Dubai2 English Edition

petak, 24.03.2006.

Nuts of Muscat

Last week I was in Muscat. I know that you will associate word “Muscat” with famous vine that comes from Setubal in Portugal and now it is produced all over Mediterranean Sea, or with famous nuts of Muscat, but here we are talking about Omani capital.
In medieval and up to 18th century, Sultanate of Muscat was naval power and they were ruling this part of world. They were something like Venice, having sovereignty over territory of today’s Oman, Yemen, UAE and parts of Saudi Arabia that they shared with Turks. They also controlled southern Baluchistan, historical province today split between Iran and Pakistan. Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique also recognized power of Sultan as their sovereign.
However, Sultanate had one trouble that was bothering them for centuries: Imam of Oman, which was in that time separate state in interior part of what we call Oman today and his tribes never recognized full power of Sultan and peace between them was maintained by numerous agreements which were broken on regular basis. Seeing these controlled areas, it is easy to conclude that main business was trading with slaves.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

In the beginning of 19th century Muscat lost its premium position in Eastern Africa trade and withdraws in front of British expansion, which results with loss of major overseas territories. Coastal part within Persian Gulf was given to local emirs who controlled it in behalf of British “Imperium” according to several truces signed by English envoy and emirs. That is why UAE were called “Trucial Oman”.
In 1856 Sultan died without successor, and internal strle for power begins. Insurgency in interior was finished by compromise, and whole territory was united under name “Muscat and Oman” that was kept until 1970’s, and power was shared between Sultan of Muscat and Imam of Oman. However, after discovering oil in region British representatives backed Sultan as he was more cooperative, while Imam refused to give exploring license. Situation was again solved with war in which Sultanate of Muscat, supported by British army gain control over interior part, and new compromise brought new state on the map in 1957: Sultanate of Oman, in which Sultanate of Muscat gives its name in exchange for sovereignty over whole Muscat and Oman.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Today, Oman is modern monarchy oriented toward western world. The same as Dubai, Oman is free trade zone, but Sultan Qaboos, loved and respected by Omanis, who is running the country for over 37 years is not keen to allow investment boom as in Dubai. He is more enthusiastic about modest development that will guarantee prosperity to whole nation, including every single Omani national, out of about 3 millions that live in Oman. As you can see, the population density is very low, as Oman has ľ of Croatian population although it is 5 times bigger.
Oman has two enclaves. Wadi al Madhah is small enclave surrounded by UAE, while Musandam is bigger region on top of Saudi peninsula and having it under control Oman controls traffic through Hormuz straits. You remember Musandam from last year, aren’t you?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

City of Muscat is formed around fortified port, and late it was extended toward west. For urbanism fans, it is something like our Dubrovnik, but much smaller and much less amazing than our “Pearl of Adria”. Contrary to Dubai, Muscat still have medieval and oriental stamp that can give you short impression that you are in traditional Orient. Again contrary to Dubai, Muscat doesn’t have business centre with high rising giants for concrete, steel and glass. Its buildings are rather oriental styled, low, all in white, decorated in rules of Islam and they are not “hostile” to surroundings. This is Sultan’s Palace…

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Despite the biggest mosque of Muscat is in front of his nose…

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

…His Majesty has its own.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Sultan Qaboos is beloved among people. He was given the poor, divided and razed country destroyed by wars between Sultan of Muscat and Imam of Oman. Today it is rich and prosper country with approx. 13000$ GDP per capita. It is 3 times less than Qatar or half of UAE, but it is double than Croatia. Interesting, Slovenia has higher GDP per capita than Oman, although there is no oil in Alps.Unfortunately, I was already in Oman with ticket booked for always-late airline, Emirates, when I realized that I can use road from Dubai and the trip is less than 4 hours. Besides the usual delay in Emirates Airlines (95 minutes delay for 38 minutes flight), the plane was full of old seniors that went to see annual phenomena of turtle nesting on Ras al Hadd island. It is really interesting that almost 13 thousands turtles from Gulf, Arabian Sea, read Sea an whole east African coast are coming here to leave their eggs. It will be especially interesting to Barbara and Elvira that didn’t believe that Goran and I saw turtles and that claimed that it was out after-beer-illusion (see post from January 14th). So, this 13 thousands should not be illusion, as it is obviously that lot of people go there to see that. As the audience was 70+, they were searching gate 23 much longer that Madagascar turtle swims to Oman, and that cause delay, so there were not photo cruise over Muscat, as we came exactly before meeting. Therefore, the photos are borrowed from the net.
Like any other Arabian city, Muscat have interesting souq

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

…and they are especially proud with spice souq, where you can find nut of Muscat in 1001 form, and shape…

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

…and as they were naval power, they have original fish market…

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Soon the Sun run from sky over Muscat into the ocean…

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

…and the city was shining like a diamond from 1001 night.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Unfortunately, I could enjoy magnificent Muscat night only from balcony of Radisson SAS. Tough day fixed me to the bed and next I can remember is breakfast on pool terrace. We had one more meeting, shorter than we expected, and we were running to the airport to catch early flight back. While our office Peugeot 607 was sliding toward airport I decided to spend one of following weekends in Muscat. Then we should see more. In one hour we were already in our office in Dubai and on the desk there was a plan for next trip…

- 22:16 - Comment post (1) - Print - #

<< Arhiva >>

< ožujak, 2006 >
P U S Č P S N
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    


Dnevnik.hr
Gol.hr
Zadovoljna.hr
OYO.hr
NovaTV.hr
DomaTV.hr
Mojamini.tv

Dubai again?

  • Image Hosted by ImageShack.us HRVATSKI

    This is new chapter in story about magnificent multinational metropolis in Middle East. Story started last autumn, but it was suddenly stopped when author of blog dubai.blog.hr decided to leave this interesting city. As we stay here, we will try to make Dubai closer to you.
    If you have to ask something that is not appropriate for post comments please mail it to blogdubai2@gmail.com

Links

What is in fact Dubai?

  • If you look at the encyclopedia of Croatian Lexicographic Section, you will have totally wrong picture of Dubai: even the frequently published maps of local publisher can not follow the incredible fast city development. Almost one skyscraper per day beat all the records and tributes we paid to Croatian high-way builders.
    Dubai doubles number of living units within 5 years, and in year 2010 10 out of 20 higher world buildings will be in one street only in Dubai.
    So, Dubai was small town that can thank for it establishing to long narrow bay called Khor (Creek) due to its river-shape that goes 15 km in the desert (or sometimes desert as area around creek is now inhabited). Owner of this part of the desert, sheik from family Maktoum of Bani Yas near to Abu Dhabi, built house on entrance to this strategic important bay in order to collect money for ship entrance. Soon the trade post and market place were developed, and discovery of oil, that participate in Dubai budget with just 8%, just accelerate the idea of sheikh successor, Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum, of turning a small trade town into regional center. Six out of ten independent emirates made union that we call UAE in December 1972, later followed by 7th emirate of Ras al Khaimah, while Bahrain and Qatar decided to become sovereign states. More than 7/8 of UAE area belongs to emirate of Abu Dhabi, formal capital of federation. Although it is consisted of emirates, small monarchies, UAE are federation lead by chosen President, so they are not monarchy. However, members of the Union are independent monarchies having common defense, foreign and monetary affairs, while all other aspects such as education, health system, police and social affairs are separated.
    As Abu Dhabi emirate is the biggest and it have more than 90% of oil reserves, president of Federation was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, noble and generous man with vision. From his ancestors he get small oasis of Al Ain, in 1940’s, having just few camels and Bedouins. Al Ain is today big and developed quarter-million people city.
    Vice president of UAE and prime minister was Sheikh Rashid Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, and other sheiks shared ministry functions, leading the country toward fulfillment of right to decent life for local population, social and health protection, high education and global prosperity of the nation.
    Today their ideal in continued in work of their successor, mostly in great achievements of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 3rd son of Sheikh Rashid, that have a vision of turning Dubai into city of future. Besides first seven-star hotel, Burj-Al-Arab, and incredible conventional development Dubai builds several project that can be compared with world biggest building achievements. Miles of islands in shape of palms, islad archipelago in shape of world map, underwater hotels, new Disneyland and residential compounds with highest constructions on the world makes Dubai one of the most interested and exciting world destinations.
    Although the visitor can not see this in his first look to the city, because it is just a little bit larger than Munich, longitudinally stretched through the coast of the Gulf, with the same traffic jams like Munich due to disproportion in city growth and infrastructure reshaping.
    Dubai has approx. 1.4 million of inhabitants, of which just 16% are “locals”. Others are immigrated “working power” mostly from India and Pakistan what decrease the level of services provided in Dubai. Details will be (or were) published in posts on blog. From the other side, Dubai has other interesting characteristics: It is one of the safest cities on the world. It is not point of interest of two sides involved in conflict between Islamic fundamentalists and some western countries. Crime rate is extraordinary low, and the city is open only to rich tourists and immigrant with secured job, both after comprehensive checking and documenting.
    Dubai is tax free zone.
    Dubai is shopping center for both rich local and western tourists (including extremely rich Russians) and low class societies from southern Asia.
    Dubai is in the desert, but it has thousands of square meters under grass that is regularly watered. Dubai consumes large quantities of water, artificially produced in desalinization process. Although each water drop must be produced, in Dubai the water bill is not accompanied with additional taxes and additional costs like in Europe, and there is not VAT, so the water bill is comparable to European.
    In Dubai one liter of petrol is approx. 0.30 euro. The difference between this low price and normal European petrol portion in family budget is covered with high consimprion: distances are huge, and everyone drives 4x4 cars…
    In any case, it is all very interesting, but also very unnatural and artificial (except the surrounding environment), and the opinion about Dubai is left to your personal impression.

Blog.hr koristi kolačiće za pružanje boljeg korisničkog iskustva. Postavke kolačića mogu se kontrolirati i konfigurirati u vašem web pregledniku. Više o kolačićima možete pročitati ovdje. Nastavkom pregleda web stranice Blog.hr slažete se s korištenjem kolačića. Za nastavak pregleda i korištenja web stranice Blog.hr kliknite na gumb "Slažem se".Slažem se