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OMAN in the eyes of foreigners (Muscat)

Oman in the eyes of foreigners
By Maryam Khalfan -

Call it a book of reference or a good companion for any visitor to the Sultanate. The travel guide Protected content To See and Do in Oman provides an insight into some of the most attractive and memorable tourist spots in the country as seen by foreigners.
Authored by an international squad of travel writers, publishers and award-winning photographers, this Protected content book is part of a series of five other travel guides, which are specifically designed to promote tourism of the respective countries.
The guide has concisely been prepared by a group of eight professionals from diverse ethnicity and traditions, who are indeed familiar with the countries of the Middle East and have been part of its societies. It is indeed a comprehensive handbook, which can help travellers make their trip really memorable in various aspects, right from the start to the end of their travel in the Sultanate.
The guide, which is in fact intended for use as a marketing and promotion tool for the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) to highlight the Sultanate as a potential destination for inbound and outbound tourism, has left no stone unturned in pointing out the Protected content To See and Do in Oman, as described on the cover page.
This handbook, which provides travellers with an opportunity to jot down some of the adventurous experiences in the travel notes section on each of the respective areas of visit, gives an accurate summary of information about the potential tourist destinations of Oman. It also inspires and gives both inbound and domestic tourists an insight on the important tips that make a trip of a traveller memorable.
This handy and light-weight handbook also explores some of the prominent and highly recognised tourist attractions. Among such attractions, for instance, include some of the Sultanate’s tourist destinations, which are currently under protection of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), which undertakes the task of protecting some of the natural wonders of the world.
The guide further explores an array of attractions ranging from the magnificent natural appeal of the beaches to the unimaginable deserts, the splendid mountains and the astonishing forts, a legacy of the Sultanate’s heritage and culture.
Other attractions include some of the 10 souvenirs and mementoes a traveller can find and purchase from any of the tourist destinations around the country.
On the social aspects, the guide gives tourists an insight into the 10 Things to remember when visiting the Sultanate in an assortment of issues varying from the visa facets to social traditions of the Sultanate, its hospitality and local customs.
It further looks into the topographical and climatic conditions of the country and the keenness of the Sultanate to preserve its ecological and archaeological wealth, which has over the years been conserved.
Impressively, the guide gives ideal solution and ideas to travellers based on their travel needs.
Whether the tourist is either a historian or nature lover or an adrenaline junkie who loves to enjoy the ecstatic beauty of the Sultanate, the guide provides an insightful itinerary for travellers to plan their schedule according to their needs.
Also attractive in this guide is a section which provides a tourist with a diary of useful information and collection of contacts about the foreign diplomatic missions in the Sultanate.
Equally attractive are some of the common phrases used in communication to link the tourists with the locals in their native languages. Tourists also get an opportunity to learn from the easily illustrated and translated Arabic numerals, which is indeed useful for their own convenience.
Also unique about this guide is the road map which specifically displays the site plans of Muscat Governorate including a diary of the locations of the hotels, museums, forts, gardens and parks, recreation clubs, medical services, souqs and commercial centres and so on.
The summarised section, which is dubbed as The Digest, gives an abstract about the important telephone numbers that a traveller may need to know in case of an emergency. Among such contacts for instance includes the contact numbers of major hospitals, flight information and the international operator.
Initially, the current stock of this guide will exclusively be used by the MoT to promote the Sultanate. But, subsequently, the ministry plans to make the book available at all hypermarkets, bookshops, duty-free and other outlets dealing with promotion of tourism within and beyond the boundaries of the country, according to the ministry.
The guide has been published by the Arab World Tours, a Bahraini-based firm, which specialises in promoting travel in the region, in association with A Type of Magic Inc, a Canadian publishing and designing firm. This book is the 2nd edition of its kind.
The editor squad of professionals behind this task include Sarah Clarke, the principal writer, Ali Hussain Mushaima, the publisher, Archie D’Cruz, the Editor and Director, and Carlo Olinarez, the Designer. Also, the board of professionals includes a team of photographers — Bart Van Bambost, Haider Rafiey, Julie Petit-Jean and Shafeeq Khalaf.

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