Category Archives: Magazines

Time Out Muscat: Spring 2013

Timeout Spring 2013  Nice to see Timeout Muscat’s Spring 2013 edition in the magazine stands. Only 2 Omani rials or about $5 US.

This is a pretty decent issue with Features including:

  • Radar – gossip and inside information.  This edition sees Muscat Muttering‘s Freddie Sythe in his first column titled “The Muscat Insider“! (with “a few suggestions for free things to do to help relax and work up a sweat around town“)
  • News bites – Including Coming Events and tourism related info.
  • Exclusive interview with Chris Tucker (He performed here in Oman on March 4th – Here’s a short 10 minute youtube clip (audio) from his performance for those of us who missed it:) 
  • Pink Halwa – new Arabi-inspired t-shirt line designed by Omani Fatma Alsaleh

Other (regular) Contents include:

  • Sightseeing: Coming performances at Royal Opera House Muscat & Sightseeing Directory
  • Consume: New restaurant reviews (including 2 large reviews of Asia and Grand Fish Market, Restaurant listings, Nightlife interview with DD Foxx, Nightlife listings, Shopping article on movie posters and Shopping & Style listings
  • Time Off: Art & Culture (Ghalya’s Museum), Art & Culture listings, Body & Mind: juice diets, Body & Mind Listings, Kids: Picnic recipes, Kids listings, Sports & Outdoor: workout in 10, and Sport & Outdoor listings
  • Essentials: Resources, Getting around, Where to stay and Map

Anyone else pick up the new Time Out Muscat?  If so, what do you think? We are pretty impressed with this edition and hope that the Time Out crew continue to improve this magazine with each passing season.  I figure that it only makes good business sense as more and more folks hopefully go out and buy it.  I mean “Come on, folks! How many magazines does Muscat have anyway? Let’s show them some support!”  🙂

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“The Magical Country Of Oman: A Jewel On The Arabian Peninsula” (Forbes)

The pic is from Forbes.com article, “The Magical Country of Oman: A Jewel on the Arabian Peninsula“,  written yesterday by Lisa Loverro.  Check it out!  Lisa Loverro is a Forbes.com blogger who covers luxury travel and she has done a pretty good job covering Oman!

TimeOut Muscat & Oman – Autumn/Winter 2012

Timeout is back on the stands and still only 2 OR.  As you can see from the cover, they have special features on Musandam and Dolphin Tour (written by Peter Feely) in this edition.  I think they should have listed Jacqueline Stelle’s interesting write up (humorously titled “Desperately Seeking Shuwa“) on the front cover.  She interviewed the chef in charge of Omani dishes at the Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort, Azza Al Mamari, who offers advice on “Where to find Omani Food“.  They also have a feature called “Radar” where they try to keep you updated with “what’s on the social radar” in Oman and on the next page is the “News Bites” with the latest news and upcoming events are found on the same page.  Their restaurant reviews are probably the best part of the magazine and in this edition they have one page, detailed reviews of The Jungle Restaurant and Love at First Bite.  New restaurants Fairouz and Asia have also been added to the Restaurant Listings.  With all that being said, there are things which they NEVER seem to get around to correcting such as poking fun at Passage to India’s “comical plastic elephant that presides over the entrance” which hasn’t been there for years, listing restaurants that have closed down such as Stomach, wrong phone numbers and incorrect info (such as Olivos Coffee Shop having “buffets served every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner” – not true!!   What I’m saying is that you have to read the restaurant reviews with a grain of salt and realize that many of the reviews have not been updated for many years!  Some are so old that I noticed that the magazine has at least taken away the estimated money you could expect to pay at each restaurants as they were often way off.  It’s too bad this magazine doesn’t get their act together as this could really be a fantastic guide for people here in the Sultanate or those thinking of coming.  As it is, it’s a halfway decent magazine seeing how it’s only 2 Omani rials.

Sometimes you can find good deals in Timeout like this Eid special at the Intercon on the inside back cover:

I wish I had read this weeks ago.  I might have booked us a night here at that price.  I just called the Intercon and they said that there may still be rooms at that rate if you call +968-2468-0000 tomorrow and ask for “reservations” once you reach the operator. (It’s 10:30pm now)

I hope you all have a fabulous, relaxing Eid.  Some may not have made any special plans seeing how we only found about having the whole week off (or 4 days for those of you in the private sector) once it was basically too late to make plans flying out of Muscat.  There are plenty of things to do in the Sultanate and I know quite a few people who intend on doing some camping.  Whatever your plans, dear reader, do try to be safe! EID MUBARAK!  🙂

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.

Looking Back at 2011

As a lover of lists and news bulletins, I always enjoy the year-end reviews that one can find in just about every newspaper, magazine or news program at the end of each year or the beginning of a new one.  Normally I would choose to write my own on New Years Eve or New Years Day but I’ve been “crazy-busy” with marking the past few days.  On top of that, I was stuck in a line-up at the Muscat Opera House for hours as they began selling group and package tickets at 9am on the 1st day of the year! (Worthy of a post on its own!)

The Week (a popular free weekly English paper read by thousands in Oman) did a great year-end review of 2011 on Dec. 28th. (Read their year-end review for Oman by clicking here.)

Hi weekly (another free weekly English publication in Oman)  also had a fabulous year end issue that was published Dec. 30th.  Of the two, I have to say that Hi weekly’s is the best as they include a number of fascinating lists such as: “Our 12 Best Local Stories“, “12 Thoughts for the Year Ahead“, “12 Reasons to Storm the Cinemas in 2012” for movie lovers (such as myself!) out there, “12 Things to Do and Have in 2012“, “11 Buzz Words of 2011” (great list!),  “Last Farewell” (small writeup about famous/infamous people who died in 2012), “2011 Top Images“, 10 “Around the World Events“, “The Year in Numbers“, a 2-page article on “The Year in Review” and finally, “Top Sports Images of 2011“.  Fabulous edition that I “hi”ly recommend (Get it! “Hi weekly” “highly recommend”…) if you haven’t already done so.  On a sidenote, I really wish Hi Weekly would consider going online as the Week has!

Every person probably has their own list of “the biggest events that shaped the year” depending on where you live, your worldview, interests, hobbies and beliefs.  Here is the list of moments or events that stood out in my mind that will forever define 2011 for me.

  • Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary! 🙂 (Jan. 22nd)
  • My son’s 1st birthday! (Feb. 26th)
  • The Arab Spring Revolts (of course!).  I remember that they got out of control in Sohar but am thankful that the minor incidents in Oman were nothing of the scale seen in other Arab countries.
  • Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Feb. 28th
  • Earthquake, tsunami and meltdown fear in Japan March 11th and onward
  • Marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton (April 29th)
  • Raid on Osama bin Laden’s “secret hideout” (that showed collusion or incompetence on Pakistan’s part), his execution and the bizarre “sea burial”
  • IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn’s arrest (May 17th) and the he-said-she-said cycle as well as so many other sex scandals around the world
  • South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in early July.
  • Norway shooting by lone madman (July 22nd) leaves more than 90 dead.
  • Somalia’s drought that put millions in need and at the same time Somalia continues to be the centre of pirating activities
  • The best and longest vacation I ever remember having.
  • The worship-like reports of Steve Jobs that came out after his death Oct. 5th as if he was some beacon of light or saint on the earth. (Unforgettable!)
  • The opening of Royal Opera House Muscat that really put Muscat on the map in terms of music and arts!
  • The capture and brutal killing of Gaddafi (Oct 20th)
  • Wife and I visit our newly constructed home outside Manila for the 1st time!
  • The riots and utter hooliganism in London in early August
  • World population is said to have reached 7 billion in October.
  • The 1st time ever attending a ballet at an Opera House
  • US troops leave Iraq after an expensive (in money and lives) 8 years.
  • Death of Kim Jong-Il on Dec. 19th (Unforgettable to me as someone who lived 9.5 years in South Korea.  This family dynasty is as evil as they get.  No one seems to care about the hundreds of thousands of political and religious (mostly Christian) prisoners in WWII-like concentration camps.  That nation is the world’s largest cult with people worshipping first the grandfather, then the son and now the grandson.)
  • The threat to close down the Strait of Hormuz by Iran (like the situation in North Korea) is something to keep your eye on that has the possibility of effecting the world in 2012.
  • The slaughter of the Syrian people by the Assad regime is in the thousands and continues into the New Year with no real action from the Arab League.  One of my greatest prayers for 2012 is the fall of the current Syrian regime.
  • Typhoon Sendong kills over 1,000 on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines. Just before Christmas. Heart-breaking.
  • The 1st time ever attending an opera. (Carmen on Dec. 21st)
  • The first time we had friends over for Christmas dinner and my wife and sister-in-law’s first time (successfully!) preparing turkey!

2011 has been quite a year!  To see the disasters, want and misery around the world makes me all the more thankful to God that we are still breathing, have shelter over our heads and I have a job that God uses to provide for us daily.  What are some other events that stood out to you in 2011?