As blogged excitedly by Nadia over on Dhofari Gucci, and detailed in The Times of Oman by Canadian journo, Sarah Macdonald today, Tim Hortons are looking to open up it's first branch in Oman in early 2012. I would point out that I blogged about this all the way back on February 5th earlier this year so it's not exactly new news, but exciting all the same that things seem to be gathering speed. Originally Timmies were supposed to be opening a location in Muscat City Centre, but that specific location in MCC where that was pegged to happen now has been occupied by another store.So it's good that there are still solid plans afoot to punt their coffee & baked goods here.
Above is a picture I snapped at Toronto's airport on arrival, its just part of the immigration procedures: Welcome home, here's your double double, you can collect your honey cruller from pickup aisle G (for great!) :) Tim Hortons in Oman should be opening an outlet at the Muscat Grand Mall next year when the mall opens. I remember being assured by the leasing agent for MGM in September that the Mall would absolutely be open by November, guaranteed. I thought then he was in dream-land then, and am sad to see I was right as we're into December and still no opening on the radar for the mall. Hopefully it'll happen in Q1 next year, it is definitely a very nice mall on the inside, I can assure you all of that!
In other news, Oman and Saudi have signed an agreement for Galfar to build a border crossing point in the Empty Quarter. I can imagine that getting posted to that location would be fairly un-appeasing to any of Oman's finest. Presumably this will speed up the movement of goods between KSA and Oman, as well as allow more people to drive between the two countries without the need to transit via the UAE. Dhofar may see increased tourism as a result, which I guess is a good thing.
Now some of you, I hope, will remember my outburst about Melamine in local meats back in October. I chased this up with the local representative of the WHO (World Health Organization) and this was their response:
"Reference is made to your below email regarding Melamine in local meats, please note that we have forwarded your concern to the Director General of Health Affairs, Ministry of Health. Unfortunately we have not received any reply till now."
Now the amusing thing is, the WHO representative's office here in Oman is actually inside the Ministry of Health's offices here in Muscat. Heh. I'm guessing we won't hear a reply either, ever. It just beggars belief that this information has not been made public. More on this if I hear anything.