Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Boutique Muscat: stocks local designers

Since I don't have time for a content post, I really want to let the girls who don't know about "Boutique Muscat" know about this fabulous MQ shop that stocks local designers.

(968) 246 999 48
Way 2120 Villa 1099 Al Bashayer Street, Madinat Sultan Qaboos
 I have been wanting one of these cute clutches for a while now, priced 45.00 OMR.
 The shoes are 38.00 OMR if I remember correctly (don't quote me):
 I am also in love with this Gulf Style Embroidery tunic top:
I know alot of girls were wondering where to find cute Arabic jewelry and they have a few cute designs (I want those earrings).
 The little sweet trays stole my heart (and they have finjan and qahwa sets as well):
Now I don't wear my Moroccan takchita too much anymore since the superstitious folks in husband's village think all Moroccan women have the ability to cast love spells on men [and they already think it's odd enough that he'd marry Westerner me;)] but these belts would be cute with some of the djellaba I have already that don't have matching belts sets (or even a regular long t-shirt).
 Rings, rings, rings, I couldn't choose a favourite:
 To see what's going on visit their facebook page:!/BoutiqueMuscat

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hi/Salaam alaykom all dear readers,

Until next month posts might be more scarce due to a move inshaAllah, so please bear with.

All my best,


Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Own Photos: This Morning's Qahwa & Daily Diary Storm Updates

Well, the storm is over for now, the sun is out bright and shining, but gosh did we EVER need coffee this morning since we didn't sleep all night from the storm [because SOME LITTLE ONE was afraid of the thunder and wind]. Above pictured pouring the freshly brewed qahwa (coffee) straight from the ibreeq (long handled coffee pot) into the finjan (porcelain coffee cup). Technically for guests the coffee should be poured from the ibreeq into the dala (Arabic coffee service pot) but S and I know eachother TOO well for any of that extra stuff).Above pictured, a morning's coffee service. Absent from the formal qahwa service is the bowl of water for guests to wash their hands with, the plate for date pits (not required if Pixie is the one serving the dates), and knife for slicing the fruit (absent because of the little one rolling around). I was stuck in Barka overnight because of the wadis both Sohar way and Al Khoudh towards Muscat. Sadly it seems a family near Wadi Abyad drowned playing in the wadi last night, and alot of Barka folks got stuck trying to cross the flowings wadis back to Seeb. Friends and family in Rustaq though had a WAAAY worse time. It may be a week until they can cross over their raging wadi. Dhofari Gucci posted the formal report thus far from the ROP on the outcomes of last night's wild weather here: likes pitting the dates and stuffing them with almonds. Also rolling them in sesame seeds makes them look super pretty! If you are in Muscat, how did you and your family fare the storm? We are doing alright, alhamdulilah.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Swimming Pool Drownings in Muscat

I know that nobody is likely to be thinking about building a pool in their yard tonight, what with the rain and lightening and all, but as I am one of those persons who has been discussing the possibility of a pool with her husband when we get around to constructing our villa, the thought of all the drownings I have known to happen in Oman occured to me.

Now I will for sure teach my children to swim. I can swim. But my husband's sisters can't. And so, their children mostly cannot. And Omanis love water. So there is a good chance if they were left to run around the yard someone would fall in and we'd have tragedy on our hands because I KNOW how well people in the village watch after their children.

As Suburban blogged a long time ago, alot of drownings happen in Muscat, even in hotel pools. Lifeguards aren't common here. You have to watch your children. I mean, every minute or so at least your eyes HAVE to be on them around a pool. And if you own a pool and know people won't be watching their children around your pool you are responsible for limiting their access to it.

It was almost too much responsibility for me, so I almost nixed the pool idea altogether but if the nets pictured below really work and are easy to put on (and with LOCKS for MY neices and nephews) then maybe. I want one for myself really bad. But can't imagine the horror of finding a child floating upside down in there, ever.

Storm in Oman tonight

There is a lightening and wind storm in Barka Oman right now, where I am visiting my friend Pixie;)

We just heard the neighbor's sattelite dish go flying and branches of trees everywhere. Dust so bad I couldn't see outside until the rain came slamming.

Is it like this in Muscat right now, anybody know?

Recipe Guide for Hot Drinks Served in Oman: Omani Qahwa, Chai Haleeb, Turk Kahvesi, Chai Karak, Haleeb wa Zataar, and many more


"Omani Qahwa" i.e Arabic Coffee
INGREDIENTS: -6 cardamon pods -1/4 cup coarsely pulverized Arabica pulverized dark roast coffee (or you can buy a specific Arabic blend with the cardamom already in it if you prefer that easily in any Omani grocer's isles) – 1 cup cold water *rose water and/ or saffron threads if desired---I personally prefer without*
MATERIALS:-an "ibreeq" style pot, and a "dala" & "finjans" set for serving
METHOD: Bruise cardamom pods by hitting with a mallet or pound briefly in a mortar. Put water in a long-handled coffee pot (ibreeq) and add cardamom pods and coffee. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Leave to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes so grounds settle. Pour ibreeq pot's mixture into the Arabic coffee pot (dala) to let additional loose grinds settle.
TO SERVE: When you are ready to serve (done so in front of your guest/guests) pour the dala with your left hand into tiny porcelain coffee cups (finjans) until each is half full. Fill only half way! [Filling less than half--- or more than half--- can mean an insult or can signify some other intention of the host traditionally---though if you are a non-Omani or make it known this is your first time serving Qahwa people are very forgiving these days! J.] Serve the poured little porcelain cups with your right hand while maintaining the Arabic coffee pot (dala) in your left. And repeat with the next guest.
Omani qahwa is usually served with fresh fruit that is sliced before the eyes of the guest/guests and dried dates and/or fresh dates. Sometimes Arabic sweets and other juices. The order in which the fruits and coffee are served varies between female and male gatherings even in the same region, but as long as there is a plate of dates alongside the qahwa you are formally serving, it is up to par with the best of them.*Note, Qahwa in the Gulf is served traditionally without sugar. 3 tablespoons of rosewater is added for sweetness if desired to the brew on the boil. 2-3 Saffron threads are also added for flavor ***usually for more important occasions in my own home but I don't know about other Omani families in the Sultanate. I find my Saudi girlfriends use saffron a lot more traditionally than my husband's village does, same goes for Lawati Omanis I have visited in Mutrah****
Interesting fact: I have found that whether or not fruit is served first or sweets or dates varies even among women of the same region. So either find out the order in which the women closest to where you live serve the qahwa or don't sweat it if you are different than anybody else. The coffee itself along with a plate of dates is enough to satisfy tradition. By the way, I'd be curious from any other Khaleeji girl, how her Qahwa preparation and serving methods + ingredients vary from my own.
Often served alongside or instead of traditional Omani Qahwa these days is…"Chai Haleeb" aka "Chai Hindi", i.e a humble tea mixed with warmed with milk and sugar
INGREDIENTS: 4 bags of any old plain black tea (I personally prefer bagged) such as Liptons, Teltey, Red Rose, *but not Earl Grey*, 2 cups water, 1 & 1/2 cup milk, and 5 tablespoons of sugar. *I like to stick a whole stick of cinnamon into my Chai haleeb to flavor it but that isn't the norm in Oman at all****
MATERIALS: Pot to boil it in, and flask or teapot for serving, as well as cups.
METHOD: Bring water to a boil and then add the other ingredients, and reduce heat. Mix well, and stir to avoid the milk from cooking. Simmer, until the mixture is warm throughout, remove the tea bags, and strain any loose tea grinds if the any of the tea bags broke.
TO SERVE: Serve straight from pot into cups to brought out of the kitchen on a tray or put into a flask or tea pot to be served in front of guests. *Usually served at the end of a meal along with desert or in place of desert but growing in popularity to be served as a secondary option next to Arabic coffee in Oman. -----Again, I'd be curious from any other Khaleeji girl, how her Chai-Haleeb preparation and serving methods + ingredients vary from my own.
"Haleeb wa Zaatar" i.e Hot milk with a thyme infusion popular in more rural Omani villages
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of milk &1 tsp of unground thyme leaves fresh or dried is okay
MATERIALS: Pot to boil the milk in.
METHOD: Bring milk in the pot to a boil, turn down the heat and then add the thyme. Stir, and let simmer, or remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute and a half.
TO SERVE: Usually served with the thyme leaves floating in the milk, one can strain them out before serving if they prefer to.
"Nescafe" i.e. any instant cappuccino or the like ect.
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of hot boiling water, 1 packet of instant coffee, either Nescafe or Alicafe.
METHOD: A solid no-brainer, water is boiled and then the packet of instant coffee is mixed in.
*Super popular in Oman where no one Omani I know owns an electric kettle, let alone an espresso machine. So khalas on the Black&Decker coffee maker/brewer in my householdL. When they saw the kettle they were like "oooooooooohhhhh! Fancy!" J****
"Turk Kahvesi" most commonly referred to as Turkish Coffee
INGREDIENTS: Turkish Coffee, water *and sugar if desired
MATERIALS: A long handled metal pot tapering at the top (called "jesve" by the Turks and an "ibreeq" by the Omanis) is required for brewing over fire or heated cook top.
METHOD: Fill the "ibriq/jesve" pot with one demitasse cup of cold water, and add 1 heaped teaspoon of powdered Turkish coffee. *If you would like to add sugar 1 level teaspoon makes it moderately sweetened, and two make it very sweet*. Stir, and put on medium-low heat. When coffee rises in the pot remove from heat immediately, and spoon froth into cup. Return pot to the heat and cook until coffee rises again. Remove the froth into serving cup and repeat a third time. This technique ensures that the coffee has a creamy foam floating on top. Pour the surface coffee into the cup after the third froth spooning. Enjoy.
Note, Turkish coffee is ideally made one cup at a time, three at the most ."Chai Karak" (recipe taken from my friend Um Khaled over in UAE) and undeniably the most popular hot drink over in the United Arab Emirates, a type of spiced milk tea
INGREDIENTS: 4 cups of cold water, 4 black tea bags (I use Lipton but you can use King Cole, Tetley, Red Rose, ect---or equivalent loose black tea----but NOT earl grey), 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder, 5 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 small can Rainbow (or Carnation) EVAPORATED Milk. *some saffron threads are optional
MATERIALS: Pot to boil it in, strainer, and flask/dala METHOD: Add all of the ingredients together in the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and then bring it to a boil again. Reduce heat, and then bring it to a boil… again. Repeat until it gets frothy. If tea bags break just use the strainer later. DO this several times until you get a nice color...then strain into your cup or flask. If you like put some saffron strands in your cup or flask and pour tea over and let steep for a few mins :D
"Chai Ahmar" i.e red tea with or without sugar
INGREDIENTS: any kind of black tea but Earl Grey pretty much, water, and sugar
METHOD: This is a basic tea so boil the water, dip the tea bag until preferred darkness, and sugar as you desire. Nothing fancy here.
"Chai Maghrebi" aka Moroccan tea, which is tea with fresh mint.
INGREDIENTS: I use 2 Lipton red tea bags, 1 1/2 cups of water, 8 springs of fresh mint leaves (dried won't work), and sugar as desired.
METHOD: I boil the water and then pour it into the service pot and first put the mint in. After the water turns a light greenish shade I add the tea bags and usually 5 teaspoons of sugar depending on how dark the tea is.TO SERVE: Moroccan tea is traditionally served from a teapot that has a longer neck to the spout from ahigh into thin rimmed medium height Moroccan tea glasses to ensure that there is a frothy foam to each cup. *the Moroccan social service requirement similar to Qahwa in Oman***"Haleeb Zanjabeel" i.e Ginger Milk (Recipe taken from Um Khaled over in the UAE)
INGREDIENTS: 4 cups fresh milk, 3 tbsp fresh grated ginger, 3 tbsp white sugar
METHOD: Put all ingredients into a pot and whisk/stir often. Increase heat until the mixture almost flows over. Reduce heat and let simmer. Increase heat again until almost overflowing and reduce (do this several times) taste and check for "gingery-ness" I like it a little spicy...add more sugar if you like...
TO SERVE: pour in the cup/flask with the ginger (will sink to bottom) or use a small strainer to strain out the pieces....then enjoy...soo yummy and healthy too! Great for night drink or outside in the evening! And for a similiar recipe "Haleeb Bil Hail" using cardamom instead of ginger follow this link"Qahwat Al-Hilo" i.e a sweet spice infusion popular in Saudi Arabia
INGREDIENTS: 1 & 1/2 cups water, 3 whole cardmom pods---bruised, 3 teaspoons saffron threads, 2-3 teaspoons pounded sugar to taste
MATERIALS: Long handled "ibreeq" coffee pot or a small pan, and small porcelain Arabic coffee cups (finjan) to serve.
METHOD: Combine ingredients in a small pan or large long-handled coffee pot. Stir to dissolve, then leave on low heat for 30 minutes until reduced and thick.
TO SERVE: Pour into the finjan coffee cups, filling them, and serve on tray for your guests each to take one. *there is no rule about overfilling the finjan when it comes to Qahwat Al-Hilo!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some very affordable hotels in Muscat Oman reviewed by OPNO

If you don't really count on spending alot of time in your hotel room while you are out and about in Muscat but still want all of the basic comfort+cleanliness thrown into the price of the place, these are two hotels my friends of some taste have stayed at who were looking for something more discount. NOTE, I DID NOT INCLUDE THE ONES that are just as cheap, but smelled like sewage and/or if you are a girl checking in there, feel sleezy like you're at a no-tell motel.

The hotels don't seem to have easy to find webpages but you can take my word on it, they are decent. I promise to try to get photos the next time I have guests visiting.
OPTION #1 in and around central Muscat and alot of great restaurants

Location: Al Khuwair

Prices: from 25-55 OMR per night (do barter and ask shamelessly for discounts---I got the room down to 14 for a friend;) who didn't need a working TV).

Contact: +968 24473900

Copied and Pasted from their website:*services include: 24 hours Reception and House Keeping,Wifi Internet Service, Satellite Channels, Doctor on call, Credit card Facilities, Car Rental, Direct Dialing facilities, Off Street Parking, Laundry services, and other International standard services *For booking : Central Reservation- Tel : +968 24602355 / Fax : +968 24693631 / Gsm :+968 97307445 For Enquires : Tel : +968 24693609 / Fax : +968 24693631 Gsm : +968 97307475
Address: Al Kuleiah Street, P.O.Box 121, P C 115 Al Khuwair, Muscat Sultanate Of Oman Tel :+968 2447 8171 Fax : 2448 9060OPTION #2 close to the airport and Seeb City Center Mall

Location: Al Khoud

Name: Gulf Crown Hotel Apartments

Prices: from 25-45 OMR per night (again ask for discounts---my friends' rooms were supposed to be 35 and they got them for 25)

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Phone: +968 2453636

Funny quote from the Al Hail hotel (don't check in there please unless you like noise, sleeze, and and the smell of sewage):

MOP to OPNO: "Why didn't you come in with us?"

OPNO: "I'm nine months pregnant. I didn't want to get up."

Aalia (of chasing jannah blog) with her girl S: "Everyone looked at us straaaaaaaaange."

MOP: "It looks like the place Omani guys bring their girlfriends." Helplessly"...But you asked for the cheapest I knew of."

Aalia: "So they thought......? Ewwwwwwwwww!"

Yeah, and that wasn't the worst of the Al Hail that there is to tell. I'd say, stay tuned, but I DON'T want to get into it. Think poop. That about sums it up.

Ode to Wasta

"Wasta", a term in any other language meaning "undue influence".


If you've never heard of it, thank your lucky stars (or praise Allah) that you've never been desperately stuck enough to have needed it and been without. Or been surrounded by the kind of people who brag about and like to show off how much wasta they have and have had to knock on their door like a beggar in the night with a bribe or difficult promise, or been one of those good souls blessed with wasta in this country who can't tell another user loser from their one true blue friend.


In my sister's Ministry, the Ministry of education, you would think the people there would be educated enough to see how such corruption hurts their children and country.
Sadly, the same manouvering goes on. People who haven't done the work get jobs they don't deserve because they "know someone" and someone better qualified is passed by on a promotion. Tribes try to "sabotage" eachother during the hiring process or on who scholarships go to so that they can ensure the longevity their "wasta".


What I know of wasta in Oman is that most Omanis I know who complain about more influential people using "wasta" would be absolutely willing to be the first to do so themselves had they any of it themselves.

They complain of being unable to get a better paying job because their enemy tribe is sabotaging them in the Ministry. Al-Wasta tribe only hires their cousins and friends even if they haven't had the time in the feild like wasta-less has. Had they a cousin in such-and-such Ministry they'd recommend their friends just as quick, beause when they have a friend working in a restaraunt they're willing to accept free food or a bigger portion than is served to the rest at no cost to their friend, or a friend in the ROP, to get their tickets for speeding transfered for some other fool to pay. If someone you know at the police station can get your tickets erased means they are "given in error" to somebody else to pay. When is okay for Muslims to lie, cheat, or steal? I ask. "It is just...

Wasta," the excuse they give me, as if calling an act of theft or a lie by another name makes it totally acceptable. Even the better thing to do, than to be patient, and take only what belongs to you.

These people make me laugh. They are not okay with other people having wasta, but had they any of it themselves, they would be surely, the worst of offenders!


Did you know dear expat readers that tribal warfare goes on to this day, even in Muscat?

In the old days tribes would spill blood even though Islam forbids them this, over land, farms, and water. Where once two enemy tribes would spill blood for land they now fight for the same and more in their cubicles? I guess if it bloodless, it is easier to hide the evil you do.

To this day the tribes war in the country's Ministries. The enemy tribe through corruptions and bribes steals lands in the Ministry of Housing. So your cousin or what not who works there is "forced" to do the same, I have heard people tell me, because if they didn't, the other would have it all. So a land that belongs to you is traded for a land that does not of greater value and the person who does not have the "wasta/influence" of a cousin at the Ministry can not even afford land where their ancestor's have lived for hundreds of years?! and what rightfully belongs to them?


In writing this, I can tell you that I am no different.


I have used wasta. Other peoples'. Both good and bad peoples'.

I have cried in the middle of the night for lack of wasta, the injustice of it all. I have saved up friends and asked more of good people than I have a right to, and approached people I would never talk to, people I would talk about to say how slimy they all are.

I believed I had just cause to, as there was no other way because there was no way for someone to cut off the head of this corruption.

I wonder…

…Does the contractor "sealing" a lucrative business deal with a bribe or a tribe or a friend feel the same way?


Some people I know have gotten their marriage permission by bribing someone who has a cousin of a cousin in the Interior Ministry with a bribe of a brand new computer. Or known someone close to the Sultan's family. I know other women who have waited years and been denied, even though the law itself is unjust.

I think nothing bad of them, who would use wasta, against injustice. Even slimy, lizard peoples' wasta.

That is my reasoning. So am I, believing so, just as bad as someone who'd pay a little bit more in a bribe for an Omani passport, ect in the same Ministry ect.? What choice does someone have when they've used up all the proper channels and deserved to be together anyway? A sin is a sin, so is mine the same? Or does honest need, not just greed of want, relieve me of responsibility for contributing to the same system of corruption?


This feeling of deserving, it is unlawful no matter who it clings to and why it grows wings?


People in my family's tribe have used wasta in the ministries. We are not better than others even those some of us call "enemies", and I am sure we are worse than some.

One good man from the family had a very important position. His goodness, in the end, could not save him or spare him for being party to the corruption.

He eventually quit because he was tired of entire region of people asking him/expecting favours.


It exists dear expats. And is the main source of corruption in this beautiful country. Don't deny it. Don't dismiss it as a just cause of anger for the wasta-less Omani man complaining even though he would like and accept wasta from the Sultan himself should it be spilt at his feet.

The complaint is real even if the apathy to do anything about themselves is equal in scale to the problem.


We'd all look down on the machinations of the powerful "friend" to try and get his inexperienced new brother-in-law a job in your department at the Ministry or that tribe guy favoring his own land for making a new road when other places are in worse repair.

We all know its wasta when the wealthy Sheikh's son gets a scholarship to study abroad over the fisherman's son and they had the same grades, or when you can see clearly driving by that the lands of one family have increased in size from what the Government allotted everyone else in the town and you know for a fact their cousin works in the housing ministry.

The elections of the Shura council with their new powers spurred on by the more public Sohar Roundaabout and Salalah Sit-In protests have been powerless to change this.


The Sultan cut off the heads of many corrupt wing of the Ministries but it hasn't taken long for a new head to grow, for the system is rotten from within and outside itself. The only way to cut it, is at the root, at the heart and the mind of any one thinking of using wasta for anything they don't deserve or need.

Unjust laws should be changed. That aside, I will never use wasta again I have decided.

"It isn't wasta to ask so and so for a job," my friends tell me. Knowing a job that is not needed would be created just for me should I ask, where I would sit at a computer all day doing nothing but looking up pictures for this blog while someone Omani works hard as a PRO and gets paid less, or someone Indian in accounting with a real responsibility the like.

I could not morally do so.

It is these small choices, that define us.

I will not be part of this system of lies and stealing. I will call it for what it is, and not pretty up theft with the word "wasta" when any friend of mine or relative decides to be party to the institution of undue influence and means.



As I have wittnessed, is nothing more than a cursed vehicle for Racism, Nationalism, and Tribalism and a means to divide the people into those who have and have not. It makes even families of the same name divided in envy. When one uses wasta even for a little thing that is deserved that could otherwise be done lawfully in patience and trust in Allah, it is the same as the accursed fighting one another in blood and steel that lead to the downfall of the Islamic Caliphate that was once in Oman and gifted to the Omani people in trust by Rasoolulah Mohammed HIMSELF!

If someone member you know has been blessed by Allah with no might from his or herself, why do you try to ruin these blessings even if they take nothing from you at all?

I hear many blaming Europe, America, and Israel, for the loss of the Golden Age of the Islamic Empire, but honestly, all the Muslims, they did that to themselves.


Allah cannot change the state of a people, until they change it themselves.

So before you go blaming beyond your borders, before your Ministry wargrounds, before other regions and townships, before the tribe, before the family.

Look to yourself.

I don't care what other people take with their corruption. Someone else doing evil is no excuse for you to do so.

Take only what belongs to you and never make war on your own account, and you will have the "wasta" that is needed by more men in this world than any of that that Sultans and their Ministries may lay in a heap to tempt you.

You will have the wasta of Allah.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Post for all the mothers who've lost their children

I want to write you all about my friend Pearl. Some of you may know her from her blog . She was married in Dhofar, was a faithful good wife, and super doting mama, and now she is divorced and the custody of her son Qhatan in the hands of his father.... more or less.

As a mother I couldn't imagine be seperated from my daughter, especially when a child is under the age of two years.

In Islam, when the parents divorce, if the mother is a decent Muslim even IF the father is a better one, and the children are under two years of age, the custody goes to the mother. After two the mother may return the children to their father if she wishes to remarry. This is done in ISLAM to ALLOW the women to remarry and make new lives with husbands who might not accept the responsibilty of someone else's kids if their cultures are difficult on it. It doesn't mean that once the woman remarries she can never have custody of her children again! Or that She MUST give them up in the first place when doing so!

In Islam, Muslims are told to always put their mothers first after Allah Himself.

How could Pearl's son do this if he never sees her for example?

When a boy is nine he may decide under Shariah law, whether he wants to live with his mother or father.

I knew Pearl before all this happened. When I moved back to Oman she was willing to give me advice for everything. When I met her she was a super strict with herself Muslim and kind hearted person. Overly generous, even in tough times herself.

For a culture such as Dhofar's that discourages women from work and a career as something as shameful because "the REAL men will provide for them" [thus forcing them to become completely dependent]----what happens to those SAAAAAAAAAAAME ' real men' when a woman is divorced and the government affords her a salary of 100 rials a month for care of her baby, rent, and herself?

What is she to do? Where is she to go?

Who would treat the mother of their child like that anyway, forcing her to live in poverty to be able to see her child?

MOP says the following quote sums up his opinion of someone who would not make life easy on the mother of their own child: "THE BEST OF YOU {MUSLIM MEN} ARE THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE THE BEST TO YOUR WIVES AND YOUR FAMILIES" - The PROPHET MOHAMMED S.A.W

Some women stay in bad marriages until they commit suicide or just die by the mercy of Allah.

Pearl was braver than that. She knew she couldn't let THAT happen to herself.

And how do people congratulate Pearl?:

Pearl was told if she ever remarries she can never have custody of her son. Which is SO UN-ISLAMIC I wanna cry. She hasn't seen her baby. Or even been told about him.

There is NOOOOOOOOOO justice in that.

I know something more should be done legally.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

OPNO reveiws: The Platinum Hotel in Al Khuwair, Sultanate of Oman

LOL@ CG OPNO for her comment about cocktails and my religiousity on the Sifaway Hotel review, here is my counter review of the Platinum Hotel in Al Khuwair, Central Muscat, Oman. I remember when I saw the Platinum under construction and hoped fervently it would be a new set of apartment flats for rent there. No such luck. But I can more likely afford to stay here on a one night basis than I could to rent a flat in such a building! :)The Platinum is a reltively new hotel in Al Khuwair made of pink Jodphur Indian marble, and finished in the Moghul style with a touch of an Arabic influence. As you can tell from the the photos of the lobby below, it has a misleading old world charm to it, belying its age.I checked in here one night after I had happened to lock myself out of my flat really late. Rooms range on average from 56-89.000 Omani rials, BUT, they do barter depending on hotel occupency on the rates. My room was 45.000! Impressive.TIP: The staff will let one who knows a little piano, play the custom grand piano, the only one of its kind thus far in a public place in Oman. So if you are musically inclined... ;) This was my exact room. I found it TOTALLY spacious and comfortable and it had all the ammenities I needed included... a fully stocked NON-ALCOHOLIC bar. This hotel chose not to go the liquor license path most hotels feel they need to go to attract tourists in the Middle East. And I totally respect them for that and as a Muslim want to support them;). And this was my bathroom:My friends who have all checked in here opted for the more luxey room pictured below which has a huge marble bath and living area en suite.Since I only spent the night I only had breakfast [which was decently good in a continental way]. I ate in the dining area pictured here below:Since I only ate the breakfast which came with the price of my room I shouldn't review the dining options but Andy did a great review of the dining options here: hotel also has a great rooftop swimming pool and gym for guests, and free parking.Photos courtesy of & the Platinum's own website.

If you are interested in checking in, check out their website or call
(968) 2439 2500