Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ma salama Nawras

Nawras is being rebranded as 'Ooredoo', the Qatari telecom group, by this December. They announced it in September, and this month an aggressive marketing campaign has begun to prepare users for the change. The new branding is being purported to bring international recognition to Oman's phone service.  

The change is in name only; the service will still be the same which I had hoped would be the thing that would be enhanced. I like the 'seagull' logo of Nawras and will miss seeing it compared to this alternate 'red' logo of ooredoo ('I want' in Arabic).

Monday, October 20, 2014

PDO Camp Oman - Before/After Photos

In case you haven't been through Ras Al Hamra lately, PDO is in the process of developing a new residential complex for their employees; it's probably about time. The construction of the project started about two years ago and the results are quite elegant.

PDO CAMP (apologies for the margin overage)

2014 - New villas
Something's low key and relaxing about the old styles; some with view of sea - private outside entrances

2014 - Modern, attractive completed housing - you can see who's home from the main drag

2014 - New street with housing
New flats under construction

2014 - Almost completed

Ras Al Hamra-1960s when it was a 'camp'
New housing

 2014 - Mosque leading into the brand-new development

Existing rec club
2014 -Behind the fence - a new golf course

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Omani students give zakat in honour of His Majesty

Omani students of wilayet samail wishing for HM a speedy recovery

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sifah Before/After Photos

Coming along.....

Beautiful place with road access issues and lack of basic amenities such as there is no petrol station with in 50 km. Golf course is supposedly coming soon in 2015.  Villas are being completed now. Major landscaping and signage improvements have been filled out since 2013. Intense marketing efforts with festivals and movies by the sea are planned, but there's not much activity except for the Sifaway Hotel guests. Apartments are being rented out by the night.

Sifa (apologies for the margin overage)
2014 - Attractive row of villas
Marketing material


 2014 - Sprinkler system

2012 - 'the fisherman' - 'also a branch in Salalah'
2014 - 'over-priced, reheated fish with soggy hummus in a relaxing woodshack amidst a great seascape.'

2013 - Construction Weekly

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dates in Nizwa, Omani Tortured @ UAE, Protest in Adam & Shark @ Saham

1, Today, begins the date festival in Niswa which runs for four days. There are over 60 exhibitors. Go to the tents near the sook. A very cultural activity to attend.

Types of Dates

2, An Omani gentleman Mr Mohammed Jumma Al Yaqobi was returning from the UAE to Oman and was stopped by Emirati police upon inspection of his passport at Al Matheef border near Al Ain. According to his account in a letter to His Majesty, he was arrested without being told any reason and later accused of helping Syrian opposition. He was taken to an investigation centre and interrogated and tortured for two days. He was cuffed and head covered with a sack and the UAE police took away his phone.

He denied all allegations. He was beaten and hung with face put in water barrel. They insulted him and said Oman could not help him. Later, he was released, and they (UAE authorities) said Mr Yaqobi had been mixed up with another. He posted his letter on social media, and a twitter hash called #'undignified arrest of Omani in UAE was spread. Locals are calling for the Omani government to interfere to stop these practices against Omanis. This happened around September 12. He tells his story in the video (in Arabic).

Also in Al Watan (masri) newspaper: click here

One one hand, I guess its good the UAE is looking out for 'enemies'; but, on the other hand, the carelessness with the way they dealt with this guy and violation of human rights and dignity is scary.

3,  Yesterday, a protest took place near Adam in Al Zahyah, Oman (interior) regarding the displacement of residents for petrol interests. Natural gas was found near their area. The locals were well-compensated for their homes and lands and will be given new abodes. However, some still remained upset and refused to leave.

dont mess with texas.....oman

4, A large shark was caught and sold in Saham.

250 OMR

Saturday, October 11, 2014

'Game over - 'B'aul Le Guen' Oman vs Costa Rica

Yesterday, during the 'friendly' between the Oman football team and Costa Rica in Sohar some local fans sported this banner:

Arabic: "Game over - Paul Le Guen."  Mr Le Guen has been the Omani manager since 2011. His winnings record with Oman is 41.07% (Wiki)
It's been reported these fans were investigated and their banner confiscated (perhaps - a bit of an over reaction).  Although Oman won the Gulf Cup and few years back; recently, their record has not been as impressive. Costa Rica defeated Oman 4-3 in this game. Oman put up a decent fight.

Omani coach at a local shop

Monday, October 6, 2014

Step-by-Step Omani Tea for 'foreigners'

This is a basic way Omanis make tea. This tea (with cardamom) is traditionally drunk in the earlier hours.

Lipton black tea bags
Evaporated Milk
Cardamom powder
Water - use bottled water or distilled. The type of water affects the flavour.

Everything above is sold at Lulu's or any major hypermarket. Cardamom is called 'heel' in Arabic, الهيل in case you need to ask. Rainbow company makes the dehydrated milk. It comes is original, cardamom or 'light' flavours. You need 'black' tea; the popular choice is from Lipton. There's no need to measure exactly but gauge by taste and experience.


On the stove method

Step 1: Boil water in a pot. Then, lower heat to just below boiling.
Step 2: Now, add sugar and tea bags. Start with 1/4 cup - you can 'sugar' to taste later on. Add two to three tea bags per litre water.
Step 3: Add one small can evaporated milk per litre water. If you use cardamom flavoured milk, then it may not be necessary to add cardamom powder.
Step 4: Reheat water to boiling point and then let simmer for at least 5 minutes.
Step 5: Add about 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder. (You can add the powder at anytime). Optional: Add fresh ginger (not powdered).
Step 6: Manipulate tea bags up and down until nice frothy caramel colour is reached.
Step 7: Serve hot.

In the thermos method

The use of thermoses or flasks is widely popular in Oman. Tea is mixed in the thermos and kept hot for many hours for drinking.

Pour the boiling water in the flask, but leave room for a can of milk and the sugar. Add the tea bags (before the milk as the milk cools the water too much). You may want to dunk them a few times to release the tea, but then leave the cords just outside the flask with the bags inside. Now, add the sugar and cardamom powder. Finally, add the milk. Stir if needed. Seal the flask with the tea bags inside with the cords hanging out. The tea will stay warm for several hours.

Instant method

A premixed product of milk tea with cardamom is sold. Add appropriate amount of water, mix, and serve.

Thermos - a must have in Oman. 

Traditional  'dallah' coffee pot.

Lipton black tea. Yellow Label found outside UK.

Colour of cardamom tea.

Dehydrated milk with cardamom

Original dehydrated milk

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