A few little things to post today:
1. Oman V Kuwait AFC game on March 3rd (Wednesday night).
For those that were up in arms over having to spend RO 1.000 to watch Oman play and support their nation, they got lucky. Omantel (22,000) and Bank Sohar (500) have purchased 22,500 of the total 25,000 tickets available for the game. If you are wearing an Oman FC shirt (or presumably sufficient local stuff) you will be admitted to the game for free. Pretty good move from Omantel, and a nice little spot for Bank Sohar, for comparatively little cash too. Bank Muscat et all may have missed a trick with that one.
Rather amusingly, those supporting Kuwait will have to pay, as will those who do not have any Oman gear on. I predict that no one will pay and everyone will just go for free. Time will tell. I wonder how tight security will be, as the SQ sports complex has not had a particularly good track record in that area. Any odds on how many minutes it'll be till we see a firework?!
2. Muscat RFC v French Navy on March 1st (Monday night) at 6:30pm
Local boys Muscat take on the Frogs in a friendly on Monday night. It should be a good game - the French will be looking for revenge from their last game a few months ago.
3. Muscat Daily.
Recently, the Dragon wrote a piece about the new local daily here, Muscat Daily. The Dragon made a few remarks that did ring true with me, and also irritated me a little because I was preparing another critique of the paper in a follow up to my initial review of the paper. I read the comments section to that particular article with a big smile - you have got to love the haters!
I think the paper is ok on the whole. I had noticed that recently there has been a tendency to spout the usual sun-shine drivel that everything is great and there's nothing ever wrong here, but I figure that's more an effort to get some advertising, which is currently woefully low (just 3 ads in today's main paper, 2 of which were Government - MoT and Haya Water). I also do have to agree with the Dragon's comment about questioning whether the journalists there ever google any of the stories they publish. The story on the HPV vaccine now available at Muscat Private Hospital a few weeks ago was a case in point: some simple checking would have identified just how badly people were being ripped off. But the best bit is what wasn't printed or even suggested. HPV can only be contracted by sexually active women.... yeah I don't have to say any more now, do I? And to give the story front page coverage on what was essentially a glorified advertisement, that was a bit of a head-scratcher too. I wonder how much money Muscat Daily charged for that one?
A side-note that I was going to include in my follow-up on the paper: I noted that Apex Publishing recently bought a new press to handle printing of the Daily in-house (previously they were being printed on the same machines as the Oman Observer). I wonder if there's any more than meets the eye on that front?
4. Canadian Stampede, March 4th (Thursday) at 7:30pm
Very few tickets left. It's going to be a great party, I cant wait to have another bash at line-dancing. I suggest anyone anywhere near me wears steel-toe capped shoes.....
5. Oman Air now flying direct to Colombo.
Excellent news for the Sri Lankans, and anyone interested in visiting the country. Oman Air now flies direct to Colombo on Wednesdays and Fridays, and back on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Albeit the times are a bit awkward for a decent weekend trip: fly Wednesday morning at 0:15, landing at 05:40, and then leaving Colombo at 07:15 Friday morning, arriving back in Muscat at 11:55. The price including taxes is around RO 220.
6. Small news puff piece: Oman now has a suspension bridge! Due to be officially opened down in Sur sometime soon, the new bridge links the mainland Sur and the village of Aijah. It has been named Khor al Bath, which I thought was a rather peculiar name to give a bridge which is designed to keep you out of the water... but there we are :)
7. And finally, spotted by Muscati and subsequently tweeted earlier today. Another new interpretation on how to spell the name Al Athaiba:
And that's all for today. I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. Good luck to USA and Canada tonight, in the Olympic Mens Ice Hockey final (Live on Eurosport at 00:45).
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