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Realm of Sultans- Oman

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Oman

The Sultanate of Oman, considered as a hidden jewel at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman offers an excellent combination of heritage and modern life. Omani’s are very hospitable people and during travelling through the country, locals may invite you to have coffee and dates at their houses, an offer that never to be refused. From mountains and deep gorges to water-filled wadis (valley of a stream) and endless beaches and some of the stunning desert landscapes, diverse beauty of Oman can be sight throughout the country.

Oman received independence from Britain in 1951, following independence the country brought them under the leadership of Sultan Said bin Taimur, however not until his son His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin said ascended to the throne in 1970 that Oman entered a modern renaissance evolving into the contemporary and forward facing country it is today. It is His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s foresight that has helped Oman to secure prosperity and ensure that the country remains one of the safest countries in the world.

Oman’s population is just around 4 million people, Oman is an Islamic country that with an acceptance of other religions and cultures, allows anyone to practice their faith freely without any prejudice. Oman has seen the rapid transformation to modern society since 1970 and has never lost sight of its roots. Traditional Omani culture is embedded in nearly every aspect of daily life, from clothing and food to arts and craft and the hospitality the Locals show the visitors. The unique Omani culture and heritage continue today in many of the same ways it has seen for hundreds of years.

Muscat means Anchorage – Stunning modern capital of Oman offering a combination of old and new. Mountains and deserts surround Muscat while sea and fishing today remains an important industry. Muscat is also a busy port city. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is an architectural masterpiece with 50 meters dome and beautiful Persian carpet, the mosque can accommodate 20,000 people. Muscat’s old Muttrah (administratively a district) quarter, this known for its labyrinthine souk and bustling fish market and famous Corniche waterfront promenade. One can also catch the glimpse of the Sultan’s residence, a colourful Al Alam Palace built in the contemporary Islamic style. Muscat offers several museums exhibiting Omani culture and crafts. The Royal Opera House presents international performances. Shatti and Ourum are popular beaches that offer great experiences to beach admirers. Lagoon and Reefs at Bandar Jissah and Bandar Khayran are located close to Muscat, which is popular for diving.

Muscat offers abundance choices for visitors from world-class shows to fine dining at one of the many restaurants scattered across the capital or shopping for traditional souvenirs at Muttrah Souq to museums and art galleries showcasing Omani traditions and art. Even when the summer temperatures are at its peak in the rest part of Oman, Dhofar and mountaintops of Al Hajar range serve cooler temperatures on their overture.

Jay Kantawala founder of WIYO Travel contemplates that, ”Oman is a relatively unexplored destination and has a lot to offer to the tourist, the country is well- connected from major cities in India with daily direct flights. One can explore Oman for a short break or even for a week to 10 days. Micro-trips can be held here by exuberant travellers”.

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10 die as ships with Indian crew catch fire off Russia

Preliminary information said the fire erupted on Monday night due to the failure of a pump being used to transfer fuel between the two vessels — Candy and Maestro — in violation of security regulations.

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Moscow, Jan 22 (IANS) At least 10 people were killed in a fire that broke out on two ships, both carrying Indian crew, near the Kerch Strait that separates Crimea and Russia, emergency officials said. The victims have not been identified yet.

Preliminary information said the fire erupted on Monday night due to the failure of a pump being used to transfer fuel between the two vessels — Candy and Maestro — in violation of security regulations, reports Efe news.

According to Russia’s TASS news agency, Candy had a crew of 17 — eight Indian nationals and nine Turks. The Maestro carried seven Indians, seven Turks and an intern from Libya.

A spokesman from Russia’s Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport told TASS on Tuesday that 12 people had been rescued and there were no chances of finding any more survivors.

“The fire on ships continues… It will not be extinguished until all the gas burns out,” the spokesman said.

The Indian embassy in Moscow was in touch with the agencies in Russia to get more information and extend whatever help that may be necessary, the External Affairs Ministry said in Delhi.

The rescued sailors have not yet been brought to the shore because of bad weather, he added.

Both vessels were flying Tanzanian flags. One of them was a liquefied natural gas carrier and another one was a tanker, reports RT News.

Maritime traffic was not affected by the incident and navigation through the Kerch Strait is still open, the director of the Crimean Sea Ports said.

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Green activists to build a Taj with plastic/polythene waste in Agra

Eco-bricks are made of plastic bottles that are stuffed with polythene bags and sealed.

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Taj mahal

Agra, Jan 22 : Green activists will attempt to construct a Taj Mahal with plastic and polythene waste at the Etmauddaula viewpoint park on the Yamuna river here.

At a workshop here by NGO Unfold Foundation to train activists on making eco-bricks with plastic bottles, members of the River Connect Campaign announced they would work on putting together a model of the Taj Mahal with these building blocks. The efforts could take around six months.

Eco-bricks are made of plastic bottles that are stuffed with polythene bags and sealed.

“This is a highly cost effective waste-control exercise based on common sense. We collect used plastic bottles, pack them with packing material, gutkha pouches and polythene, make the bottles air tight and seal them. The bottles become rock solid and are good enough to last 500 years,” Dr Meeta Kulshreshtha, a surgeon, and coordinator of Unfold Foundation, told IANS.

“If one person can give us one bottle filled with waste material, in one year, we will have 20 lakh such eco-bricks to build any solid structure,” Programme Convener Harvijay Bahia said.

River Connect Campaign member Chaturbhuj Tiwari said: “Every week when we clean a patch of Yamuna riverbed, we gather heaps of polythene and used plastic material. If we can manage to fill all this in plastic bottles and jars, we could not only help solve a major urban problem, but have material ready for a structure to be used by the public. Tree guards, benches and stools are among the products that can be made.”

The Taj city daily generates around a thousand tons of civic garbage, most of it plastic and polythene waste.

“If each household starts filling up bottles with used polythene bags and sliced plastic, we could easily prevent pollution of rivers and water bodies and also avoid choking of drains and sewer lines,” social activist Shravan Kumar Singh said.

(Brij Khandelwal can be reached at [email protected])

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DGCA restricts P&W powered Airbus A320 Neo aircraft from flying to Port Blair

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Indigo-Airlines

New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Civil aviation regulator DGCA has restricted budget airlines IndiGo and GoAir’s flight services operated on Airbus A320 Neo aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines to Port Blair.

A public notice issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday read: “The restriction imposed on flight operations to Port Blair with A320 NEO aircraft.”

The two budget airlines operate the Airbus A320 Neo aircraft fitted with P&W 1100 series engines.

The restriction comes after the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the DGCA held a meeting with IndiGo, GoAir, engine manufacturer P&W and aircraft maker Airbus on January 8 to review safety-related incidents with Airbus A320 Neo aircraft, powered by P&W.

Consequently, it was decided that civil aviation regulator will issue an “Additional Directive” on safety protocols for P&W engines which power Airbus A320 aircraft.

On Thursday, the regulator also directed the airlines to “… Create awareness among cabin and cockpit crew about odor or burning smell or smoke (even if slightest) during approach phase and positive reporting to cockpit crew for necessary action.”

Besides, additional measures like “Inspection of 3rd stage LPT blade” at every weekly inspection among others have been mandated.

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