Behind the Muttrah souk, if you walk like 5 min, you could find this original shiite mosque :
This amazing wooded minaret is full of colour, and friends told me that at night lovely little lights create an even more nice aspect.
Monday, July 30
Friday, July 27
I'm realising that I didn't post yet about the most famous souk of Oman : Muttrah souk. Muttrah is a popular district of Muscat, generally crowded, and near the sea.
The souk is composed of various littles shops, which sell mainly : spices, fabric and clothes, Omani traditional items (like silver coffee pots, Omani knifes called Khanjers), Shishas, incense ...
The souk in itself is very lovely with all its littles passageways and its wooded roof. The sellers are really not agressive compared to other souks I've experienced (in Tunisia for example).
In conclusion I would say that the souk is a nice place for a walk, and you will enjoy visiting it even if you don't buy anything
Tuesday, July 24
It is kind of unusual how the vacation holidays are defined in Oman. Usually you hear about incoming public holidays, but you don't know about the exact dates. Then, only few days before, the Sultan defines officially the date of the incoming public holidays.
For example, yesterday was the "Renaissance Day" celebrating the day the Sultan has acceded to power. But we only had the confirmation of the date last saturday !
Here is the next supposed public holidays for 2007 :
- 13/14 October Eid al Fitr
- 18 November National Day and HM Sultan Qaboos's birthday
- 22/23 December Eid ul Adha (Feast of the sacrifice)
TAGS: expat thoughts
Tuesday, July 10
I have to say that a surprising thing about Oman, for a expatriate like me, is that there isn't any online yellow pages here (such as a yellowpages.com, or a pagesjaunes.fr)...
I use the online yellow pages all the time when I'm in France : to find a restaurant, a doctor or any company addresses. These kind of website gives you phone numbers and addresses of the corresponding companies, but it also shows you the location of the company on a map (like in maps.google.com).
Here when you looking for something you have to ask your neighbour ! and if he doesn't know where to find a Japanese restaurant for example you have to take your car and drive around the city looking for it ! Fortunately there are some tourist guide book that can help you to find a phone number but it is always very difficult (impossible?) to find how to drive to the address. Maybe it is because there isn't any detailed map of Muscat neither...
Update : I've been informed by my dear readers that there is actualy a online yellow pages in Oman : www.omantel-yellowpages.com. However, as there still isn't any detailed map of Muscat (online or paper), the utility of such website is reduced, because when you want to go to the address you have to phone the company and try to understand the location information...
TAGS: expat thoughts
I've been asked recently for "what is the typical price of a meal in Oman ?". Well, here is for example what I eat every noon :
- a greek salad
- a small portion of pasta
- doghnuts (for my tea break)
I've bought these items at Lulu supermarket for a total of.... 1,230 OMR (2,5€) ! The same meal in France would cost at least 7 €.
I'm sure this little info will help futur oman visitors to budget their trip ;)
Monday, July 9
I wanted to let you know that there is a British council in Muscat, located in Madinat Qaboos along the highway. This establishment is in charge of providing English lessons, advise on education opportunities (in uk) and promote arts & culture (even if I didn't hear about any events organised by the British council yet).
This is equivalent to the french CFO but for the English.
There is a very nice website where you will be able to find more information : http://www.britishcouncil.org/oman.htm
TAGS: language center
Wednesday, July 4
Café Barbera is a relaxing place where you can get a drink or eat something. The interior is very elaborate (you have big sofas like in the "Friends" TV program), the menu is international (food is very good i have to say), and the staff is very devoted.
But there is no rose without a thorn : you have to spend at least 2,5 Rials for a meal, and 1,5 Rials for a juice.
This Café is located just next to the Shati plaza.
TAGS: restaurants and food
Sunday, July 1
Here is some information on how to gat a liquor permit. As you can see it is not a easy process :
Copy of passport
Copy of labour card
2 passport size photographs
No objection letter from the company
Labour card application in original - copy returned after issuing labour card. This is to confirm basic salary as registered with the Ministry of Manpower
Employment contract attested by the Ministry of Manpower to confirm employment and eligibility to apply to a permit
Completed permit application obtained at the license office
Permit value is determined by the basic salary. Usually the permit value is 10% of basic salary
Where ? ROP Liquor Licensing Office
Ruwi police station