No matter how wonderful the destination, long flights can be quite tiresome. After all no matter what flight you’re on there is no way you can avoid having to be seated for a large portion of the flight, if not throughout it! Even though we at Oman Air provide in-flight entertainment and daily newspaper, unless you’re a really slow reader this normally tides you over for a little over an hour. But what do you do after that?
So we’ve come up with a small list of books (category wise) to keep you engrossed the next time you take a trip with us
- Fantasy: For the fantasy book lovers any book from the Harry Potter series is a sure winner, despite the fact that you’ve most likely have already finished the series years ago and the move series is now out on blue ray and your local movie channel it still seems to gains a new flavour every time you read it! For the non Harry Potter lovers my next choice would be George R Martin’s Game of Thrones series or Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series of books
- History: A long flight is always a good time to catch up on your history be it a book on the Tudor history (John Gillingham’s The Wars of the Roses), the renaissance (The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall by Christopher Hibbert) or the more recent Dofar insurgency (In the service of the Sultan: Ian Gardin) a book on history is a sure fire way to either keep you occupied or ensure that you’re asleep throughout the whole flight!
- Mystery: The typical ‘who done it!’ is a great way to kill a few flight hours, we recommend the following books by the masters of mystery: The complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Daughter of time by Josephine Trey and Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
- Horror: As long as the novel doesn’t involve a plane the horror category is a decent pick for you on flight read, keeping in mind the best horror novels of all time keep the call of Cthulhu by H.P Lovecraft , the haunting of hill house by Shirley Jackson and Pet Sematary by Stephen King in mind when picking up the reasons for nightmares, after all it was these greats authors that inspired a whole genre of horror movies
- Sci-fi: the year 2000 has come and gone over a decade ago but sadly the promised alien invasion and flying cars have still yet to arrive, so for all true believers who still have hope for a robot butler and the TARDIS appearing on your doorstep we recommend taking a glance at Enders Game (Orson Scott Card), Sphere (Michael Crichton) and the foundation trilogy (Isaac Asimov) when you’re on the flight wondering why instant teleportation isn’t here yet!
- If you have a choice, take a night flight. This way your little ones should be asleep for a larger part of the journey.
- Check in early and inform our staff that you are travelling with kids in tow. We would be happy to provide you with front row , has seats & a bassinet can be attached if required for babies
- Use bags with wheels: this comes in handy especially between transit flights.
- Pack right: make sure you have enough little toys, colouring books, activity books etc, it would also help to carry comfortable clothes, a zip loc bag for diapers, little snacks and lots of water. A favourite toy or blanket will always be welcome and helps the child adjust to the upcoming change; at the same time try to keep it easy as you wouldn’t want to lug around a truckload of stuff that your kids wouldn’t even notice while travelling.
- Technology is your friend: Even though our A330 fleet aircraft have in-flight entertainment options, a tablet or Gameboy can be wonder tools in keeping your child entertained both in the air and while you’re waiting.
- Prevent ear problem: for babies it’s particularly necessary during takeoff or landing, bottles of juice or water, pacifiers, baby snacks that dissolve quickly can help in easing ear ache.
- Avoid dehydration: As children are more prone to dehydration carry or ask for lots of water, also use snacks that help saliva flow such as fruit. Again check with the airline staff before you carry them on-board.
- Doctor knows best: Always have your child checked up at max a week before your flight, especially if showing signs of a cold. An infected ear drum is always at risk of rupture due to pressure change, unpleasant but true!
- Stretch it out: use every opportunity you can before the flight to allow your kids to work out their restlessness, relay races when you pack (or a few hours before you leave for the airport), jumping contests at the waiting lounge go a long way in combating the eventual fidgetiness your little ones would feel when forced to sit in the airline seat for a few hours.
- Some of Oman Air’s flights have children’s activity kit. It’s a pretty fun kit and can keep your children occupied for a long time. Do ask for it while on board.
And the most important thing is stay calm and don’t panic. Do not pass on your nervousness to your children. Things can go awry and your little one may not behave perfectly at every moment but with a cool head and lots of deep breaths I’m sure that everything will work out fine. Have a safe and happy flight.
Middle East is growing and developing rapidly and so is the aviation, travel and tourism to and from the region. Recently, Dubai International Airport is now the world’s second busiest airport for international passenger traffic. Which not only reflects the importance of the Middle East as a destination for business & tourism but also highlights the geographic advantage that the region enjoys in connecting the East with the West and vice versa. So it is only fitting that we had a travel event which focuses on the region.
This is how the Arabian Travel Market came into being, which also in the travel industry is commonly known as ATM. It goes without saying that ATM is a vital and crucial Travel Trade event for the Middle East which attracts the who’s who of the industry along with the people who work in the travel industry and also non-industry people alike. Basically, all levels of the value added chain are present: from tour operators, booking engines, destinations, airlines, and hotels right through to car rental companies.
Arabian Travel Market is the travel and tourism event unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. The 2013 show will run from May 6 – 9 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC). Arabian Travel Market offers business alternatives for travel agents as well as the best offers for the most indulgent luxury travelers of all around the world who want to enjoy all what the still little know middle east offers.
Along the usual luxury travel events and exhibitions, the Arabian Travel Market offers seminars covering a variety of topics related to the leisure industry from a technological point of view such as state of the art yachts and private jets, new develops in amenities and entertainment and communication technologies for a total control of business affairs from the holidays location. Tourism destinations from the Middle East and around the world also assemble at ATM to showcase a range of accommodation options, tourism attractions and potential new airline routes.
It’s a top notch event following international standards as it is administered by event’s organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which also organises a portfolio of other travel industry events including World Travel Market (WTM)
Most of us know that Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world with tourists flocking this tropical haven in thousands all year. We can go on about the beaches, shopping arenas and other attractions of Thailand but that is not what we are going to be talking about today.
Thailand is a highly cultural country with a number of festivals and wide variety of religious events all around the year. But, did you know that every year in April, Thailand hosts the world’s largest water fight! It is an old festival tradition in Thailand known as “Songkran”, and marks the New Year according to the Thai Lunar calendar. For young adults, who are looking for a good fun break, there isn’t possibly a better time to visit Thailand. Falling on 13th April and celebrated for three days, the Songkran water festival is every water fight you can imagine, times a million.
The tradition is an example of beautiful Thai culture revealing the joy, generosity, warmth, and respect of the Thai people. During Songkran, Thai people use water and scents to convey love and concord to each other. On the crazier side, nobody is safe from attack! All the city streets of Bangkok are transformed into temporary water war zones. Every citizen is armed and trigger happy. From small children with tiny water pistols, through to roving gangs of smiling adults driving the latest pickup-trucks that have been converted into mobile water cannons, everyone takes part. If you head outdoors, you will get wet, whether you like it or not. Even the elephants get involved by spraying onlookers with their trunks to join in the fun!
Now you might want to know the logic behind the throwing of water, right? To the people of Thailand, the spraying of the water is a sign of spiritual renewal and cleansing. This special time of year is paired with spring-cleaning and lighthearted pranks.
What also surprises most foreigners, is the experience of being openly welcomed by the people of Thailand to take part in such an authentic large scale traditional festival. It’s not known as the “The Land of Smiles” for no reason.
There are a few precautions that you should take. First, if you take a camera, you should assume it will be destroyed by water. Revelers will happily aim for your camera for the pure joy of it. Same goes for all electronics as they are not going to survive the Thai Songkran experience. Also, dress appropriately for the occasion and possibly sport sunglasses, just to avoid any mishaps with the eye.
If you are in Bangkok at this time of the year you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable time celebrating what is surely one of the best festivals you will ever attend.
Oman Air has celebrated its 20th anniversary. That means we are out of the teens and ready to take on the many challenges that lie ahead. For starters, Oman Air launched its first flight on the 15th of March 1993 and has since grown to become one of the world’s best international airlines. Looking back at Oman Air’s inaugural flight to Salalah, the first international flight to Dubai on a leased Boeing 727-300 that took off in July 1993 and the first flight to the Subcontinent (Trivandrum) took place in November of the same year, the time has just flown us by, literally. Now Oman Air operates its flights to 42 destinations out of which 39 are international with a total fleet strength of 30.
In recognition of the unparalleled quality of its onboard products, the carrier has also received countless awards, including World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat at the World Airline Awards for the last two years running. We would like to thank you all for your support and feedback that has helped us improve our services over the years and made us a force to reckon with. On this celebratory occasion we are committed to proudly carry the flag of our country on the aircraft to more destinations around the world.
We turned 20 on 15th Mar and to celebrate it and on 20th Mar, for one day only, Oman Air offered all its customers (flying return fares originating from Muscat) a fantastic 20% online only discount to all international destinations in all classes. And, owing to the success of the initial offer we have extended the same concept and now offer 20% discount on First and Business Class to selected international destinations.
Now, for those of you who are hard to please we imagine you saying is this enough? The party has just started for our fans and followers on social media. There are quite a few big surprises which are under wraps and will be announced in due time. Just keep your eyes and ears open and keep following Oman Air on facebook, twitter and G+. And of course tell your friends about it.
We think turning 20 is awesome and there is no one better than you, our customers, to celebrate it with. On that note we also vow to continue offering our customers a high-quality service experience balanced with traditional Omani hospitality.
The ITB, which is an acronym for Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin, is the most important Travel Trade show in the entire world. This is the place where the who’s who of the aviation industry descends along with the people who work in the travel industry and also non-industry people who just want to inform themselves about beautiful and exciting travel destinations meet each other at one place. All levels of the value added chain are present: from tour operators, booking engines, destinations, airlines, and hotels right through to car rental companies.
It wasn’t always a mega event when it started back in 1966 and saw a modest participation of five countries only and that too in the context of an overseas-import trade show. Exhibition space has since grown from 580 square meters to 150,000 square meters today. The number of trade visitors rose to over 100,000 from initially 250. With a total of 180,000 visitors, who would like to see the offers of currently over 10,000 exhibitors, ITB Berlin today is a real show-piece of Messe Berlin – and has expanded towards Asia.
This year the event is scheduled to take place from Wednesday, 06 March – Sunday, 10 March, and it’s expected that 2013 edition of ITB will attract tens of thousands of exhibitors, visitors and media representatives. The whole variety of travelling is present at ITB Berlin: Destinations, tour operators, booking systems, carriers, hotels and all other suppliers who want to embellish their customers’ most beautiful weeks of the year and that’s one crucial reason why Oman Air is a regular participant at this mega event.
Located on the fairgrounds of Messe Berlin, the ITB for trade visitors is the perfect opportunity to meet business partners and do business. But the real fun is reserved for the general public as they can check out the variety of holiday-options, fantasize about the ideal holiday and maybe book an impulsive vacation at the event. It is a unique possibility to discover the travel-world in a few hours.
We hope that we can conclude a successful event by achieving what we came for. And, if you are visiting the event please drop by counter 202 Hall 22.B, hope to see you there.
To reach the top is difficult but staying there is a different challenge altogether and this is a trait which separates the exceptional from the ordinary. As we all know that 2012 was an outstanding year of sailing achievements for Oman, when two teams participating in the premier sailing event, Extreme Sailing Series, took the top two positions at the podium. The Wave – Muscat finished as the leaders with Oman Air finishing second, proudly representing Oman at the highest level of sailing.
Now into its seventh year, 2013 Extreme Sailing Series events and dates are already out with the first leg to kick-off in Muscat. Eight Host Venues spanning the Middle East, Asia, South America and Europe have been announced for the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series, marking the third year of truly global competition for the circuit first launched as a European only event in 2007.
From the Series opener to be held 5th-8th March at The Wave, Muscat in Oman for the third year running, to the grand finale in November on the 2016 Olympic waters of Rio de Janeiro, the Extreme Sailing Series spread across the calendar with one exciting Act in an iconic location roughly every five weeks. This year some new faces and teams will join the line up against the more seasoned crews from the previous seasons.
Keeping the same successful format as previous years unchanged, each event will take place over four days: one day of potential open water racing followed by three days of stadium racing open to public and VIP guests. The free public Race Village in each venue will continue to expand the on land entertainment experience, which in Muscat will include Red Bull free runners, a family activity area, ‘try sailing’ sessions for local school groups and a football tournament which in 2012 attracted 130 local teams!
Eight iconic locations, three continents, one Extreme Series
Although it has been emphasised a number of times that Oman is a country with nature in abundance and variety, it is not enough to encompass all the things that can be seen or experienced in this magnificent land. Such one lesser known fact about Oman is the green turtles coming ashore for nesting.
In one’s life, there are various instances and moments where the words fall short to describe the magnanimity or the grandeur of a situation. Even more so when you know that you are a part of something that is bigger than you, when you are a part of a positive movement to help the future of the eco-system. Believe me when I say this, witnessing the green turtles nesting right in front of you are one of those moments.
Thanks to Oman’s pristine coast line, geology and warm weather, eco-tourism in Oman is a fast growing industry which sees visitors from around the world. Proclaimed as a reserve in 1996 by a Royal Decree, Ras Al Hadd Turtle Reserve located in wilayat of Sur in the Sharqiyah region has now been developed into a premier eco tourist destination and attracts its own fair share of visitors to watch green turtles lumber up the shore to nest. Green turtles (chelonia mydas), which play an important role in ecosystem maintenance in the form of nutrient cycling and community structure in their foraging habitats, have been thronging Omani shores for more than 7000 years!
From Sur, a new road takes you to Ras Al Jinz where the reserve is located. One has to maintain pin-drop silence, and as one moves further at a distance one can see the aquamarine blue sea spread like a sheet of shimmering glass with a glint of contrasting moonlight framed on both sides of the contrasting hues of the well sculpted mountains. All providing a perfect setting to what follows at night, as the turtles come ashore only at nights for nesting.
On the beach you will be greeted by a legion of female turtles nesting and others emerging from the sea, crawling themselves up to the beach. This moment you start understanding the overwhelming scale of the process. Once the turtles find a favourable place on the beach to lay their eggs, they start excavating the nest, clearing the sand by the use of its fore flippers. An extraordinary sight to behold!
After a while, an egg chamber carefully crafted by the hind flippers is ready and the turtles start laying the ping pong sized eggs. On an average, a green turtle lays approximately 100-120 eggs and covers the nest with sand. The turtles resort to an ingenious decoy to divert predators away from the eggs by making a larger hole just ahead of the actual nest to give an impression that this is the pit where they laid the eggs. It takes about 55 days for the eggs to hatch and for the young newborns to head to the mighty sea!
We can go and on about this wonderful creature’s lifecycle which can overwhelm you to say the least.
The nesting period lasts from May to October and you can find more information about it on Ras Al Jinz website http://www.rasaljinz-turtlereserve.com/
When you think of Kuwait, the first thought that pops up in your mind is probably of an oil-rich Arab state, which is absolutely true as Kuwait has more than 10% of the world’s estimated oil reserves and is a leading exporter of petroleum. If you are a tourist who loves wandering around souqs, mosques and other sandy traces of ancient Bedouin days, Kuwait should be a good match for you.
The post-oil boom era that happened about four decades ago, transformed Kuwait completely, not only in terms of the infrastructure but also the population structure, which changed completely with the huge influx of manpower from various countries, required for the constant development. Today’s population of Kuwait comprises of over 100 nationalities reducing Kuwaiti citizens to a minority in their own country.
In this blog we are going to talk about a lesser known fact about Kuwait, a shiny and bright past before oil became the main source of the economy. A lifestyle that more or less served a major part of the country’s population in the pre-oil era.
Did you know that pearls, in the past, were the main source of wealth in Kuwait and not oil as it is today? Now, annual pearl diving festivals are held to help the younger generations to feel the excitement and hardships faced by their forefathers. It’s literally a dive in to their past heritage and history for today’s young men. These festivals are a tribute men who spent their lives searching for pearls and making their daily domestic ends meet; a far cry from today’s prosperous Kuwaiti lifestyle.
In the pre-oil era sailboats and dhows were mostly made of imported Indian teak which was waterproofed by using the traditional mixture of sheep oil and lime! The boats were maintained on shore for cracks and other repairs which were caulked with cotton dipped in shark oil. Finally, the body of the ship was manually smeared over, up to the water line, by a thick coating of noora (a mixture of shark oil and powder).
Before the dive the young divers would make extensive preparations and arrangements for the event; they were submitted to rigorous diving and sailing training, met experienced captains and old divers and listened to them explaining the intricacies of pearl diving and familiarised themselves with the necessary equipments. After extensive training, young divers use traditional equipment, such as the dieng (neck basket) and the hajer (toe anchor) to search for pearls. The costumes the youngsters wore were the same as their forefathers’. They wore the Izar, which is a wrap-around skirt that also serves as a head wrap, along with diving trunks and t-shirts. When diving, the diver was secured to the boat’s railing with a rope tied around his waist. Each diver also had a helper who at the surface held the rope all along the dive. The end of the festival, locally known as qafal, was celebrated with traditional singing and dancing.
The festival which this year is expected to take place sometime after Eid al Fitr is now seeing a healthy increase in the number of participants each year making Pearl Diving in Kuwait is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining activities today. It has now become an integral part of the Kuwaiti culture which keeps the tradition alive and makes the youth aware of the rich heritage of their country!
Oman Air operates 13 weekly flights from Muscat to Kuwait!
In what has been a wonderful start to the New Year 2013, get drenched in the annual celebratory occasion of the Sultanate – the ‘Muscat Festival 2013. In its successive 16th year, this event will let you enjoy a wholesome time with your family and friends, while still remaining true to its Arabian roots.
Since it started in 1998, Muscat Festival has been a cultural and artistic event, entertaining arenas in which people from all walks of life come together, involving multilingual activities, a celebration of sorts and much more. Yet, it is also marked by another magical touch, with a past and present sense spreading all over. In truth, it is a festival for all.
As it starts, the city totally indulges in an extravagant festive mood. The festival opens a door of treasury where you have lots of shopping, culinary, entertainment and most of discover many unique facets of Oman in Muscat. This year’s locations have been mainly distribute between three locations; Naseem Garden, Amerat Park and SQ Baushar stadium and the preparations are in full swing to get Muscat ready before the festival starts on 30th of January.
The festival is bursting with fun filled and action packed events. In addition to shopping and prizes, the festival awaits to acknowledge you with many activities. There is an impressive line-up of concerts, musicals and shows, a lot more for those who love sports, outdoor and fashion events. Some important events to look out for are the Tour of Oman, one of the biggest cycling events in the Middle East. If you love food, you would not like to miss the Oman Food Festival, which explores Oman’s culinary history and variety in its truest form. You can also find more information about the festival on their official website, http://www.muscat-festival.com/
Get ready to be part of Muscat Festival 2013 and if you are planning to visit Muscat, and you couldn’t have chosen a better time to visit, then book flights to Muscat on omanair.com to join the festival.
Oman Air is the official carrier for the Muscat Festival 2013