Sunday, April 27, 2014

Zouk Nightclub @ Crowne Plaza Cancels 'Pyjama' Party Under Pressure

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Zouk is a fast paced club located in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Qurm Heights, Muscat. Zouk's management put out a notice that the 'Pyjama' party where a 'big pillow fight' was to be featured was cancelled due to technical reasons last Friday night. However, there has been unusually strong opposition in Omani social media against this party in particular as it contravenes the Omani morals and culture. It was rumored officials from organizations such as Ministry of Tourism even chimed in and called the nightclub suggesting they cancel.

Not that this is misplaced outrage, but considering some of the previous parties the club has held such as 'DJ Katrina-Love, all the way from Russia' and 'Valentine's Party, Dress to Date' without issue, the sudden focus on the morality of 'Pyjama Party' seems arbitrary. In the past two years, the Ministry of Tourism with backing from Shura members have put many new restrictions on dance performances and live music in venues.

In some regards, the clamp down may be mitigating moral corruption in the public eye but is also cutting back on expression of music and culture as the Sohar Music Festival, a family oriented event with major corporate sponsors and great music, has been cancelled under the new regulations. In general, Oman is a pretty chilled out place and open country towards its expat residents especially compared with its neighbor to the west where foreigners are routinely kidnapped off the streets and held for ransom and to the north where restrictions on life are much more severe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Slider Station Restaurant Poisoning Patrons Update.....

Last week, as mentioned in Muscat Daily, quite a few individuals (some report up to 40) became sick after eating breakfast at Slider Station Restaurant at Shatti Beach. This is a 'hip' mall complex located on the beach with many restaurants near the Intercon Hotel. Slider Station serves mini burgers called 'sliders' each with a different theme with names such as the 'Obama' and 'Dangerous'.

It's been pointed out the ingredients for the infected food came from Maweleh market which has some questionable standards as anyone can basically bring their goods to sell. However, The food establishment itself checked out on health and safety standards. Moreover, some individuals are still recovering in the hospital. And, it's been mentioned some are relatives of high profile officials and that the bacteria came from an infected person or persons working at the restaurant. We hope a fast recovery for all.


The Muscat Municipality is awaiting lab results in the Qurm food poisoning case to decide its next course of action. Over 20 people took ill after having breakfast at a restaurant in the area last week.
Qais al Kashri, director of Muscat Municipality’s health affairs department told Muscat Daily that any action will be based on test reports of food samples collected. “Results will be ready on Monday,” he said. “We took samples from the food items that may have caused the poisoning and sent them for lab tests, coordinating with the Ministry of Health (MoH). Some reports were in by Sunday, but not all.”
Following the complaints, a team from the municipality inspected the restaurant and questioned its staff. It found that the establishment was adhering to all health and safety norms, he said.
He said that egg and meat samples from Mawaleh Central Market from where ingredients for the breakfast served came, were also collected.
Kashri said the municipality received the first complaint of the incident on the evening of April 14.
Muscat Private Hospital and Al Raffah Hospital were among the hospitals which received the affected.
“We received some complaints while most cases were registered at various hospitals and health centres run by MoH,” Kashri said.
The 'Obama'  I presume...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Well-known Logos in Oman: Before and After

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Most of these logos have been 'updated' in the last five years or so....

The  rebranding of Oman....


'Old sick sack'


"New Wings of Oman"

'The new logo — a gold and silver swirl — represents the contemporary rendition of frankincense smoke...'




"Beauty Has an Address - Oman"

Logo Explanation

Ship, Marine, Mountain, Smoke (Squiggly lines from right to left)
It also spells Oman in Arabic lettering 'عمان'

" Taking its inspiration from the wonderful diversity that is Oman –amongst other things, Arabic calligraphy, our marine environment and magnificent landscape, local textiles, Oman’s historic leadership in trade and pioneering role in exploration and of course, frankincense, which has been at the core of our culture and economy for generations. Expertly crafted, the brand mark draws on a rich and vibrant colour palette which reflects Oman’s natural bounty.

More specifically, and looking at the brand from right to left, the first colour, dawn purple, represents the dhow; Musandum aquamarine green is inspired by Oman’s rich marine environment and the turtle in particular; sky blue is taken from the silhouettes of the mountains; and the Salalah green is the essence of frankincense.

The four part of the brand mark were drawn in an organic fashion to demonstrate continuous natural growth. The typography in both Arabic and English were designed in a contemporary manner using soft cornered San Serif, creating a contrast with the symbol and providing a firm base beneath it. This contrast is intended to project an image of strength, continuous growth and a solid link with Oman’s rich history”. – HH Highness Sayyid faisal Al Said (Times of Oman).



'Connected with you'








'Inspired by the National flag of Oman, the new logo incorporates the trilogy of the country’s national colours presented in the shape of the flag as it gently unfurls in the breeze,' NBO.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Reports of Oman News Agency (ONA) Hacked

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Hackers on Sunday targeted the website of Oman’s official news agency, singling out and mocking Algeria’s newly re-elected president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a handicapped “dictator.”

Oman News Agency said its website had been hacked and that “false” reports were posted on the site.

The hackers reportedly distorted a news story about a letter from Oman’s Sultan Qaboos to Bouteflika congratulating him for securing a fourth term in Thursday’s presidential election.

In the false letter, the Omani leader described Bouteflika as a “handicapped” president of the “dictatorship” of Algeria, according to newspapers in the Gulf and North Africa.

He also wished Bouteflika a “10th tenure” as a president, in a sarcastic reference to the Algerian leader’s 15 years in power, the reports said.

The letter was removed from ONA’s website.

ONA apologized to its clients, saying it continues to publish stories that agree with the sultanate’s policy of “mutual respect with brotherly and friendly states.”

Bouteflika, 77, was re-elected with more than 80 percent of the vote despite having suffered a stroke last year that prevented him from campaigning in person.