• 1 held for selling firewood illegally

    The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) has announced that a citizen has been arrested for logging and selling firewood illegally.  

    The person was arrested from the wilayat of Al Kamil W’al Wafi in South Sharqiyah governorate. 

    Legal procedures have been initiated and the wood has been confiscated, the ministry stated. Speaking to Muscat Daily, an official at MECA, said “The ministry has received several illegal logging reports in the past six years.  

    “Of these, four were in 2014, three in 2015, two each in 2016 and 2017, six in 2018 and five between January and September 2019. The ministry calls on people to abide by environmental laws and help conserve wildlife.” 

  • 8 Omanis among 20 foreign artists at Sohar sculpture camp

    To boost artistic movement and support tourism in the sultanate, 20 sculptors from several countries will take part in the seventh International Sculpture Camp from January 24 in Wadi al Jizzi in Sohar.  

    Speaking to Muscat Daily, the supervisor of the camp, Ali al Jabri, said, “The 20 artists will also include eight Omanis. The other participants are from Italy, Spain, Belgium, India, Ecuador, New Zealand, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.” Jabri added, “The works of the sculptors will be displayed at the closing ceremony in Sohar on March 5. The ceremony will be held under the patronage of H E Dr Suad bint Mohammed bin Ali al Lawatia, Minister of Arts Affairs.” 

    The camp will be a chance for the sculptors to exchange their expertise in the field of marble, stones and wood, said Jabri. 

    “With the camp the artists can strengthen their bonds with each other. In the sixth International Sculpture Camp held in 2018, 30 pieces were carved. We expect to see 24 pieces carved this year.” 

    Jabri added that an exhibition of products made in the previous camps will be held in Sohar. “We are seeking to set up a modern museum to exhibit works by all Omani sculptors.”  

  • ‘Overcome fear, turn obstacles to opportunities’

    Hundreds of people from different companies and organisations in Oman and GCC attended sessions by two legendary speakers and trainers, Nick Vujicic – the man without limbs, and Dr Adriana Marais - a theoretical physicist and technologist, on Wednesday. The two spoke at the Global Leadership Forum held at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat.Born with a rare disorder called Tetra-amelia syndrome (congenital disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs), Vujicic with his powerful talk shook the audience to the core, while Dr Adriana explained the importance of setting goals in life and achieving them.  Vujicic said, “In spite of all the challenges I have gone through, I continue to push my limits. We should avoid fear and value oneself. The value of who I am is the check for my success. It is okay to fail because in the process you learn and become successful at the end.”Vujicic also spoke about the importance of conviction. “I am doing the best with my physical being and after failing so many times in my early years, I have to say that I have found my dream. I promised myself to die successful and now I love my life. I don’t need limbs. However, I know God can do anything and one day I may get limbs. The main thing is to have conviction because it motivates,” he added. Dr Adriana Marais Dr Adriana, who was also one among the hundred chosen to inhabit the red planet, spoke about setting goals and achieving them and making a team work. “To be a leader, we need to learn from the past. Crucial characteristics of a leader is to have a vision.”Muscat Daily spoke to a few attendees at the forum, who said they were quite impressed with the speakers and their ideas.Suad al Harthy, a learning and development officer at MB Petroleum, said, “I was always complaining about so many things in my life and feared thinking about tomorrow. I was never fond of doing again the things that I failed to do once, but today  when I see someone like Nick who has no limbs, I thank Allah and feel I can do more. I have learnt to beat failure. The message I got from Nick is to appreciate what I have and never say ‘no’ to anything. Never say you can’t because we can.”Korean Ambassador to Oman H E Chang K Kim said his biggest takeaway from the forum was gratitude towards life. “I learnt from Nick how to be thankful. I am normal and I have everything but at times I feel I am a bit inferior. I learnt that I have lot of potential and my goal is to improve and aim high in life. I also learnt that I need more time with my family because it is important to balance work and life.”K O Devassy, chief marketing officer, Badr al Samaa Group of Hospitals and Polyclinics, said, “I am highly inspired by today’s session. I am also an in-house trainer. I have used Nick’s videos many times for my training. Basically everyone has an ambition and dreams big. We should have a plan. Life has to be balanced in terms of family and professional life. Such events are definitely important because everyone needs motivation.”The forum also surprised its participants with a third speaker called Kurdt Greenwood, a wildlife expert from South Africa with a passion for herpetology and nature.Greenwood’s talk focused on an issue that is the need of the hour – wildlife conservation. “Everyone from people to governments need to go out, educate and make people aware of the need to love and take care of every animal, from the smallest to the biggest, because time is running out. If we don’t do it now, in the next 20-50 years many species will be lost.”

  • HM confers Royal Order on Late Sultan's medical team

    His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik conferred at Al Alam Palace on Wednesday a number of orders (medals) on the medical team that had the honour to shoulder the responsibility of health follow-up and treatment of the Late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour.His Majesty the Sultan conferred the Order of Royal Commendation (First Class) on Brig Dr Saif bin Zahir bin Saif al Salmi, Prof Mansour bin Saif bin Khamis al Mantheri, Col Dr Moosa bin Mansour bin Ali Awlad-Thani, Col Dr Saleh bin Saud bin Hamad al Abri and Col Dr Ibrahim bin Khamis bin Ali al Alawi.His Majesty the Sultan also conferred the Order of Royal Commendation (Second Class) on the nursing team: Saud bin Humaid bin Abdullah al Lahori, Khalid bin Nasser bin Saif al Habsi, Faisal bin Khamis bin Hamoud al Yahya'ee and Qassim bin Yaqoub bin Saif al Qasmi.The conferment ceremony was attended by Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal bin Saud al Busaidi, Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court.

  • Careem suspends Oman operations

    Careem is pulling out of Oman, it has announced, saying that it will no longer be offering its service from February 3 onwards.The Dubai-based company expanded to Oman with the launch of its service in Muscat in May 2017 but had to shut down after being asked by the Omani government to work with the licensed taxis first.In October 2018, Careem entered into a partnership with Marhaba Taxi in order to register Marhaba’s drivers to its ride-hailing app.Marhaba Taxi will continue its normal operations as per the licence, which includes Port Sultan Qaboos, hotels and on-demand services.In a statement, Careem stated, ‘Thank you for being a loyal customer of Careem. Sadly, we need to let you know that from Monday, February 3, 2020, we will no longer be running our service in Oman. It’s been a privilege to have served you together with our dedicated Captains.‘If you have any credits left, please use them before Sunday, February 2, 2020, otherwise we will refund the remaining credits to your registered credit card.’The move comes two weeks after Uber completed US$3.1bn acquisition of Careem.Careem did not share details on why it’s leaving Oman.

  • Stay away from jellyfish-like creatures in Dhofar

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has asked people in Dhofar to stay alert on the presence of marine creatures popularly known as Portuguese Man of War and Blue Bottle.MoAF said on Wednesday that the creatures similar to jellyfish are harmful and have been found between Mughsayl beach in Salalah and Taqah beach in Dhofar governorate.The Fisheries Research Center in Dhofar has reported that these creatures have been spotted for for the first time in the Sultanate. 'Researchers have collected samples of this creature called Physalia utriculus which is widespread in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is considered less toxic than another type Physalia physalis found in the Atlantic Ocean,' the centre stated.  The centre said that the two types can be distinguished on the basis of size and external appearance. 'The type currently found in the sultanate is smaller in size compared to those found in the Atlantic Ocean.'The centre said that the creature's bite might result in severe pain, wounds on the skin, redness and itchiness. 'This could result  in complications for children, the elderly and people with weak immunity. In case being bitten, wash the wound by seawater only. Do not use mineral water or vinegar and do not rub the wound. You can use warm water (40°C) before heading to a health centre for treatment.'The centre said that sea-goers must leave the area if they spot the creature. 'We call on people to be careful and avoid swimming at the beaches of Dhofar during the current period.'