Category Archives: Books

Entertainer Oman 2013

The Entertainer Oman 2013 2-for-1 coupon book is now available for purchase!Entertainer Oman 2013

participating dealers

Borders Express

We picked up our copy at Borders Express in Qurum City Centre. They have sample books available there if you want to leaf through the pages to see if it’s personally worth the 29.5 rials.  I also noticed them for sale in Carrefour Qurm City Centre as well in the front next to the DVDs on sale.  4 changes I noticed from last years edition:

  1.  Tim Hortons is in this one :-)!
  2. The diving coupons are now only 1 free dive after paying for 1 dive (was 2 free dives last year).
  3. They’ve definitely added to the hotel vouchers in the back of the book. 171 total “complimentary night when a night of equal or greater value is purchased” coupons. (Including 18 for Abu Dhabi, 41 for Dubai & Northern Emirates, 2 for Bahrain, 9 for Jordan, 11 for Oman (including Crowne Plaze Duqm scheduled to open this year!), 6 for Qatar, 2 for Saudi Arabia, 1 for Morocco, 3 for South Africa, 1 for Kenya, 13 for Kenya, 1 for London, UK, 1 for Spain, 23 for Indonesia/Thailand/Vietnam, 18 for India, 11 for Maldives, 9 for Mauritius and 1 for Seychelles.)
  4. A membership card once again comes with the book (they only offered this online last year) and once you activate your card online, you become a Member and get more monthly deals and can avail yourself of 20% off Best Available Rates at over 170 hotel partners worldwide.

Anyone else pick up Entertainer Oman 2013? If so, what do you think of the changes?

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“The Doctor Is Always In.”

A quick plug for our friend’s 1st ever childrens book.  There’s a great description of it on the back cover.

You can order her book from Tate Publishing by clicking here.  It’s $9.99 for paperback and $7.99 as an E-book.

Gershom at our church with the author of the book, Sheena Sarker!  This book would make the perfect gift for any kids who are disabled or sick.  As Gladys Staines (international speaker) wrote in the foreword: “In this story, you will see that there really is Someone to listen and understand when you are alone, in pain or confused.”  I love what Sheena wrote in the inside front cover for Gershom, “Taste and see that God is good, how blessed is the child who trusts in Him.” Thanks, Sheena!  I pray that God continues to bless your book writing ministry.

Entertainer Oman 2012

We decided to do it right this year by purchasing our Entertainer Oman 2012 book in the 1st week of the year.  Last year we saved quite a bit of money (and enjoyed some fabulous restaurants) even though we waited until May to purchase the book.  My advice is to buy this book (if you’re living in Oman) now and use as many coupons as you can throughout the year.  The price has gone up from 19.5 OR last year to 25 OR this year.  We still think it’s a pretty good deal though as we often saved at least 5 rials with each coupon as the restaurants we went to and sometimes up to 15 rials!  On one visit evening out with friends at RBG Grill (in Park Inn) we used 2 coupons and saved more than the price of the book at only one evening out!

Highlights of the 2012 edition:

  • over 50 new outlets!
  • Register your book online at www.theentertainerme.com and as an Essential Member, you receive even more 2 for 1 offers each month straight in your inbox!

Fine Dining Gold:  Sumhuram Restaurant (at Salalah Marriott Resort), Al Bahar (at Millennium Resort Mussanah), Asia (ShangriLa’s Barr Al Jissah), La Mer, Shahrazad (ShangriLa), Trader Vic’s (InterCon)

Fine Dining Silver:  RBG Grill (Park Inn), Arayans (Al Falaj), Left Bank, Samah (The Platinum), Samba (ShangriLa-best buffet we’ve had so far!)

Family & Casual: Shang Thai (at the Wave or in Al Khuwair), Al Diwan (Ramada), Al Ghazal (Safeer), Al Sabla (Sifawy Boutique Hotel in Sifah), Al Shams (Safeer), Al Tajin Grillhouse (Radisson), As Sammak Seafood Restaurant (Sifawy), Bamboo Kitchen (Al Araimi Complex), Cafe Barbera, Dibba (Golden Tulip Khasab Resort), Hot Pot & Grills (Bareeq Al Shatti), Jeans Grill, Khasab (Golden Tulip Dibba Resort), Kobe Sizzlers, Lemongrass, Majan (Safeer Plaza Hotel), Meji’s Aroy ThaiMusandam Cafe and Terrace (InterCon), Mydan (Millenium), Nando’s, the Noodle House, Olivos Coffee Shop (Radisson Blu), The Palm (Park Inn), Pane Caldo, Pearl (Safeer), Pizza Express, Senor Pico (InterCon), Tomato (InterCon)

Cafes & Nightspots: Second Cup, Al Fersan Cafe, Al Ghazal Pub, Cafe Arabica, Caffe Vergnano 1882, Captain’s Bar & Lounge (Sifawy), Caribou Coffee, The Cove (Salalah Marriott), Darts English Pub (Golden Tulip Khasab), the Deck (Millennium), Golden Bean Cafe, Mirbat Arabic Cafe, Nirvana, Sama Terrazza (Park Inn), Trio Cafe, The Wharf Pool Bar (Salalah Marriott), Zebra Bar (Golden Tulip Dibba)

Informal Dining & Take Away:  Domino’s Pizza, Baskin Robbins, The Bollywood, BreadTalk, BurgerKing, Chowlane, ColdStone Creamery, Cowboy Grills, Dunkin’ Donuts, Fruitesca, Magic Wok, Marble Slab Creamery, McDonald’s, PizzaHut, PizzaInn, Santino’s, Shamiana, Smokin’Joe’s

Sports, Pleasure & Leisure:  Adventure Zone (ShangriLa), Al Masa Bowling, Bluzone Watersports Diving Centre, City Cinema (Sur & Sohar only), Global Scuba Dive Centre, Kite Surfing Lessons, Magic Planet, Marrakech Fitness Gym, Marriott Resort, Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club, Omanta Scuba Diving Academy, Sky Club (Park Inn), The Platinum Health Club

Superior Spas: Chi Spa (ShangriLa), Al-Lilac Spac

Beauty, Hair & Nail: Tips & Toes Nail Spa (Bareeq Al Shatti/MCC), Afnan Clinic (Bareeq Al Shatti), Al-Lilac Beauty Centre, Dr. Fish (Bareeq), Joanne Louise Hair & Beauty Salon, Silver Senses Salon, The Platinum Massage Therapy

Hotel Accomodations: (complimentary night when a night of equal or greater value is purchased. Not including service charges & taxes.)  In Oman: Crowne Plaza, Desert Nights Camp, Millenium Resort, Salalah Marriott, ShangriLa Al Bandar, ShangriLa Al Husn, ShangriLa Al Waha.  In Abu Dhabi: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Grand Millenium Al Wahda, InterCon Abu Dhabi, The Westin Abu Dhabi Gold Resort & Spa.  In Dubai: Banyan Tree Al Wadi Beach Club, Desert Palm Dubai, Fairmont Dubai, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel Dubai, Media One Hotel, Melia Dubai, Pullman Mall of the Emirates Dubai, Qamardeen Hotel, Radisson Royal Hotel Dubai, Taj Palace Hotel Dubai, The Meydan Hotel.  In Egypt: Fairmont Nile City Cairo.  In Qatar: Grand Hyatt Doha, InterCon Doha, InterCon Doha The City.

Quite a few places to save money at!  Let the games/eating/good times begin!  If you want to order online (and get a 10% discount) go to www.theentertainerme.com .  We bought ours at Borders at Qurum City Centre.

“Marriage Masala” Conference, Muscat, October 2011

The Protestant Church of Oman (PCO) was delighted to have Rod and Ruthie Gilbert host a marriage conference at the Ghala Church this past week. The word “masala” (also spelled “massala”) is a term used in South Asian cuisines (including Indian, Napali, Bangladeshi and Pakistani) to describe a mixture of spices.  That was the purpose of the marriage conference; to add spice and flavors to Muscat marriages, whether the couple has been married 5 months, 5 years or 55 years.

Rod and Ruthie Gilbert are wonderful speakers (and people!).  Rod was born and raised in India while Ruthie was born and raised in America.  They have a wonderful international ministry that you can check out at www.marriagemasala.com.

3 “L‘s” to Spice a Marriage: Learning to be more Loving, Learning to be Listening (Lightening Loads) and Looking (face to face).

Many Christians are familiar with the book, “The Five Love Languages” by author, Gary Chapman.  Rod & Ruthie worked us through an activity in which we tried to determine our strongest and weakest “love languages” as well as what we think our spouse’s are.

Another interesting worksheet where we wrote down what we thought were the major “loads” occupying our spouse’s brain space so we could consider ways of helping them overcome worries or concerns.

I loved the point that Rod and Ruthie made with the penetrating question, “How often do we take the time during our hectic days to just stop and look into the face of the one who has won our heart?”  As an exercise, we took 12 seconds to just gaze into one another’s eyes.  Sounds funny but it was one practical tip on how to “stop and smell the flowers” and appreciate our spouses.

The 12 words are: “I am sorry“, “I was wrong“, “Please forgive me“, and “I love you“.

We have different “conflict language” just as we have different “love languages”.

Rod & Ruthie were quite hilarious during their “light-hearted reenactments”! 🙂

C-Count to Twelve  D-Decide on Boundaries   E-Endure!

After this wonderful marriage conference chalk full of great biblical truths and priactical applications, we are really looking forward to reading the book “Marriage Masala” which we’ve ordered.  If you’re interested, you can order this book on this link to Amazon for only $15.99 US.

“Killer Elite”: From Book to Expectation to the Big Screen to Major Disappointment!

The idea of this movie had such promise: 3 big Hollywood stars and international intrigue in the Sultanate of Oman, Britain and France.  Wow!  It seemed to sell itself so easily.  Now it was just a matter of watching this sure-to-be-masterpiece at the movie theatre.  The problem was that this potential proved itself to be a short-lived fantasy less than halfway through my popcorn box!  The 4 major let-downs of the movie are:

1)  The Acting:                                                                                                                                                                     I know Jason Stratham is “a big name” in Hollywood but I’ve never enjoyed anything he’s been in.  He seems to be an action hero for today’s mindless audience that love violence, blood, car chases and a few explosions thrown in for good measure which is exactly what we got in this film.  “Well, at least Robert de Niro is in it”, I thought.  I used to enjoy a lot of his movies but it seems like everything he’s been in during the past few years has been nothing but disappointment. (Like the horrible movie “What Just Happened?” which was exactly how my wife and I felt on leaving the theatre after that crash!)  I was hoping this would be a major comeback to his more impressive earlier acting career.  It wasn’t.  Clive Owen, which the killer-elite website suggests is the world’s newest Bogart or Sean Connery (whatever!), always plays the same sleazy type of character to me.  They hold him in high regard for his role in “Closer” which was such a disgusting, nasty role that I haven’t enjoyed watching him acting ever since!  Of the three Hollywood bigshots, Clive Owen’s acting was probably most noteworthy.

2) Location:                                                                                                                                                                      The main disappointment (for me) was not necessarily the bad acting (although I thought the Sheikh in the movie played the most convincing role!).  The biggest disappointment to me was the choice of film location and the focus on fight scenes and other so-called “action” rather than a convincing storyline.  As someone who has really enjoyed my last 4 years living in the Sultanate and a person who is fascinated with the people, culture and history of Oman, I was so looking forward to watching a movie which was predominately about Oman.

Imagine my total surprise to learn that not one scene was filmed in Oman!  Anyone who knows Oman would recognize while watching that it was not filmed here.  It was funny to see the Omanis whispering to one another when the screen read “Muscat Airport”.  Most people in the crowd knew it wasn’t and were telling each other that very fact, ha!ha!  Would it have been so difficult to have it filmed here?  They could have at least set a filming crew over to capture a few scenes. (?!?!)  It would have made it more enjoyable and believable (for those of us in Oman at least).  Read more about the location they did shoot it in here at the location guide website.  There were only a few scenes that looked somewhat like the mountains of Oman.  The premise of the movie revolves around an event that was supposed to have taken place during “The Battle of Mirbat” so my wife and I were hoping to see scenes of Mirbat as we enjoyed a trip there a few years back.  Nope! Forget it!  Now that I think about it, all of the references to Oman were quite insulting.  “That godforsaken land…A  useless slab of desert whose only virtue is resting on a plot of oil…” Stuff like that.  I wonder how Omanis felt while watching it and hearing such disparaging words about their land.

3) Confusion Between Fact and Fiction:

The movie is based loosely on a book titled “The Feather Men” which I have yet to get my greedy little hands on.  In the movie, the author is mentioned but instead of the proper name of the book, it’s supposed to be from a book titled “Soldiers and Tribesmen”.  Anyway, I’m not about to give the whole story away here, but the ending is supposed to be quite a shocker.  That totally would have worked in the book, but it doesn’t come off as anything special in the movie.  One of the characters in the movie actually took the words right out of my mouth when they exclaimed, “Will it Ever End?!”  The writer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, tried to promote the film by claiming it “was based on real events” and the producers, in the sake of making money still claim that it’s “based on real events” even though it’s been revealed that it is not!  Here’s one article about the controversy over his book-turned-movie in The Telegraph And here’s another.  The author sounds like a megalomaniac who is more interested in making a man for himself than being truthful.  The family of one of the men supposedly killed in one of the book and movie’s scenes confronted him with making it up and he confessed that he had indeed made it all up.  The author took the unethical slip of writing an interesting book based loosely on his 2 years of service in the Sultan’s Armed Forces to twisting facts to make something seem more fascinating and thereby making more money.

4) A Cast of Unlikable and Unlikely “Heroes”:                                                                                                                                                                                          Some of the movie posters for Killer Elite include the line “May the Best Man Live” but that is clearly not appropriate as everyone is a ruthless killer in the film.  It should read “May the Least Evil Man Survive“.  I guess those are the kinds of heroes we can expect in this “Grand-Theft-Auto-generation” where the main heroes of the majority of movies out there are thieves, criminals, gangsters and con-artists.

Have any of you here in the Sultanate seen “Killer Elite”?  If so, what did/do you think?  I’m especially interested in hearing what Omanis think of the movie.