The inflighT Magazine of oMan air
March 2011 Your copY To Keep
Singapore, the Lion City
Get yourself tested
Global gig guide
Over recent weeks, a range of facts, figures and
accolades have emerged which show that Oman Air’s
the more notable by being achieved in the face of the
worst recession air travel has ever known.
recent transformation is really paying off for passengers.
But this is no time for us to rest on our laurels and
Towards the end of last year, Oman Air’s our commitment to expanding our range of passenger
innovatory in-flight connectivity service was recognised choices continues. The recent launch of our service
at the Aviation Business Awards, and in February from Muscat to Milan was celebrated at a glittering
we were delighted to pick up two Golds and one Silver ceremony which showcased Omani creative talent at
at the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards. the heart of the Italian fashion industry.
That same month, we saw Oman Air ranked higher
than any other Middle East airline in the Wanderlust On the ground, we have just opened our spectacular
Travel Awards 2011. new First Class and Business Class lounges
at Muscat International Airport. Combining
We were delighted to receive such prestigious outstanding comfort, space, service and technology,
recognition following a year which has seen remarkable each lounge offers the perfect environment in which to
changes take place at Oman Air. Over that time, relax, enjoy Oman’s legendary hospitality and await
we have introduced a fleet of new aircraft, launched a your flight.
host of new destinations and unveiled a range of new
products and services which aim to offer our customers As the year unfolds, we will have many more
an unrivalled in-flight experience. innovations to announce, each of which will offer you
even more luxury and amenity. So, whether you are
And recent figures show that Oman Air’s customers travelling to Oman or further afield, thank you for
agree that we offer a winning combination of quality choosing Oman Air and I look forward to welcoming
and value. The number of passengers we carried in you back soon.
2010 increased by 38% compared with the previous
year, with seat factors increasing from 61% to 72% and Peter Hill
revenues growing by a massive 51% - results made all Chief Executive Officer
Contents Festival focus
Calling all cool cats for the Cairo Jazz Fest, and dreamers for the Paris Festival of the Imagination.
Lion City to the principles of Feng Shui, Singapore has
an odd mix of calm and chaos that is bound to draw you in.
10 Test Make sure you get
tests done this year.
An Omani environmental expert chats about the importance and
beauty of rare and endangered mangrove forests in the region.
Net yourself a packet from the
comfort of your own home.
Life in all its forms on the third rock from the sun.
Book your place
in front of the big
screen for these
Oman Air’s inflight magazine is issued by:
Corporate Communications &
Media Department - Oman Air
P.O. Box 58, Muscat International Airport,
Postal Code 111, Sultanate of Oman
Tel: +968 24519616, Fax: +968 24510771
Website: www.omanair.com A selection of some fab
reads and latest movies
For advertising enquiries contact the publisher: on circuit this month.
National Publishing &
P.O. Box 3112, P.C. 112, Ruwi
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Tel: +968 24793098, Fax: +968 24708445
Media Sales Director
Media Sales Executive
The publisher regrets that they cannot accept liability for errors
or omissions contained in this publication, however caused.
The opinions and views contained in this publication are not Tourism and Entertainment
Where to visit, how to find the best bargains and where to stay.
necessarily those of the publisher.
WHEN: March 11- April 15
WHAT: Devoted to the music and cultural
styles of people across the globe, the annual festival
is held at the Maison des Cultures du Monde and
other regional venues. Grand masters of numerous
traditions perform side by side with young
artists. Past programmes have included Iranian
interpretations of the poetry of Mevlana Rumi,
choral music from the Syrian Orthodox Church,
Japanese puppetry from Sado Island, dance music
from Cape Verde and folk music from the Hmong
in the Golden Triangle (Thailand/Burma/Laos).
Alongside the performances, lectures and round-
table discussions take place, with the aim of
enlarging our vision of the world.
Visit www.whatsonewhere.com for more information.
Be a part of these fun and education cultural events this month
Cairo Jazz Festival as distinctive as the Nile. The festival mixes
sounds as diverse as European jazz, Cuban
WHERE: Various Cairo venues or African and Egyptian. Last year saw bands
WHEN: March 17-19 from the region and France, USA, Germany,
Holland, Japan, Lebanon, Spain and Austria.
WHAT: One of the more unique events in the region, the festival Workshops and Master classes, in addition to
began in 2002 and has been welcomed by the Cairo population. It is a Jam sessions with the masters every night at
unique experience to hear this kind of music surrounded by a landscape various locations. www.cairojazzfest.com
8 event Horizon
Let Oman Air fly you to these exciting destinations this month
Festival of Colours
WHERE: Northern Indian towns.
WHEN: March 20
WHAT: The second most important Indian
festival after Diwali, the Spring Festival of
Holi is a festival of colours. It welcomes the
season and potential good harvests. It is a
festival of romance often represented by the
love story of Radha and Krishna. Each year,
young and old, men and women, all indulge
themselves in the spirit of colours. There are
mouth-watering delicacies to savour such as
gujhias and papris, and there are interesting
traditions and customs of Holi that have their
own regional variances.
WHERE: Bangkok International Trade
ArtScience Exhibition Centre
WHEN: March 23 - April 5
WHERE: Marina Bay Sands,
Singapore WHAT: Calling all petrol-heads for the
WHEN: Now open international Bangkok Motor Show, which
WHAT: The world’s first showcases all the latest cars and other vehicles
ArtScience Museum has just along Bang-na Trad Road. The annual event pulls
opened at Marina Bay Sands in in large crowds of car enthusiasts. Look out for
Singapore and is set to become the the latest concept cars and designs for the future.
heart of the growing ArtScience www.bangkok-motorshow.com
movement as well as the premier venue for major international touring
exhibitions from the most renowned collections in the world. Featuring
21 gallery spaces totalling 50 000 square feet, this will deliver an
impressive array of exhibits that embrace a spectrum of influences
from art and science, media and technology, to design and architecture.
There are galleries dedicated to wonderful inventions, multimedia and
challenging scientific riddles. The
gallery also features engaging touch
screen units with information on
ArtScience innovations in areas
such as architecture, transportation,
technology and exploration.
WHERE: Beirut, Hotel Al Bustan
WHEN: Until March 27
WHAT: Immerse yourself in music, opera,
dance and theatre during the Al Bustan Festival,
which smoothes the way from winter towards
spring. There are 30 events to choose from
over five weeks at Emile Bustani Auditorium.
Selected performances take place in the hotel’s
Crystal Garden glass conservatory.
10 international Destination InternatIonal DestInatIon 11
Now some people hold that Singapore’s remarkable economic boom in That’s not all. A decade later, Lee was
the last few decades can be attributed to the persistent observation of told that a dragon placed looking over
Feng Shui principles by various leaders, most notably the former Prime the mouth of Singapore River and the
Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Consider this example. During a Feng Shui Merlion, Singapore’s symbol, would ensure
hand or eye
consultation, Lee was told that Singapore’s fortune could be improved Singapore’s good fortune. So on the top
by hanging up a Ba Gua, an eight-sided Feng Shui symbol. Since the left-hand corner of the country’s fifty dollar
government was not convinced about adopting a Chinese symbol, bill, Lee placed a scene of the Singapore
Lee instead introduced a Ba Gua-shaped one dollar coin. When the River, harbour, and Merlion. In this way the
economy still did not recover, he created road tax disks in the shape of dragon would be forever symbolically poised
the Ba Gua and the economy immediately improved. (And consequently, above the Merlion, thereby safeguarding its
every car in Singapore began hanging this symbol in their windshield.) prosperity forever.
Constructed according to the ancient principles of Feng Shui,
Singapore has an odd mix of calm and chaos that is bound to draw you in
There are a thousand stories in the naked city, no exception. One of its own peculiar stories is about the little-understood
so they say, and Singapore, which takes its name art of Feng Shui, literally “wind water”, the ancient Chinese system of
from the Malay name Singapura, or Lion City, is architectural aesthetics.
(Image source: Photolibrary)
12 InternatIonal DestInatIon
Believe it or not, one thing you cannot systems, rocking nightlife, the mysterious medical art of Feng Shui, and
dispute is that Singapore is an incredibly colourful opera are some faces of this wonderful state, but year-round
ordered, manicured city. Attention has been festivals make the Lion City busy with tourists all year long. Added to
paid to all the details. that, a bullish economy spurred a 10-month string of record-breaking
The Far East is hardly lacking in dramatic visitor arrival numbers, beginning from December 2009. Last year, the
skyscraper skylines. Take Hong Kong for Singapore Tourism Board got ready to greet a record 12 million visitors,
example. Singapore also boasts a superb with tourism spending more than $18.5 billion.
vista that can hold a candle to tall buildings So where is all that money being spent? Well, a single day’s walking will
anywhere else in the world. Local Feng Shui transport you from peaceful past to pumping present, from colourful
experts claim that the very design of the city ethnic quarters to efficient business centres, from serene private grounds
centre allows local business to recover from to sleek skyscrapers. Indeed, Singapore has gone from being called the
the draining energy of capitalism, returning Lion City to the Garden City, in honour of its green lungs.
life back its original state of peace and, more A good way to see the city is -by joining a guided tour, led by an eclectic
importantly, prosperity. bunch of researcher-guides who have taken locals and travellers alike off
the beaten track, and regaled them with an endless store of anecdotes
If your taste buds are not that reveal the true heart of the city. These tours usually start at the
singed, then you haven’t D’Centennial building.
really experienced the It is also worth taking a tour round Chinatown, a bustling and colourful
culinary delights of the area with shops, teahouses and restaurant, and also several temples such
local fares at all as the Fuk Tak Ch’i in Telok Ayer Street and the Temple of the Calm Sea.
Indeed, the ultra-modern lifestyle, state-of- Ancient crafts of calligraphy, papermaking and fortune-telling are practised
the-art transportation and communication here, and traditional goods and foodstuffs can also be bought.
14 InternatIonal DestInatIon
Swop cultures down Serangoon Road, the centre of Little India, stretching from
Rochar Canal to Lavender Street. The Zhu Jiao Centre, at the southern end of
Serangoon Road, is a particularly vibrant example of Little India. Other attraction
in the area include the Sri Veeramakalimman Temple, the Mahatma Gandhi
Memorial Hall in Race Course Lane and Farrer Park.
The dragon would be forever symbolically
poised above the Merlion, thereby
safeguarding its prosperity forever
Tourism is also not complete without a journey through Singapore’s food
paradise and if your taste buds are not singed, then you haven’t really
experienced the culinary delights of the local fares at all, such as Hainanese
cooking, spicy Indian food, delectable and flavourful preparations from
the Chinese kitchens. Take a walk on the wild side of things and try
more spicy preparations and, if you are lucky, then you might have
visited Singapore just in time for the food festival, which showcases
the old, the new and the delectable dishes from the many local chefs
At the end of the day, Feng Shui or not, Singapore has a definite
pulling power. It was voted as one of the top 10 cities in the
world in Lonely Planet’s 2010 travel guide, and has been was
recognised as one of the top 10 countries in the world for
quality of life.
16 InternatIonal DestInatIon
Learn Malay Country Facts
Hello : Hai Oman Air code-shared Malaysia Airlines flies
Goodbye : Selamat jalan twice weekly between Muscat and Singapore
How are you? : Apa khabar?
Yes : Ya
Visa requirements: All British, Australian, Canadian,
USA and EU nationals require a Social Visit Pass, which
No : Tidak
is issued on arrival, provided the traveller holds a valid
What is your name? : Apakah nama anda?
passport, sufficient funds to cover stay in Singapore,
OK : Baiknya
confirmed onward/return tickets and entry documentation
No problem : Tiada masalah
for further destinations. For nationals holding British and
How much? : Berapa harganya ini?
Irish passports, the maximum length of stay is 30 days; for
Please : Tolong/ Sila
other nationals the maximum length of stay is 7 or 14 days
Welcome : Selamat detang
depending on nationality. Nationals not referred to in the
Thank you (very much) : Terima kasih (berbanyak-banyak)
chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check
Excuse me : Mafkan saya
Good morning : Selamat Pagi
Good evening : Selamat Petang Languages spoken: Singapore has four national
languages: Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English. For business
NumBers and politics, English is the language of choice.
1 : Satu 6 : Enam
2 : Dua
Currency: One Singapore dollar is divided into
7 : Tujuh
3 : Tiga 8 : Lapan
4 : Empat 9 : Sembilan
5 : Lima 10 : Sepulu
18 It’s Oman It’s oman 19
Forests are a rarity in an arid environment such Some of this wildlife depends almost solely on this environment in
as Oman’s and, perhaps because of this, they Oman; the White-collared Kingfisher, for example, lives only here and
are highly valued. Of the very few forest trees is one of the world’s rarest birds. Mangroves also have critical roles
present in the Sultanate only one, Avicenia in shore stabilisation, trapping sediment and protecting hinterland
marina, the black mangrove, can tolerate the development. They may even trap unwanted pollutants which may be
salty conditions of the shoreline. Most people sequestered by the plants and effectively removed from harm’s way – at
living in Muscat drive past the Qurum forest least temporarily while the plants remain living. Arguably one of the
every day on their way to work, although most important ecological functions of mangroves, however, is the
few give it a second glance. It is among more export to surrounding coastal waters of organic nutrients, a result of
than 20 other mangrove forests dotted along the extremely high productivity of typical mangrove environments.
Oman’s shoreline from the northern Batinah to Clearly, it is more than just rarity for which these forests should be
southern Dhofar, which together represent the valued. And yet a good look at any one of the remaining mangrove
vast majority of mangrove remaining in eastern forests in the country will reveal a multitude of threats to its survival.
Arabia covering an area of little more than 1 In some cases they are heavily encroached by roads, housing and
000 hectares. Compared with the estimated 9 recreational facilities such as at Qurum, in other cases by industrial
000 hectares that occur along the coast of Iran development, such as at Sohar where the new port lies just a stone’s
Not many Muscat motorists know this, but and the vast 260 000 hectares in Pakistan’s throw away from a mangrove forest.
every day they probably drive past one of intertidal zone, this is a meagre amount. Along with such encroachment comes the threat of pollution from
the rarest and oldest living treasure troves Mangrove forests in Oman are a dwindling poor water quality, and pollutant-laden run-off. Use of fertilizers in
in the region writes Oman environmental resource, the last of those to survive an onslaught irrigation water on nearby landscaping also threatens the trees’ survival.
expert Rob Baldwin of natural and human pressures. And yet, they Littering, cutting of mangrove trees and harvesting its resources are
are also a living treasure trove. Among their many more direct threats. In some cases wood is cut and subsequently taken
important ecological roles and functions are the out to sea to be sunk in order to help attract fishes on an otherwise
provision of habitat and nursery grounds for barren seabed. Such use of the mangrove, itself a nursery for fishes, is
fishes, including those of commercial importance, beneficial in the short-term only and clearly not a sustainable or logical
as well as invertebrates, birds and other wildlife. use of the resource.
20 It’s oman
Some local use may have been tolerated in the past to an
extent, and indeed ancient people fed well off the many fish
and shellfish that the mangrove supplies.
However, the combination of threats now facing mangroves makes
any harvest difficult to sustain. The noise, vibration and lighting
associated with development and other activities also make life
increasingly intolerable to the wildlife that retreats ever deeper
into the forests. Meanwhile, some domestic animals freely graze
the mangrove trees, in some cases reducing the density of forests
to a point where viable ecological functioning is threatened. In
some cases overgrazing has led to the erection of fences around
mangrove forests, such as in Dhofar. An effective management
step, it would seem, provided gates are kept closed.
Many more threats are hidden, or at least not all that obvious,
although just as significant. For example, as groundwater reserves
in coastal regions become increasingly saline, so mangrove trees,
which although tolerant of a high degree of salt water, slowly
suffer the effects of extremely salty conditions. Mangroves, and
the marine life in their creeks, also rely on ready access to the sea.
Blockage of channels caused by the effects of erosion/ accretion
and divergence of flood waters, sometimes by infrastructure
several kilometres away, may sever this lifeline.
Given the value, importance and array of threats to mangroves,
steps to prevent their further loss are required, such as the creation
of new habitat and planting. A system of management that seeks
to avoid future impacts and prevent encroachment and destructive
use, including the creation of managed no-access zones and buffer
zones around them, may, however, help to conserve what remains
of Arabia’s sea forests.
22 HealtH & Beauty HealtH & Beauty 23
C-reactive protein test: This test, for a blood
marker called C-reactive protein, measures the
amount of inflammation in the body. Though not
specific to the heart, it has been considered helpful
in diagnosing and monitoring cardiovascular
problems, since arterial inflammation is believed to be
involved in heart attacks and strokes. The simple blood
test is used as an adjunct to more traditional measures of
risk, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Colonoscopy: Screening for colorectal cancer is an
absolute must, as the disease is the third most common cancer
in both men and women. “Virtual” colonoscopies, a non-invasive technique
that uses computed tomography scans to create computer-generated images
Lipid profile: Knowing
your cholesterol level is crucial
of the colon, are widely considered much more comfortable from the patient’s
for both detecting and managing problems
perspective. However, some studies have shown that virtual colonoscopies
with your overall vascular health, but there’s
miss more polyps than the traditional variety.
more to cholesterol than just the “bad” low-
CYP450 test: Enzymes that encode CYP450 genes–or genes found density lipoprotein and the “good” high-density
primarily in the liver, where we metabolize drugs and other foreign lipoprotein. There are less-traditional blood
substances that enter the body–impact the ability of prescription drugs to markers such as lipoprotein particle size and
penetrate the bloodstream properly. That means that the efficacy of a drug apolipoprotein that also have been shown to
depends upon the availability of these enzymes. The CYP450 test measures detect risk.
the enzyme levels so that doctors can find the right dosage for your body and
see if you have immunity to a particular drug.
Pap smear: Changes in the cell of the cervix
can show cervical cancer or possibly conditions
Diabetes risk: Routine screening is highly recommended, using one of that might develop into cancer. Experts
two simple, inexpensive tests that can detect early stages of type II diabetes: recommend that all women over age 21 get an
the fasting plasma glucose test or the oral glucose tolerance test. The blood annual Pap smear–a simple test used to detect
glucose levels measured after these tests indicate whether you have a normal precancerous conditions that could lead to
metabolism, pre-diabetes or diabetes. If you are more than 20% above cervical cancer.
healthy body weight, you should certainly be screened for diabetes.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. Here are 10
medical check-ups that the Forbes List recommends you get done this year
No matter your age and your general state of Blood pressure screening: This is crucial for
health, illness can strike at any time. Prevention vascular health, as elevated blood pressure is a risk
of disease obviously matters to physicians. factor for heart disease and stroke. Home blood
Unfortunately, it is usually off the radar screen pressure machines are widely available and are
for most patients. “If it ain’t broke, why fix it,” is especially helpful for those trying to monitor the effects
the mantra many people adopt when it comes to of a blood pressure medication like a beta-blocker.
getting preventive care. However, it’s a lot easier Reducing the amount of salt in your diet can help lower
to prevent diseases than to combat them. blood pressure.
(Image sources: Photolibrary; iStockphoto)
24 HealtH & Beauty
Prostate-specific antigen screening:
Prostate-specific antigen is a substance released
into a man’s blood by his prostate gland. The
amount of antigen in the blood typically increases
with age–but it also can be increased sharply
by prostate cancer. The test is done by a simple
blood sample drawn from a vein, most typically
from the arm.
Skin cancer exam: The best way to detect
the early warning signs of basal cell carcinoma,
squamous cell carcinoma and malignant
melanoma (the three main types of skin cancer)
is to get a yearly skin exam by a dermatologist.
Often, the first sign of melanoma is a change
in the shape, colour or size of an existing mole.
Asymmetry of a mole is also something to watch
out for, as it can sometimes indicate the presence
of skin cancer.
Stress test: Designed to determine if there
is adequate blood flow to your heart during
increased levels of activity. It typically involves
walking or jogging on a treadmill or pedalling a
stationary bike, while your electrocardiogram,
heart rate and blood pressure are all monitored.
Physicians use this test to help determine the
likelihood of coronary artery disease.
26 BusIness BusIness 27
Where you bean!: Rick Field, a Yale graduate and former TV producer, shipped everything from his local post office,
is a perfect example of how you can start successful home business out barely eking out a profit during his first year
of a hobby. Field learned the art of pickling when he was growing up in of operation. Today, Landauer sells over 1000
Vermont. About eight years ago, gripped by a sense of nostalgia, he took products from some 300 manufacturers. In
up pickling again. In his tiny kitchen, Field made family recipes and then 2005, the business grossed around $130 000.
quickly began experimenting. People’s wildly enthusiastic response to his He got $200 000 in 2006. One day, it’s going to
Windy City Wasabeans (soybeans in wasabi brine) and Slices of Life (sliced be a cool $1 000 000.
pickles in aromatic garlic brine) told him he was onto something. Flutter byes: And to end off, consider this
About turn: Karin Markley set her online business right out of home. amazing million-dollar, homebusiness idea
Having 15 years of experience working in a civilian employment agency success story. Jose Muñiz’s career began when
and knowing that companies value employees with military backgrounds, a friend bet him $100 that he could not sell
More and more people are using the networking potential of the internet to create highly butterflies for a living. Now, seven years later,
she wanted to provide a link between the two. Her website, MilitaryExits.
successful online businesses, says NicheGeek.com blogger Dmitri Davidoff com, is now linked to all the military bases. Markley, who projects annual the former business consultant and his wife,
sales of $600 000, points to her biggest reward: “Helping the military. Karen, own Amazing Butterflies, a live-butterfly
Dread getting up to go to work in the collection onto his iPod. HungryPod has expanded to three employees
Getting the letters and phone calls from these people thanking me so much distributor that generated $1 million in revenues
mornings? Don’t like your co-workers? Hectic and four computers, and has annual sales that exceed $100 000. The New
for what I’m doing for them.” in 2006. Though Muñiz is still waiting for his
personal life? Be the master of your financial York Times even ran an article about Catherine’s business.
$100 bet, he says that he has backed his way
security by turning your home into your very It’s a gas: Oregon enterpreneur Nick Landauer makes $200 000 a year
Ring fencing: Sometimes opportunity strikes close to home. After into a job that he loves. “I could never go back to
own corporate castle. Your family will love blogging about hot sauces. In 2001, while still in college, he launched his consulting,” he says. “This is just too much fun.”
Joshua Opperman’s divorce, he was stuck with the expensive engagement
you for it and it could make you an overnight online homebusiness then called Sweat ‘N Spice out of his apartment. He (Visit www.nichegeek.com for more inspiring
ring. He went back to the jeweller where he’d bought it three months
millionaire, as these entrepreneurs found out. sold a few dozen types of hot sauces, packaged each order by hand, and business ideas.)
earlier, but found he could only get 32% of its original cost. Josh didn’t like
Course work: Take the example of that one bit, so he set up a site, where people in the same situation can sell
American entrepreneur, Michael Senoff, who their engagement rights for a better price.
stumbled upon a perfect online home business
opportunity – reselling old seminar materials.
He was really impressed by a seminar he
attended. The only problem was that it cost
$20 000 to attend one workshop. So he did
some digging and managed to find a guy from
Northern California who had attended the
seminar, asking to buy seminar materials off
him. He bought the entire set for $50. He
broke up the set and sold separate items for
$1700. Thus, his perfect online homebusiness
was born. Michael now resells old seminar
materials for dozens of marketing gurus, easily
profiting over $1000 a day.
Going for a song: How about New Yorker,
Catherine Keane, the owner of Hungry Pod,
who makes over $100 000 a year, uploading
music to other people’s iPods. This online
homebusiness idea came to her when an
acquaintance offered her $500 to load his CD
(Image source: Photolibrary)
28 FasHIOn & trends
Quirky is all the rage this season, especially
when it comes to jewellery. Charm bracelets
have sparked a massive trend in the jewellery
sector and are worn by high profile women
such as actresses Catherine Zeta Jones and
Goldie Hawn, the President of Ireland and
Customise your iPhone case with photos
High Commissioner for Human Rights of the
and digital art. A catalogue of over 100 000
United Nations, Mary Robinson and women’s
user-generated custom iPhone 3 and iPhone 4
rights activist Mukhtar Mai. With a lot of
cases are available from CafePress and you can
retailers selling jewellery, it is so important to
create your own unique designs to purchase.
be able to differentiate yourself.
Make your iPhone case an extension of your
personality, as it’s rare nowadays to see someone
on the street without a phone in hand.
Such a breeze
Spring dressing is such pleasure. Fill your wardrobe with clothes you
racing Henley. Also in this season is the
gypsy top, perfect for holiday dressing,
wear over a bikini for instant beach chic,
can live in - no fuss, no logos, just simple basics made from beautiful and by night, accessorise with boho
fabrics. The look this Spring is the pastel top, and the flowing skirt. jewellery and heels.
You can choose your own style, be it button neck, boat neck or www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk
30 FasHIon & trenDs
Some things just never go out of fashion.
A leading London tailoring company
has issued a set of instructions on how
to look instantly cool, by plumping for
the three-piece suited look. For that
dapper, slightly conservative look
that suggests elegance and a love of
Tried and tested
A black-tie request may come your way for an evening
wedding, opening night of the opera or perhaps your
company’s holiday party. Break out the penguin suit, guys,
because black tie means only one thing: a tuxedo. Classic
menswear proponents argue that there is no benefit to
tampering with the classic formula as it has essentially been
perfected. Black bow-tie, and black cummerbund complete
the aristocratic, suave look that has been turning ladies’ eyes
since, well, the first time it hit the dance floor some time
back in the 1930s.
32 WOrld VIeW WorlD VIeW 33
I’m so lonely
A Giant Panda, (ailuropoda melanoleuca) sitting
on a fallen tree in a Panda centre in the Wolong
Valley in the Chinese Himalayas. The Giant
Panda is the flagship species of the Worldwide
Wildlife Fund, due to its extremely endangered
status. (Photo: Polking Fritz/Photolibrary)
Looking like a creature from legend, an
orange Speckled Seahorse is caught on
Once were dinosaurs camera in the Mediterranean Sea off
The head of a Indian rhino which has the coast of Sardinia near Italy. The sea
had its horn removed to deter poachers. horse dervies its name from its uncanny
(Photo: Imagebroker/Photolibrary) resemblance to terrestrial equines. (Photo:
A cheeky looking orang-
utan baby stands on top
of its mother. Reflecting Bird-brained Brits!
its intelligent and social Competitors in the annual International
nature, the name of this Bognor Birdman competition launch
large primate species themselves from the pier watched by
derives from the Malay for spectators and fellow competitors. The
“man of the forest”. (Photo: Birdman is a flight competition for
Charles Cangialosi/ human powered flying machines held
Photolibrary) each summer in the picturesque seaside
resort of Bognor Regis on England’s
(Photo: Andy Sewell/Photolibrary)
Horse riding purebred Arabian horses over a three-day display and competition.
With US$4million prize money, this ranks amongst the most
Arabian Horse Champs, March 17-19 prestigious shows worldwide. A week later, on March 26, the world’s
Dubai International Convention and richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup takes place at the Meydan
Exhibition Centre Racecourse with $10 million prize money and $5 million in duty
The Dubai International Arabian Horse free. The magnificent 60 000-seater Meydan Racecourse also boasts a
Championship showcases beauty, agility and luxurious hotel and six haute cuisine restaurants.
Hong Kong Sevens, March 25-27
Universally acknowledged to be the greatest rugby party on earth, tens of
thousands of fans are getting ready to jet into Hong Kong for three days
of carnival parties and the fastest, most agile version of rugby ever played.
The Hong Kong leg is the main event in the world sevens circuit which
see 24 of the world’s best rugby teams, from South Africa to Fiji, go head
to head, literally, in thrilling 14-minute matches for rugby glory. Visit
www.hksevens.com for more on tickets and accommodation.
Oxford Cambridge Boat Race
The world’s oldest and most famous boat race
slugged out between those hallowed bastions of
education. Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Hundreds of thousands of Londoners rush
down to the River Thames to get a glimpse of
the boat crews from Putney Bridge to Chiswick
Bridge in the 157th annual race that first started
in 1829. Oxford is aiming for their third win in a
row. It is 80 wins to 75 in favour of Cambridge.
36 reVIeWs reVIeWs 37
The George Nolfi Of Thee I Sing
Director: By Barack Obama
Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, He is not the first and he won’t be the last US president to
Studio: Universal Pictures write a book. Barack Obama forays into children’s literature
Releasing: March 4, 2011 here with a profile of a very diverse cluster of 13 Americans
After glimpsing his future, an ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) battles whose lives span the course of the country’s history. The
the agents of Fate itself to be with the woman (Blunt) he loves. On the brink of group includes five women and eight men and ranges from
winning a seat in the US Senate, Norris meets beautiful contemporary ballet George Washington to Sitting Bull, and Albert Einstein to
dancer Elise Sellas, a woman like none he has ever known. But agents of the Helen Keller. Written for his daughters Sasha and Malia, this
mysterious Adjustment Bureau will do everything in their considerable power to is an upbeat, appealing message with illustrations by popular
prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he children’s book artist Loren Long and collaborations with
must either let her go and accept a predetermined path, or risk everything to defy celebrities including Madonna and Frank McCourt.
Fate and be with her.
The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are
Played and Games Are Won
By Tobias J Moskowitz and L Jon Wertheim
Jane Eyre A controversial debunking of many sports myths that could upset
sports fans who are convinced they have a firm grasp on the laws of
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, probablility. In a series of essays that criticise accepted strategies, the
Judi Dench answers are all in the stats, argue the authors, and their conclusions
Studio: Focus Features
are certainly entertaining at times and annoying at other times.
Releasing: March 11, 2011
For example, no matter how many games in a row a team wins, the
An adaptation of the 19th-century romance by Charlotte Bronte. Jane
likelihood of success in the next game is identical. Or consider the
Eyre is one of the most adapted novels in English literature, with at least
referee who doesn’t raise his flag - we judge him less harshly that the
20 previous film or TV versions. The story follows a governess who
referee who does, even though both may have been in the wrong.
softens the heart of her surly employer Mr Rochester, only to discover
that he is hiding a terrible secret. A classic of English literature and one of
the most famous love stories ever.
Sucker Punch The Tell-Tale Brain. A
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, Neuroscientist’s Quest for
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures What Makes Us Human
Releasing: March 25, 2011 By VS Ramachandran
A trip into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the The author, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University
ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time of California, San Diego, sheds light on unusual mental aberrations.
and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures For example, the woman who laughs when she should be crying in pain.
blur the lines between what is real and what is imaginary. She has been locked Or those people with an intense desire to have their own healthy limbs
away against her will, but Babydoll (Browning) has not lost her will to survive. amputated, others who are paralysed on one side but insist against all
Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls to band evidence that they are not, and people who really believe they are dead.
together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors. The Ramachandran builds a picture of the areas of the brain and the
girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents. pathways between them, concluding that many delusions result from the
Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. brain trying to make sense of signals that have gone haywire.
38 tecH talk tIme out 39
Sit and swivel of its Lifebook T580 Tablet PC with Say it ain’t so!
Fujitsu has announced the launch On reaching his plane seat a man is surprised to see a parrot strapped in next to him.
three-way input and a 10.1-inch Superfine HD Display. Weighing only He is even more surprised when, asking the stewardess for a coffee, the parrot rudely
1.4kg, the PC keeps you mobile and connected, while a host of security interrupts and demands some peanuts. The stewardess brings back the peanuts but
features keeps data safe. The T580 is powered by Intel®’s Core™ i5 forgets the man’s coffee. As he tries to remind her, the parrot again interrupts and
processor, up to 8GB RAM and a wide variety of SSD and SATA again rudely demands more peanuts, and she returns with the peanuts, but not the
hard disk drives. It comes with four-finger multiple touch functionality, coffee. Angry now, the man also shouts rudely at the stewardess for his coffee. Next
providing an intuitive user experience. Features such as the Advanced moment, both he and the parrot have been wrenched out of their seats and thrown
Theft Protection system, fingerprint sensor and Kensington Lock are out of the emergency exit by two burly stewards. Plunging down to the ground, the
in addition to Fujitsu’s own security systems. parrot turns to him and says, “For someone who can’t fly, you shouldn’t be so rude!”
Airborne assault or an
We are not sure whether this is sheer genius
indication that the men in white coats have too much
time on their hands, but either way, this award-winning
little gizmo is sure to make you stand up and take a
look. Literally. When the alarm clock goes off, the whole
device takes off and flies round the room, humming like
a mosquito! So if you sleep with the windows open you
may have to run down the street trying to catch your alarm
clock, thereby waking the whole neighbourhood up! There
is also the chance that when the batteries run it could drop
on your noggin, so best you get up immediately!
They said it Pilot: “ Thank you, and remember, nobody
loves you or your money more than us.”
Real quotes from pilots and air crew: Flight attendant’s comment on a less
Pilot - “Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am than perfect landing: “We ask you to
going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo
wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land...it’s a bit cold bounces us to the terminal.”
Two’stimes have you photographed a friend or loved one standing in front of some
outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the flight pattern.”
Pilot - “Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken
Pilot - as the plane landed and was
coming to a stop at Washington National:
clouds, but they’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. “Whoa, big fella. Whoa!”
majestic backdrop, only to wish you too could be in the shot? Well, now you can with Ion’s
new dual-lens camcorder that captures front and rear video and audio images in high-
quality 640x480 fps resolution. Along with real-time playback and triple digital zoom, Ion’s
latest toy has user-friendly button, a weighted bottom for steadier recording and rear and Life in the fast lane “Please, mister! Please! I’m sorry but I
didn’t know what else to do,” he pleaded.
“I threw the brick because no one else
front lights for low-level ambient lighting. www.pcworld.com A young businessman was driving fast in his brand new V8 Vantage
Aston Martin down a neighbourhood street. Suddenly there was a would stop!” With tears dripping down
terrific crash as a brick was thrown from the street into the side of his car. his face the boy pointed down the road.
Furious, the man screeched to a halt and leapt out of his car. He saw a “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off
young boy standing by the road and he grabbed him and started shouting the curb and fell out of his wheelchair
at him. The boy stammered an apology. and I can’t lift him up. He’s hurt and
he’s too heavy for me.” Stunned beyond
words, the businessman quickly helped
the boy’s brother back into his wheelchair
and watched as he pushed his brother
down the street. Returning to his car, he
realised that the damage to the side door
was extensive. However, he never fixed it,
preferring to keep it there as a reminder
to the simple warning: “Don’t go through
life so fast that someone has to throw a
brick at you to get your attention.”
40 culture & HerItage tOurIsm & entertaInment 41
Museums Omani Museum
Arabian Oryx To make your cultural journey complete, a
A medium-sized antelope, well adapted to life in the desert, visit to at least one of the dozen museums
it was brought to the edge of extinction by indiscriminate in Oman is recommended. The Natural
hunting. Thanks to initiatives by His Majesty Sultan History Museum features Oman’s flora and
Qaboos bin Said, international wildlife organisations and fauna, including some of the indigenous
species. To get a glimpse of Oman’s military
private donors, numbers are starting to recover. Jiddat Al
history, visit the Armed Forces Museum.
Harasis was declared an Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, Oman’s
The National Museum showcases a rare
first protected area, and UNESCO listed the sanctuary on
collection of the history of the ruling
its World Natural and Cultural Heritage Register. As of
dynasty. The archaeological lineage of
2008, there were an estimated 1100 individual Oryx living the country can be found in the Omani
in the wild in the GCC region, according to the Convention Museum. There is an exclusive museum
on the Trade in Endangered Species (Cites). for children, the Children’s Museum, that
is educative as well as entertaining. Bait Al
Wild at heart
Zubair and Bait Al Baranda are examples of
how Oman’s history has been captured in a
capsule for those who are not familiar with
it. For a complete listing of Oman’s various
museums, please refer to the local dailies.
Oman’s wildlife conservation efforts make for good research, education, tourism and
community upliftment, as seen in the case of these three rare flagship species
Oman has a wide variety of staying options
catering to any and all types of visitors. From
plush five-star beach-facing resorts and spas for
Arabian Leopard the more upmarket visitors, to the four-star, three-
star, hotel apartments, camps, guest houses, and
The Arabian leopard is a flagship species for Oman’s mountain habitats. The largest feline
youth hostels, everyone’s wallet is catered for.
in the region, and half the size of the African leopard, it is classified as rare and critically
Desert and mountain camps are particularly
endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). In 1997,
interesting experiences if you have not had the
Andrew Spalton, environmental advisor to the Royal Court, began the Leopard Survey project
opportunity to enjoy them before. While in
that has helped to promote the leopard as one of the three flagship species in the country. Jabal
Muscat, you will be spoilt for choices, and when
Samhan Reserve is the main focus of these efforts. Oman’s conservation laws now punish the
you head towards the interior you will experience
shooting of a leopard with a fine of up to 5 000 Rials, ($13 000) and five years imprisonment.
true rustic charm and old-world elegance. Either
way, you will get to experience the essence of true
Omani hospitality wherever you stay.
Salalah Marriott Resort
Arabian Tahr Shopping
The Office for Conservation of Environment, When it comes to shopping, Oman is full of choices both
which is in charge of the Arabian Tahr traditional and modern. If you are looking for some of the
Conservation Project, is putting in place world’s best brands, you could head to the nearest mega-
measures to protect the Arabian Tahr, a wary, malls, shopping complexes or hypermarkets. You can find
grey-brown mountain goat found in northern these outlets all across the capital city, as well as in the
Oman mountains, in Wadi al Sareen. larger cities like Nizwa, Sohar, Sur and Salalah.
Wadi al Sareen is home to one of the last three If traditional shopping is your interest, then you must visit
main remaining populations of the Arabian the Muttrah Souq beside the Muttrah Corniche area.
Tahrs. The other two populations are in Jabal There are also some very old and famous souqs in Nizwa,
Qahwan and Jabal Nakhal. The Arabian Tahr Sinaw, Ibra and Salalah. For tourists, these souqs are a
lives at altitudes of above 2 000m on mountain paradise for souvenir hunting! Frankincense, perfumes,
cliffs where, unlike the drought-tolerant Oryx, it spices, dates and antiques jostle for space with electronic
is dependent on small freshwater seepages. The products, fashion accessories and toys. For a complete
Oman experience, have a go at both the old and the new!
Tahr lives in small groups.
42 get FamIlIar
Get FamIlIar 43
Whenever you travel overseas, it is often useful
to understand the local laws and customs in the
destination country, as they can often be very
different to your own.
To avoid any mix up or confusion with local laws
and customs we have provided some travellers tips to
assist you in having an enjoyable visit to the Sultanate.
Please be advised that the information contained
on this page is not fully comprehensive and
at a glance
The Sultanate of Oman is the third largest country located in the southeast coast of the Arabian peninsula. The Sultanate is
may be liable to change without prior warning.
Consult a travel expert or your local embassy
prior to departing on your journey.
Oman’s laws are based on Sharia law, also known
bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the west, the United Arab Emirates in the northeast, the Republic of Yemen in the as the Islamic Law. • Heavy rainfall can cause sudden and severe flooding to dry riverbeds,
• In Oman, it is illegal not to have some form of which may pass over a road. You are advised to take full precautions
southwest, the Strait of Hormuz in the north and the Arabian Sea in the east.
official ID on you at any given time. Therefore, when driving during rains.
Oman has a land area of approximately 3 09 500km2 and a 3 165km long coastline extending from the Strait of Hormuz in the
it is recommended that you carry either your • Oman is a Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs,
north, to the borders of the Republic of Yemen in the south. passport, or a photocopy of, or some other laws and religion at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that
Oman’s coast spans the three seas : the Arabian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Sea. A number of islands also are part of valid identification card. Other forms of ID they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during
Oman including the famous islands of Masirah and Halaniyat (Kuria Muria). The country’s northern most part, the Musandam such as overseas driver’s license or overseas ID the holy month of Ramadan, or if you intend to visit religious areas.
peninsula is Oman’s only coast on the Arabian Gulf and it is located across the strategic Strait of Hormuz. cards will not be accepted.
• Visitors holding valid UK, Australian, and Basic Arabic Phrases
Fact Sheet American and certain other nation’s driving Yes : naäam Excuse me : lao samaht
Area : 3 09 500km .
2 licenses (check with the embassy if your No : laa I am sorry : ana aasif
Population (2010) : 2.69 million, including 743 000 expatriates. country’s license is valid) can currently obtain Please : arjook Good morning : sabaah al khayr
an Omani license without taking a driving test. Thank you : shukran Good evening : masaa’ al khayr
Language : Arabic (official), English (widely spoken), German & French (most hotel staff ).
• Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road. You’re welcome : äafwan Good night : tusbih äalaa khayr
Capital : Muscat.
Local Time : GMT +4.
Currency : Omani Rial, which equates to US$ 2.58.
Shopping Hours : 09:00 - 13:00 then 16:30 - 22:00
The local currency is the Omani Rial (referred to as RO or OR or OMR). It is further divided into 1000 Baizas. Currency
denominations are available in 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 Rial and 500 and 100 Baiza notes. Coins are available in 50, 25, 10 and 5 Baizas.
Islam is the official religion of the Sultanate of Oman.
(Image source: Ahmed Al Shukaili) (Image source: iStockphoto)
44 Oman aIr neWs oman aIr neWs 45
In his keynote address, His Highness Sayyid Faisal
bin Turki Al Said, Chief Operating Officer of Brand
Oman Management Unit, highlighted the fact that
Oman needs to identify, promote and celebrate,
for example, its offer in areas that include tourism,
business, logistics, manufacturing, shipping, education
and IT and communicate and promote this to Oman-
based residents, employers, international visitors
and potential investors. “Again, this is an area where
Oman Air will play an important role. By developing
and communicating a strong national brand
identity we can speed up development by attracting
foreign investment and tourists. That, in turn, will
increase Oman’s global influence and help domestic
corporations grow. In this regard, Oman Air plays a
pivotal role,” he said.
During the two-day summit held at the Shangri La’s
Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, agencies appointed
by Oman Air shared industry acumen and best
international practices from their respective markets
during highly interactive sessions in efforts to create
synergy between advertising and public relations
disciplines and build a niche and differentiating global
positioning for the national carrier.
His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al Said
HE Darwish bin Ismail Al Balushi
Summit talk shop
Defining a communications strategy and laying down a robust blueprint the importance of engaging stakeholders in
was what Chief Officer Corporate Affairs Philippe Georgiou set out to addition to maintaining a long-term outlook
achieve at Oman Air’s first Communications Summit, which witnessed and projecting a consistent brand image.
the coming together of more than 30 public relations and advertising “Communicating what we do and how we
professionals representing the airline’s strategic global communications do it bears almost equal importance to our
partners across the network. actual deeds and actions. It is only when our
The summit, a first of its kind, was inaugurated by HE Darwish bin target audiences hear about our stories in an
Ismail Al Balushi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance and efficient and credible way that we develop their
Chairman of the Executive Committee at Oman Air, who reiterated allegiance and loyalty,” said HE Al Balushi.
46 Oman aIr neWs
Fly to Malaysia and Salalah
with Oman Air Holidays
Oman Air Holidays have come up with unbeatable packages to Kuala services and amenities. The Salalah Break
Lumpur and Salalah, valid until 31 March. Package includes return flights from Muscat,
For just OMR199 per person, the three-night Malaysia package, which complimentary hotel transfers with a two-night
includes flight, hotel, transfers and taxes, comes as a not-to-be-missed luxury stay at one of the 5-star resorts on twin
offer that is sure to be extremely popular with discerning travellers. share basis and complimentary buffet breakfast.
The 4-star Seri Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur offers great ambience and The subtropical city of Salalah is an ideal and
impeccable service to make the stay a memorable one. It is just a short rewarding destination for those who wish
walk from the Petronas Tower and the bustling shopping areas of Kuala to escape the hustle and bustle of Muscat.
Lumpur. Or for just OMR34 extra per person, the stay can be upgraded Unspoiled, delightfully lush and picturesque,
to the popular 5-star Prince Hotel. The Malaysia package includes return Salalah boasts captivating archeological
flight on Oman Air’s A330 aircraft offering 34” pitch legroom with the remains registered as Unesco World Heritage
best of inflight entertainment; three-nights twin-share at the 4-star hotel, Sites and is the home to the prized and fabled
return airport transfers with Meet & Greet, daily buffet breakfast, all frankincense trees. Truly, it is a haven for any
airline taxes, and free dinner on the last evening. nature enthusiast.
For those who want to travel closer to home, Oman Air Holidays have Packages start from OMR99 per person at the
packages to Salalah partnering with the 5-star Salalah Marriott Resort Salalah Marriott Resort, and OMR129 per
and the 5-star Crowne Plaza Salalah Resort to offer residents of Muscat person at the Crowne Plaza Salalah Resort,
an opportunity to experience the enchanting city of Salalah with 5-star which also offers free buffet dinner every night.
48 oman aIr neWs oman aIr neWs 49
Oman Air has scooped three awards at the TravelPlus
Airline Amenity Bag Awards 2010. The national carrier
of the Sultanate of Oman won gold in the Best First
Class Female Amenity Bag category, as well as gold
for Best Inflight Amenity – recognising Oman Air’s
pioneering introduction of both mobile phone and wi-fi
connectivity onboard its aircraft. It also won silver for
Best First Class Male Amenity Bag. Oman Air was also
shortlisted in the Best Business Class Unisex Amenity
The awards attracted a record number of entries from
airlines, manufacturers, suppliers and designers of airline
amenities. Winning the awards follows a year in which
Oman Air has been transformed, with the introduction
of new airbus A330 aircraft to its fleet, the inauguration
of a range of exciting new destinations, the unveiling of
spacious and luxurious aircraft interiors and the launch
of state-of-the-art inflight entertainment systems. Oman
Air was also at the forefront of technological innovation
when it became the first airline in the world to offer
passengers full mobile phone and wi-fi connectivity
simultaneously on all of its widebody aircraft.