Saturday, November 19, 2011

Print and Internet Media in Oman

English newspapers in the Sultanate

Muscat Daily (

Muscat daily is probably the best "read" for expats. It's a relatively new newspaper being founded in 2009 and is privately held. There is a nice mix between "official stories" and local interest. Also, international news is featured. One can recognize it by its bright orange and black heading.

The paper's Internet layout is organized and easy to navigate. One of the staff has started is own Facebook ('FB') page under the user name Muscat Daily Ed. It is not officially affiliated with the paper, but the FB comments about the news stories are interesting at times. Muscat Daily uses the printing press of Times of Oman.

The Times of Oman is one of the oldest if not the oldest privately held English print newspapers in Oman founded in 1975.

The paper can be recognized from its striking logo boasting a gazelle. The Arabic version 'sister' paper is called Al Shabiba. In 2011, the Times won a Communication Arts international design award in the Editorial Design category (I've posted a few of the winning entries below).

The head of the paper is Essa bin Mohammed Al Zedjali who is responsible for the content in weekly column called 'Viewpoints'. To his credit and forethought (as there seems to be a dearth of books and of bookstores in Oman), a compilation of all the viewpoint columns has been published in a book by the same name called 'Viewpoints' written half in Arabic and half in English. 'Viewpoints' may be purchased in the duty free shopping area in Muscat airport. Sadly, Mr. Zedjali passed away early 2013.

Winning Design: Times of Oman
Winning Design: Times of Oman

Oman Daily Observer (

The Daily Observer is a government sponsored paper founded in 1981.  According to their website the Observer is the, 'English-language daily newspaper with the largest circulation in the country.'

The paper focuses on official local news but also has pages on India and the Philippines, as well as, a business and sports section.

A nice feature about the website is one can download the daily edition in PDF format from an inconspicuous link at the bottom; however, the overall website could use a 'facelift' considering it's a national newspaper.

Update 2013: The website has been redone; it looks a lot better.

Oman Tribune( 

The Oman Tribune is a relatively new paper founded in 2004 with a focus on business. The paper claims:

'Since its launch on September 1, 2004, Oman Tribune has been giving readers top-of-the-line articles and graphics from exclusive services such as New York Times, Harvard Business Review, McClatchy Tribune News Service and Graphic News.' 

● TheWeek (

The Week enjoys a large expat readership with a focus on local happenings and events. The Week is free and distributed all through out Oman. The Week also features an "epaper" format where all editions including archives can be read online through a special digital edition application that lets you 'flip pages'. 
The paper is an easy read and normally flaunts a catchy lead story and photograph which grab one's attention. According to the paper, it is audited by an international audit agency – BPA Worldwide.
Arabic Media

Arabic Newspapers in Oman
● Al Watan “The Nation”,  founded 1971; private   
● Al Shabiba “The Youth”
● Al Zamn “Time” founded in 2007; private. 
Al Zamn recently faced trouble when its editor and journalist Al Haj were sentenced to six month jail term for an article published regarding alleged favoritism at a Ministry.
● Al Ruwaya “Vision”

Internet Forums

● Sablat Oman - Very popular in Arabic version. 
Sabla English -
● Omaniaa -
Al Harah -

Relevant Legal Codes

See Article 61 of the Telecommunications Regulatory Act  'anyone using telecommunication devices to spread false news or harm someone can be punished with up to one year in jail and can be fined up to RO1,000'
... and now the newly worded amended Article 26:
 'Article (26) "It is prohibited to publish anything which may prejudice the safety of the state or its internal or external security, all that is related to military and security apparatuses, their bylaws and internal regulations, any documents, information, news or official secret communications whether the publication is through visual, audio or print means or through Internet or any of the information technology means unless permission is obtained from the respective authority. It is also prohibited to publish the text of agreements and treaties concluded by the government before they are published in the official gazette.” 


A description of leading English newspapers and Internet media outlets in Oman.
4.5 / 5 stars

English Newspapers in the Sultanate of Oman

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