closely associated   sea breeze rustles across, one can take a deep lungful of air,
with the sea for their livelihood. But the best part of Al Ashkarah is    savouring the freshness.
its nice weather. Even during the height of summer, when Oman                The town is mainly known for fishing which mainly uses
is blazing, Al Ashkarah is really pleasant. Little wonder tourists and    fibreglass boats for fishing activity. Nearby, you can visit Jaalan Bani
locals alike converge here to escape the heat elsewhere in the            Bu Ali, known for its traditional dhow building, halwa, khanjars,
country.                                                                  silk and for its 52-domed Jame Hamoda masjid.

                                                                                                     How to go to
                                                                                                     Al Ashkarah
                                                                                       Take the Sur route and turn to Al Kamil at
                                                                                     221 kms from Sahwa roundabout. Follow the
                                                                                     Jaalan Bani Bu Hasan and Jaalan Bani Bu Ali
Birds at play at the Al Ashkarah beach                                               route and then to Al Ashkarah.

    Health &

Laugh your way to
good health
Laughter is a refreshing tonic that elevates the mood, gently releasing
us from tensions and social constraints
  It is said that laughter is the best medicine. But, do we take   humour in stressful situations, we may be able to change our
this seriously? Perhaps we would if we know that even yoga         responses to the threat. When we laugh, we simply cannot be
when mixed with laughter can be a great combination to             worrying deeply at the same time.
reduce stress. Here we focus on plain laughter and what it can
do to promote your well-being and happiness.                         What research shows?
                                                                      If you hate to do a regular workout, laughter may be the
   Laughter is an affirmation of our humaneness, a face saving
                                                                   exercise programme you’ve been looking for! Laughter is called
way to express our anxieties, fears and other hidden emotions
                                                                   “inner jogging”. A robust laugh gives the muscles of your face,
to others. It breaks the ice, builds trust and draws us together
                                                                   shoulders, diaphragm and abdomen a good workout. Heart rate
into a common state of well-being.
                                                                   and blood pressure temporarily rise, breathing becomes faster
   Humour may be one of our best antidotes to stressful            and deeper and oxygen surges through your bloodstream.
situations. When confronted with a threatening situation,          Sometimes your muscles go limp and your blood pressure
animals have two situations: either they flee or they fight. We    temporarily may fall, leaving you in a mellow euphoria. A good
humans have a second alternative: to laugh. By seeing the          laugh can burn up as many calories per hour as brisk walking.

                                                                                                   Image source : Gallo Images/Getty Images

Laughter promotes well-being and happiness

  During a good hearty laugh, your brain orchestrates hormonal        can also trigger different thoughts that affect moods of sadness,
rushes that rouse you to a high-level alertness and numb pain.        happiness and anger. So when we put on a happy face in times
Researchers speculate that laughter triggers the release of           of adversity, we are actually changing our neurohormone levels
endomorphines, the brain's opiates. This may account for the          and they change our moods. So if you can’t laugh, smile.
pain relief that accompanies laughter.                                  Avoid negative humour: Not all humour is positive and
                                                                      healthy. Watch out for scorn, sarcasm, ridicule and contempt and
  Make sure                                                           inappropriate humour. And don’t joke about people’s names.
  that people
                                                                      They have to live with them. It is important to be sensitive to each
  around you
                                                                      occasion and know what humour really helps.
  are fun to
  be with                                                               Tell a joke: Having a good sense of humour doesn’t mean
                                                                      you have to have a store of jokes or tell them perfectly. Do not
                                                                      worry about how well you are telling it. Sometimes messing up
   It has been long recognised that stress weakens the immune         the delivery can create something that’s even funnier than the
system, thereby increasing the vulnerability to illnesses. Only       original joke.
in the mid 1980s, however, did researchers study the impact of
                                                                         Laugh at yourself: Focus on yourself rather than others. If
humour and laughter on the immune system.
                                                                      you expect to do everything right all of the time, then you can’t
                                                                      afford to have a sense of humour. But if you can allow yourself
  How to use humour:                                                  the inevitable mistakes and stupidities then you can laugh
  Here are some suggestions for repairing your sense of humour        at yourself. Those who can laugh at themselves have a much
and regaining healthy laughter.                                       stronger sense of self worth and higher esteem than those who
 expose yourself to humour: There is a lot of funny                   can’t.
material around. Actively seek out things that make you laugh.           Try humour instead of anxiety or anger: A stressful
  Hang out with happy people: Make sure that people                   situation can sometimes be transformed into a bit of fun if you
around you are fun to be with. Certain people make you feel           can see the humour in it. Next time you are livid about something
relaxed and happy. Others are too depressing, or relentlessly         try to make your point with humour instead of anger. Humour
serious. Try to avoid getting bogged down by them. Spend more         can also help reduce anxiety.
time with people who boost your mood.                                   It’s reassuring in these days of deadly epidemics and sometimes
  put on a happy face: Research has shown that just changing          painful, expensive medical treatments that laughter is cheap and
your facial muscles can set off different physiological changes. It   effective. And the only side effect is pleasure.

Different varieties of silk

Silk - a history of nature's
finest weave
Silk...the very word conjures up potent images of prestige and luxury,
sumptuousness and yet purity
   Travelling back in time to China some three thousand years,           When the silkworm hatches, it's about the size and shape of a
Neolithic black pottery has been unearthed, decorated with            grain of rice, and it takes about a month for it to become roughly
elaborate silkworm patterns. And around that time, during the         as thick as a finger. When mature, the worm swings its head
reign of China's first Emperor, Fo Xi, silkworms were being raised,   back and forth in a figure            of eight movement, pushing
and mulberry trees cultivated to feed them. However, as is the        two strands of silk                   out from the sides of its body.
way of the world and the stuff of legends - it was by a minor                                               These merge together with
accident that happened to a fourteen year-old Empress, that                                                 the aid of a gummy substance
the technique of reeling silk evolved. In 2640 BC, Hsi Ling-Shi,                                      called sericin, and the silkworm
the teenage bride of the Yellow Emperor, was sitting                                             winds the strands round and round itself
beneath a mulberry tree, sipping tea. As she                                                 to form a cocoon.
looked down into her cup, she noticed                                                     The next stage is the crucial one for obtaining
something bobbing about. It                                                          usable silk for weaving into cloth. The silkworm
was the chrysalis of a                                                                changes into a chrysalis inside its cocoon and
silkworm, which had                                                                    presently breaks through the silk network to
been eating the leaves                                                                   emerge as a moth. But this tearing of the cocoon
above her. When the                                                                         spoils the continuous silk thread. So selected
fibre was unravelled from this cocoon, it was found                                           breeding moths are allowed to hatch, but
to be one continuous thread and was woven into a                                                 the rest are prevented from doing so by
tapestry. One of nature's more extraordinary miracles                                              a blast of steam heat. The cocoon is
had been discovered - silk.                                                                          then unravelled - or reeled - into a
   From this accidental origin, sericulture became                                                      long silk filament between three
China's most valued product, dominating her trade for                                                    and six hundred unbroken metres
millennia. In early history, it was used as currency, and                                              in length. During the degumming
numerous works of art illustrate the vital role of silk in                                       process, the sericin gum is washed out,
China's economy and cultural life. In the five thousand                                   and the yarn is dyed and then woven.
years or so that the cocoons of silkworms have been                                 The first indication of the end of the Chinese
exploited, the science of actually extracting the silk has            monopoly on sericulture seems to have been in 140 BC, when a
changed little. Today, even with improved strains of cocoon and       Chinese princess due to marry an Indian Maharajah hid silkworm
more advanced processing techniques, six hundred silkworms            eggs and mulberry seeds in her head-dress in order to take the
are needed to produce 1.7 square metres of silk cloth.                ultimate refinement of silk with her.
                                                                                                          Article by   : Juliet Highet
                                                                                                          Image source : Juliet Highet
                                                                                                                         Gallo Images/Getty Images

                                                                                                           Silk is a symbol of prestige and luxury

Silkworms form cocoons

   Silk reached Japan in 28 BC, and as in China, soon became          Silk entered Oman as a luxury import along with Chinese
an integral part of the culture. By the Heian period (785-1185)   porcelain in return for frankincense exported from the Dhofar
silk clothes were a significant                                                                         region of the south, where
indication of rank, and both                                                                            the trees grow. With their skill
men and women wore                                                                                      in maritime navigation and in
voluminous kimonos.                                                                                      building ocean-going dhows,
   Silk was once as highly                                                                               Omani sailors voyaged as
valued as gold - Julius Caesar                                                                           far as China and Indonesia
ordered that only silk should                                                                            for its spices. When these
be used for his togas (he                                                                                 precious       commodities
favoured the colour purple);                                                                              reached Oman, the majority
and Cleopatra is rumoured to                                                                              was shipped onwards by
have worn a red silk dress the                                                                            camel to the north along
day she met Mark Anthony.                                                                                 the famous Frankincense
                                                                                                          Routes, in particular to the
   By the time of the Persian
                                                                                                           ancient Greek and Roman
Sassanian dynasty of the third
                                                                                                           empires, where it was
century AD, the silk industry was
                                                                                                            believed that the luxury
flourishing not only there, but
                                                                                                            products originated in
also in Egypt, Syria and Palestine.
                                                                                                           Oman. They called it Arabia
But it was not until the year AD
                                                                                                     Felix – Fortunate Arabia.
552 that the art of silk production
really became established in the West.                                Nowadays, there are at least thirty-four types of silk available,
                                                                  from Tussah or wild silk with its distinctive slub and lovely natural
                                                                  oatmeal colour, to the sinuous silk crêpe favoured by Italian
                                                                  couturiers; from the heaviest, most densely embroidered Indian
    Nowadays, there are at                                        wedding saris, to fly-away organza as delicate as a butterfly's wing.
    least thirty-four types of                                    And while silk will always retain its cachet of prestige and luxury,
    silk available                                                it is now within the reach of most of us. Down the millennia the
                                                                  uses of silk have been as diverse and fascinating as its history -
                                                                  to wrap corpses in ancient China, to fasten armour clasps for
                                                                  Japanese Samurai, for the construction of musical instruments
   Having moved his court to Constantinople, the Roman Emperor    and telescopes, wig-making and surgery. Whatever next? In 18th
Justinian was determined that the cachet of silk production       century Istanbul, a woman described her attire as, "My dress
should be added to the grandeur of his Byzantine Empire. He       of rose silk damask brocaded with silver flowers matched my
dispatched a pair of Persian monks who had lived in China to      trousers and coat; my waistcoat was of white and gold damask
return there to smuggle back silkworm eggs in their hollowed-     silk with gold fringes and pearl buttons". What pleasure silk has
out canes.                                                        brought the world.

Fascinating designs in silk

                                                    Separate the music
                                                    from the noise.

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redefining management
in the knowledge era
Knowledge-users are the people who apply and use such knowledge in their work
  Management in the past was designed to deal with a totally          Just as the proliferation of industrial workers in the old scheme
different set of circumstances than what the modern managers       warranted the need for a professional management cadre, so
encounter. Until the beginning of the last century, workers        also the emergence of the knowledge workers has been a
were operating only in tiny industries; they were not familiar     challenge to the management in the new dispensation.
with large organisations. Most of them did not have the benefit      Since knowledge is an invisible asset that is more
of education and external pressure and sometimes even threat       metaphysical than physical or empirical, management can
were the only motivation for them to work.                         no longer be done or defined as a function of control and
  Henry Ford articulated aptly and, also, in anguish the           overview of employees. Further, because knowledge work can
summum bonum of the management philosophy prevalent at             and is being done both by managers and workers, the line
that time: “What I want is a good pair of hands; unfortunately I   of distinction between the two has blurred, becoming almost
must take them with a person attached.”                            extinct.

                                                                                                       Image source: Gallo Images/Getty Images

Knowledge-creators are those who create new ideas

P.O. Box: 436, PC : 130, Sultanate of Oman. Tel: +968 24504504, Fax: +968 24594747
            • Baushar • Darsait • Sohar • Al Burj Complex • Barka • Salalah
  Today, knowledge workers are paid
premium salaries, they add the maximum
economic credibility, and they are the key
determinants of the commercial value and
worth of those organisations that employ
   It is difficult to define or describe
knowledge workers, as they are not all
of a piece. Every worker employs some
knowledge to perform his job. Perhaps,
the proportion of time invested may be a
differentiating factor.
  One obvious distinction, however, may
be between knowledge-creators, and
knowledge-users. Knowledge-creators are
those who innovate new ideas and avenues
for application by other employees in the                              Knowledge workers deal with big ideas which radically change people and organisations

organisation. This category may consist
of research and development personnel,
product development engineers, process
designers, systems analysts, and so on.
  Knowledge-users are the people who apply and use such               The working environment of knowledge workers does not
knowledge in their work. A chartered accountant, or a dentist, or   offer them any scope for social interaction, and they seem to
a garden-variety engineer is an example of such a professional,     function as “autonomous free agents".
who uses and applies knowledge created by others.                     What with the constraint of longer working hours — thanks
  Another criterion to identify knowledge workers is based on       to the 24/7 doctrine — employees may suffer for want of
the types of ideas they work with. Knowledge workers invariably     social activity. Managers have a definite mandate to create a
deal with big ideas, which dramatically and radically change        forum and fraternity for their employees to fulfil and satisfy
people and organisations — ideas for new products, new              this need for social communication.
services, business models, and strategic course corrections — as       A key component of management has always been
opposed to small ideas associated with incremental benefits,        the system of performance appraisal. In the domain of
quality, upgradation and continuous improvement. The                knowledge work, evaluating performance is not so simple.
conventional view had been that big ideas were the exclusive        First, knowledge work activities are intellectual and therefore,
domain of a select few. Workers were branded as mere users          not easily quantifiable, and this is what makes them difficult
of ideas; innovation was out of bounds for them. Catalysts and      to evaluate.
change agents belonged to the elite cadre of management.              Second, the gestation time for establishing the efficacy of
                                                                    an improvement process may be long and indefinite. Third,
 In modern                                                          knowledge workers by nature and outlook are nonconformist
 times, the skills                                                  and defiant: They may resent and resist any value judgement
 required of
 a knowledge                                                        of their performance.
 worker involve                                                       Another major task for the knowledge work manager
 acquisition,                                                       is recruitment and retention of competent knowledge
 analysis, and                                                      workers. Whereas opportunities to learn new skills will be
 application                                                        incentive enough to compel knowledge workers to stay on
                                                                    in an organisation. In modern times, the skills required of a
  There has been a radical shift from this mindset in the           knowledge worker involve knowledge acquisition, analysis,
current commercial climate, wherein success belongs to those        and application. Managers must encourage employees
organisations that make it every employee’s responsibility to       to not only acquire relevant skills but also the teaching
propound new ideas.                                                 techniques to impart their knowledge to others. Knowledge
   Today, managers need to adapt their activities to the new        work managers must build and construct such corporate
dispensation of management, and the new scheme of                   cultures, which complement and correspond to the norms
things that they will encounter. Perhaps, a significant aspect      of the new age.
characterising the future manager will be that he will have a lot      Knowledge workers are expected to keep pace with the
more to do than merely “manage” in the conventional sense of        rapidly-changing business environment. Flexibility is another
that term. He must himself be a knowledge worker, a down-to-        virtue that a knowledge worker deems essential — companies
earth and hands-on executive, and not someone who sits in an        must have adequate in-built competence to confront changes,
ivory tower.                                                        which are critical to their success.

  Fun Corner
                                                KNoWLeDGe BANK
                                                King Fahd’s Fountain
                                                The King Fahd’s Fountain (also called Jeddah Fountain) in Jeddah in Saudi
                                                Arabia is one of the most striking landmarks of the sprawling city. A riveting
                                                attraction, the Jeddah Fountain is a prominent feature of the city skyline.
                                                Built to complement the magnificence of the Salam Palace, the Jeddah
                                                Fountain is a spectacle in the Arabian Gulf. Unlike most other fountains
                                                around the world, which operate on freshwaters, the Jeddah Fountain
                                                makes use of seawater.
                                                The salinity and arenaceous qualities of seawater posed numerous hurdles
                                                in the construction of the Jeddah Fountain. The resistance of water flow
                                                could be best countered by using huge pumps and pipes close to the jet of
                                                the fountain. However, these pipes were not to be displayed to public, and
                                                hence came the idea of placing them under the water.
                                                The Jeddah Fountain operates with the help of three centrifugal and 18
                                                auxiliary pumps of 3.5 MW each. Every second, these 18 pumps deliver 625
                                                litres of water each. Two of the main pumps jet the water at the same time,
                                                delivering 1,250 litres per second.

                                                On a calm day, seawaters jet up to a height of 312 metres (1,024 feet approx.)
                                                from the Jeddah Fountain. The plume of this fountain is supposedly taller
                                                than the magnificent Eiffel Tower of Paris. This plume of water weighs more
                                                than 18,750 kilograms when hanging in the air for about 15 seconds.

Wisdom Quotes
• "Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less
  than you need." - Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese poet and philosopher
                                                                              FASCINATING FACTS
• "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the               •	 Astronauts	get	taller	when	they	are	
  charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust,               in space
  French novelist
                                                                              •	 A	 volcano	 has	 enough	 power	 to	
• "To succeed, we must first believe that we can." - Michael Korda,              shoot ash as high as 50 kms into
  author                                                                         the atmosphere
• "When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes           •	 An	 olive	 tree	 can	 live	 up	 to	 1500	
  others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner         years
  happiness and peace." - Dalai Lama, Tibetan leader                          •	 Giraffe	 has	 the	 highest	 blood	
• "Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to                 pressure
  be." - Henry David Thoreau, US naturalist                                   •	 All	porcupines	float	in	water
• "Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you            •	 The	only	moon	in	the	solar	system	
  really love." - Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Persian poet                       with a significant atmosphere is
                                                                                 Saturn’s moon Titan
• "There is no happiness for people at the expense of other
  people." - Anwar Sadat, former Egyptian president                           •	 The	lion	costume	in	the	film	Wizard	
                                                                                 of	Oz	was	made	from	real	lion

The olive tree                        Giraffe                                                                          A volcano

The Deccan Festival,
Hyderabad                                                    Sept 1 -7: Delhi Book Fair. The Delhi Book Fair brings together high-profile
The Deccan Festival is celebrated in Hyderabad every         works and new editions recently published in India. Proceedings take place
year in February. This five-day long festival reflects       at the vast Pragati Maidan. As well as books, magazines, maps, teaching
the culture of the Deccan and highlights Hyderabad’s         aids and computer software are also on display. The fair is organised by the
arts, crafts, culture and the popular Nawabi cuisine.
                                                             India Trade Promotion Organisation, known as ITPO.
This festival brings the choicest talent from the            Sept 12: onam, Kerala. The annual Onam Festival transforms Kerala with
field of Music, Song, Dance and Theatre. Ghazals,
                                                             colourful processions, feasting, boat races, singing and dancing. The state
Mushairas, Qawwalis (poetry sessions), Classical
                                                             takes a ten-day holiday surrounding the event, so wherever you are, there
Dances and Music which are typical of the city are
the highlights of this festival. The festival reflects the   is sure to be noise and colour! The Vallamkali (boat race) is one of the main
love the Hyderabad always had for art and literature.        attractions, and is best seen at Aranmulai and Kottayam.
The festival essentially mirrors the glorious Qutub          Sept 20-23: Kerala Travel Mart, Cochin, Kerala, India. KTM has
Shahi epoch. The Deccan Festival is organised by the         become a synergy between the public and private sectors, promoting
Andhra Pradesh tourism department.                           tourism in the state.
The festival also comprises a Pearls and Bangles             Sept 25 - 28: Alexandria Film Festival, Alexandria. Organised by the
Fair displaying creations of lustrous pearls and multi-      Egyptian Association of Film Writers and Critics, the Alexandria Film Festival
hued bangles that are local specialities and a food
                                                             aims to broaden film culture and strengthen the relationships between film-
fair with items covering both Andhra and Hyderabadi
                                                             makers throughout the world.
cuisine. Cultural programmes, food stalls, arts and
craft shops etc. are also organised.                         oct 1: Horse racing in Bahrain. Bahrain’s love of all things equestrian
The festival next year will be held from Feb 1, 2009         is evident in its splendid Sakhir Race Course, which has a grandstand for
to Feb 28, 2009.                                             3000 spectators. During the racing season, from October to March, you can
                                                             see beautiful Arabian purebreds and thoroughbreds hurdle and flat race
                                                             each Friday.
                                                             oct 1-8: Beirut International Film Festival, Beirut. The Beirut
                                                             International Film Festival aims to encourage interest in films and serve as a
                                                             platform for young talent from the Middle East.
                                                             oct 1-Nov 30: London Film Festival, London. Already firmly established
                                                             as Britain's biggest and best movie event, the London Film Festival is one of
                                                             the most popular events of its kind in the UK.
                                                             oct 1–30: Metro Ski and Snow Board Show, London. The largest
                                                             winter sports show in Europe, this event offers something for everyone,
                                                             from the most eager beginners to the hardiest enthusiasts.
                                                             oct 5-12: Abu Simbel Festival. Held at Abu Simbel Temple, egypt.
                                                             The combination of human endeavour and natural phenomena provide
                                                             what must be one of the most spectacular sights in the world.
                                                             oct 8-11: Beauty & Fitness exhibition, Cairo. Egypt’s annual Beauty &
                                                             Fitness Exhibition takes place at the Cairo International Conference Centre.

                                                             The world’s top cosmetic, health and beauty companies reveal their latest
                                                             products, and visitors can test lotions, potions, make-up and more.
                                                             oct 13, 14: Marwar Festival, Jodhpur, rajasthan. The popular Marwar
Father:   Have you taken your maths test, son?
                                                             Festival is a celebration of traditional music and dance from the Marwar
Son:      Taken already.                                     region of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Father:   Did you get them all right?                        oct 14-19: ubud Writers and readers Festival, Bali, Indonesia.
Son:      Only five wrong.                                   Around 80 writers from 16 countries gather in beautiful Bali for the Ubud
Father:   Not bad! By the way, how many sums                 Writers and Readers Festival, one of the premier literary events to be found
          altogether?                                        anywhere. Events during the festival range from seminars and talks to
                                                             dinners and workshops.
Son:      Five
                                                             oct 24-31: Klaver-Tallinn’s International pianist Festival, estonia.
                                                             Pianists from all over the world work their musical magic at Klaver, Tallinn’s
Bus Inspector:    Where’s your ticket?                       International Pianist Festival, held at Estonia Concert Hall. The musicians
Traveller:        I think I have lost it.                    focus just as much on contemporary piano-playing trends as they do on
Bus Inspector:    Well, that’s not a good excuse.            classic tunes from well-known composers.
Traveller:        All right. You suggest a better one.       oct 29-30: Travel Technology Congress, Dubai. Two days of networking
                                                             with an audience comprised of highly influential decision makers. It has
                                                             intensive workshops and one-to-one business meetings.
Abdul: Dad, can you write in the dark?
Dad:   I think so. What do you want me to write?
Abdul: Your name on this report card.

                                                               Nokia’s latest
                                                               multimedia phone
                                                               Partygoers rejoice! The Nokia N78, Nokia’s
Camera      packs features                                     latest multimedia phone, has a built-in FM
                                                               transmitter that allows you to share your
at a less-hefty price                                          favourite whale-call-based dance tracks with
                                                               the group over the home stereo or car radio.
                                                               Then, when your friends send you out, its
                                                               integrated GPS mapping gets you home.
                                                               The phone also plays back MP3s and
                                                               includes an FM radio tuner and a
                                                               system for streaming live radio from
                                                               the Internet. It has a 3.2-megapixel
                                                               camera that geotags photos with the
                                                               help of the GPS, and another camera
                                                               on the front for making video calls.

                                                               A tiny thumb drive
                                                               with big capacity
                                                               The one-inch Imation Atom
                                                               comes in sizes of one,
                                                               two, four and eight
                                                               gigabytes and is not
                                                               much bigger than a paper
                                                               clip. It works with Windows, Apple
                                                               and Linux computers, and it lets users protect data with a
                                                               password and split the storage space into multiple virtual
                                                               “drives.” Most interestingly, these tiny drives support
                                                               Windows Vista’s ReadyBoost technology.

                                                               A laptop that stands out
                                                               Dell’s Studio line comes in seven colours and offers some
Nikon’s D700, packs the considerable abilities of the          impressive computing power inside.
company’s flagship, the D3, into a more svelte 2.2-pound       The laptops use Intel Core 2 Duo processors and have up to
device. It uses the same 12.1-megapixel sensor and             320 gigabytes of hard drive space. Optional Blu-ray or DVD
processing electronics, similar weather-resistant sealing      recording drives ensure you can watch a movie under your
and a magnesium frame.                                         beach umbrella, while built-in Wi-Fi, cellular broadband and
Both digital single-lens reflex cameras use “full frame”       Bluetooth keep things connected.
sensors the size of 35-millimetre film, letting a wide-angle   The Studio line comes in two sizes with 15- and 17-inch screens,
lens really see a broad view. Larger sensors are also more     and, like most Dell computers, the laptops can be modified
sensitive. The cameras shoot low-grain, colourful, sharp       and configured online at Dell also offers
pictures at a light sensitivity.                               colour-coordinated accessories like bags and mice.


The Milkmaid

A milkmaid was on her way to the market to         With these happy thoughts, she began to skip
sell some milk from her cow. As she carried        and jump.
the large jug of milk on top of her head, she      Suddenly she tripped and fell. The jug broke
began to dream of all the things she could do      and all the milk spilt onto the ground.
after selling the milk.                            No more dreaming now, she sat down and
'With that money, I’ll buy a hundred chicks        cried.
to rear in my backyard. When they are fully        Moral: Do not count your chickens before they
grown, I can sell them at a good price at the      are hatched.
As she walked on, she continued dreaming,
“Then I’ll buy two young goats and rear them
on the grass close by. When they are fully
grown, I can sell them at an even better price!”
Still dreaming, she said to herself, “Soon, I’ll
be able to buy another cow, and I will have
more milk to sell. Then I shall have even more

     Wel co m e to

           oMAN BeCKoNS
           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 the Gulf’s favourite getaway, Oman delights with its blend of modern elegance and
           the 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 perfumed 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 Salalah Tourism Festival, starting from the mid of
           July till the end of August. The National Day, celebrated on November 18, is also a day to rejoice.

LeISure/eNTerTAINMeNT                                   oMAN - AT A GLANCe
Shopping: Oman is a great place for shopping            CApITAL: Muscat
as it blends the new and the old. The snazziest         AreA: 309,500 sq. kms.
shopping malls stand alongside the wonderfully          TIMe: GMT +4 hours
quaint traditional markets like the Muttrah Souk,       LANGuAGe: Arabic is the official language.
Nizwa Souk, Haffa Souk in Salalah and Sinaw Souk.       English is widely spoken.
Malls include Al Araimi Complex, Al Harthy Complex,     CurreNCY: OR = Omani Rial
Al Khamis Plaza, Al Masa Mall, Al Sarooj Complex,       exchange rate: One US Dollar = 0.384 OR
Al Wadi Commercial Centre, Capital Commercial           VISAS: Single entry visit visa, Multiple entry visa,
Centre, Centrepoint, Jawaharat A’Shatti Mall - new,     Express visa
LuLu Hypermarket, Markaz Al Bahja, Muscat City          eLeCTrICITY: 220/380 volts
Centre, Sabco Centre, among others.                     HourS oF WorK/BuSINeSS: Government
Hotels: Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Hotel,        departments are open from 0730 – 1430 hrs and
Muscat InterContinental Hotel, The Chedi, Shangri-      closed on Thursdays and Fridays.
La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, The Grand Hyatt,      Private sector offices are open 0800 – 1300 and
Hilton Salalah Resort, Al Nahda Resort & Spa,           from 1600 – 1900 (except on Thursdays, till 1400
                                                        hrs), closed on Fridays.
Crowne Plaza Resort – Salalah, Crowne Plaza
                                                        CLIMATe: The hottest months are May through
Muscat, Corel Hotel Muscat, Radisson SAS, Ramee
                                                        August. The summer monsoon just touches the
Guestline Hotel, Al Sawadi Beach Resort, Golden
                                                        southern coast of Dhofar during these months
Tulip Hotel – Nizwa, Safeer International Hotel,
                                                        bringing regular light rain to Salalah and reducing
Safeer Continental Hotel, Sur Plaza Hotel, Al Buraimi
                                                        the average daytime highs to 25°C.
Hotel, Al Qurum Resort, Hotel Muscat Holiday,
                                                        The most pleasant months to visit Oman are
Majan Continental Hotel, Ruwi Hotel, Ramada             mid October through March when daytime
Qurum Beach, Golden Tulip Hotel – Seeb, Golden          temperatures fall into the lower 30s and below.
Tulip Resort - Khasab, Sheraton Oman Hotel, Al Falaj    AIrporT: Muscat International Airport is the
Hotel, Sohar Beach Hotel.                               main airport. Salalah also has an international
Museums: Bait Adam, Bait Al Baranda, Bait Al            airport. There are domestic airports at Sur,
Muzna Gallery, Bait Al Zubair, Children’s Museum,       Masirah Island and Khasab (Musandam).
Currency Museum, Frankincense Land Museum,
Muscat Gate Museum, Nakhal Fort Museum,                 INForMATIoN
National Museum, Natural History Museum,                Ministry of Tourism, P.O. Box 200, P. C. 115,
Planetarium, Omani Heritage Museum, Oman                Madinat Al-Sultan Qaboos, Muscat,
– French Museum, Salalah Museum, Sayyid Faisal          Sultanate of Oman
bin Ali Museum, Sultan Armed Forces Museum              Tel: +968 24588700,
Cinemas: Al Nasr Cinema, Ruwi Cinema, Star              Call Centre: +968 80077799
Cinema, Al Shatti Cinema, Al Bahja Cinema, Al Wafi      Fax: +968 24588818
Plaza (Sur)                                             Website:
Dive Centres: Oman Dive Centre, Bluezone Water          E-mail:
Sports, Marina Bander Al Rowdha

For detailed information on visa requirements, log

omantel enquiry     1318
Talking pages       24600100
emergency           9999
Dialling Code       +968


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