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Thursday, December 30, 2010

تحطم ثلاثة أقمار صناعية روسية لنظام تحديد الموقع جلوناس

موسكو - «رويترز»: أقال الرئيس الروسي ديمتري ميدفيديف مسؤولين روسيين كبيرين بقطاع الفضاء أمس بسبب تحطم ثلاثة أقمار صناعية في البحر الشهر الحالي.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bangalore successfully performed a bone marrow transplant on Omani girl

Dubai, Dec 29, (PTI) :

A three-year-old girl in Oman, who was diagnosed with leukaemia six months back, has got a new lease of life after doctors in Bangalore successfully performed a bone marrow transplant on her.

Calls for Talks on Korean Maritime Boundary

An international group dedicated to preventing conflict warns of the risk of a wider conflict on the Korean peninsula. The report comes a month after an exchange of artillery fire that left four South Koreans dead.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oman: Population 2,694,094

By Kaushalendra Singh -

1,951,100 citizens and 742,994 expats


MUSCAT — The preliminary results of 2010 census show that the Sultanate’s population has gone up to 2,694,094 in 2010 from 2,340,815 in 2003. Out of the total population of 2,694,094 there are 1,951,100 Omanis and 742,994 expatriates.

النتائج الأولية لتعداد سلطنة عمان 2010

قام بالتغطية - زكريا فكري

مليونين و 694 ألف نسمــة تعـداد سكان السلطنة منهم 743 ألف وافد 

أعلن أمس معالي أحمد بن عبد النبي مكي وزير الاقتصاد الوطني والمشرف العام على تعداد 2010 النتائج الأولية للعد الفعلي للسكان والمساكن والمنشآت التي تم تنفيذها خلال الفترة من 12 الى 21 ديسمبر 2010 والتي اقتصرت على أعداد الوحدات المشمولة بالعد، وهي المساكن والأسر والأفراد كما كانت عليه منتصف ليلة 12 ديسمبر 2010م، موزعة على المحافظات والمناطق. حيث بلغ إجمالي عدد المساكن حسب تعداد 2010 م، (546) ألف مسكن مقارنة بـ (431 ) ألف مسكن في تعداد 2003 م. وبلغ عدد الأسر (401) ألف أسرة، منها (259) ألف أسرة عمانية وبما يعادل (64.6%)، مقارنة بـ (343) ألف أسرة في تعداد 2003 منها (225) ألفا وبما يعادل (65.6%) أسرة عمانية. بلغ إجمالي سكان السلطنة (2.694) مليون نسمة، منهم (1.951) مليون عماني، و(743) ألف وافد بما يعادل (27.6%) من إجمالي السكان. وذلك مقارنة بـ (2.341) ألف نسمة حسب تعداد 2003، منهم (1.782) ألف عماني و(559) ألف وافد.

Monday, December 27, 2010

UAE consumers considering stocking up on necessities from neighbouring Oman

Praseeda Nair
27 December 2010, 6:26

AMInstability in world food prices has hit shopping baskets in the Emirates hard, with many consumers considering stocking up on necessities from neighbouring Oman.

Fresh fruit, vegetables and other commodities continue to rise sharply, with prices of vegetables having increased by 9.49 per cent, and fruits reaching 6.29 per cent — a startling figure considering the Emirate’s history in enjoying fresh produce in abundance.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tour guides in Oman are leading the way towards self-employment

Dec 25, 2010

Young tour guides are leading the way towards self-employment as the local job market is getting tighter. Thanks to a rise in the number of tourists visiting Oman this year.

Saudi-Oman road construction gathers pace

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
ARAB NEWS

Published: Dec 25, 2010 23:20 Updated: Dec 25, 2010 23:20

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to open its first land border point with Oman in 2012 by constructing 592 km of road through the Empty Quarter, one of the largest deserts in the world. “We have completed 89 percent of the road project,” said Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry.

يجب اتخاذ إجراءات لسرعة الحد من إمكانية اندلاع حرب حقيقية بين الكوريتين

سيول ــ وكالات: أوصت مجموعة الأزمات الدولية في دراسة نشرت أمس بإجراء تحكيم دولي لإعادة تحديد الحدود البحرية في البحر الأصفر بين الكوريتين وخفض خطر

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oman and Japan reiterated their desire to strengthen heritage and cultural field

ravindranath@khaleejtimes.com
22 December 2010

MUSCAT — The Sultanate of Oman and Japan reiterated their desire to strengthen two-way ties, particularly in the heritage and cultural field, at the opening of an ‘Oman Cultural Week’ in Tokyo on Monday.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oman Air awarded for Technology Implementation of the Year category

Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, was recently awarded for its introduction of in-flight mobile phone and Wi-Fi connectivity at fourth annual Aviation Business Awards 2010 in Abu Dhabi.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oman inaugurates the container carrier "Fanja"

- Amal Hasson

Sunday, 19 December 2010 22:39


Oman (Muscat) - The first voyage of the container carrier "Fanja" from the Sultanate's ports to the ports of the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea was inaugurated in Port Sultan Qaboos today under the auspices of Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of National Economy, Deputy Chairman of the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council and Chairman of Oman Shipping Company (OSC) in the presence of officials and ambassadors to the Sultanate and chairmen of the companies operating in various shipping fields in the Sultanate.

Iranian Parliament Approves Iran-Oman Security Pact

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian parliament on Sunday approved a bill that allows Tehran to implement an agreement on security cooperation and coordination with Oman.

The bill was approved with 136 votes in favor, 4 against and 6 abstentions.

The bill includes 10 articles that cover fields of cooperation, practice mechanisms, joint working groups, implementation and contact sources, financial expenditures, avoiding requests, interpretation of rules and regulations, settlement of differences, exchange of documents and data, implementation of the agreement and the final regulations.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

والحكمة عمانية

د.علي سيف حسن
رئيس منتدى التنمية السياسية في البمن السعيد الإهداء إلى الصديق محمد بن سعيد بن حارب المحروقي الذي برفقته تعرفت على ملامح الحكمة العمانية.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oman's efforts to facilitate the release of the 15 members of the British Royal Navy seized by Iranian forces

Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 12:57
C O N F I D E N T I A L MUSCAT 000359
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
EO 12958 DECL: 04/11/2017
TAGS PREL, IR, MU

SUBJECT: BRITISH AMBASSADOR LAUDS OMANI ROLE IN IRAN'S

RELEASE OF CAPTIVE SAILORS

Classified By: Ambassador Gary A. Grappo for Reasons 1.4 (b, d)

1. (C) During a May 11 meeting with the Ambassador, British Ambassador Noel Guckian expressed great satisfaction with Oman's efforts to facilitate the release of the 15 members of the British Royal Navy seized by Iranian forces on March 23. Guckian stated that he had been in near daily contact with Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yousef bin Alawi during the crisis, and that bin Alawi had been "very supportive." According to Guckian, bin Alawi called Ali Larijani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, "a number of times" to urge the immediate release of the captive sailors.

2. (C) Guckian also confirmed that he received a phone call from bin Alawi on April 4 in the early afternoon informing him that Iranian President Ahmadinejad would shortly be making a public announcement which would be "very favorable." Bin Alawi had apparently just received the news himself from Larijani. (Note: Guckian was at the Ambassador's residence for a business lunch when bin Alawi called him. End note.)

3. (C) The UK Ambassador reiterated that the Omanis had been very supportive throughout the crisis and even credited them in some part for the successful outcome. It was an occasion, he concluded, when Oman's "positive but non-substantive" relationship with Tehran actually proved useful to the Omanis and an important Omani ally. GRAPPO

World newsThe US embassy cables • US foreign policy • Iran • Oman UK newsMilitary PoliticsForeign policy More on this storyCable: Vatican 'helped secure release' of British sailors captured by Iran

Cable: Iran's capture of British sailors 'less risky than antagonising US'
Cable: Ahmadinejad ordered capture of British servicemen 'for domestic reasons'
Cable: Iraqi president calls on Iran to release British sailors
Cable: Bahraini prince 'wonders why British sailors let themselves be caught' by Iran

More on the US embassy cables
Related

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US embassy cables: Oman sultan resists Iranian charm offensive

28 Nov 2010

US embassy cables: Omani official wary of Iranian expansionism

10 Dec 2010
Pope helped to free British sailors held by Iran, WikiLeaks cables show

10 Dec 2010
US embassy cables: Iran's capture of British sailors 'less risky than antagonising US'

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

Published in
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/103972

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oman Tourism Global Marketing Campaign starts first in Australia

Source = Oman Tourism

Last night over 80 travel industry and media professionals were immersed in Arabian hospitality at the Oman Tourism function which was held at 'Souk in the City' in Sydney.

The 2011 Tour of Oman will cover a hillier route

By: Stephen Farrand, Published December 9, 18:18,


The Tour of Oman will cover a hillier route in 2011 with a finish on the slopes of the Jebel Akhdar mountain and an 18km individual time trial.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

دورة الألعاب الآسيوية الشاطئية مسقط 2010 تنطلق بحضور البحار أحمد بن ماجد التاريخي تحت رعاية فهد بن محمود آل سعيد

(بسم الله.. وبمشيئته.. نعلن افتتاح دورة الألعاب الآسيوية الشاطئية مسقط 2010 متمنين لكافة المشاركين في الدورة التوفيق والنجاح مع كل الشكر والتقدير لكل من ساهم في هذا الانجاز الكبير.. والشكر لكل من تحدث في حفل الافتتاح ولجاك روج رئيس اللجنة الاولمبية الدولية على تلبية الدعوة لحضور حفل الافتتاح.. بارك الله في جهودكم ووفقكم الله لما فيه صالح الخير ونبل الرياضة).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gay men and women may still not be able to serve openly in the USA armed forces

By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Published: December 6, 2010
MUSCAT, Oman — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates cast doubt Monday that the Senate would vote before the end of the year to allow gay men and women to serve openly in the armed forces.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

الحكم بالسجن المطلق في جريمة القرصنة الواقعة على شاطئ مرباط

بنصر من الله وتمكينه فإنه في يوم الأحد الموافق 28/11/2010م نطقت محكمة الاستئناف بصلالة عدلاً على المتهمين الأفارقة الإثني عشر الذين

Friday, December 3, 2010

قطرتنظم بطولة العالم لكرة القدم 2022

الجزيرة الرياضية

فازت قطر بشرف تنظيم بطولة العالم لكرة القدم 2022 بعد تفوقها في المنافسة النهائية على الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

اللائحة التنظيمية للمؤسسات التدريبية في سلطنة عمان

لقاء مع مدير ضبط المعايير المهنية بوازرة القوى العاملة حول الموضوع

Internet2 network in the Sultanate

MUSCAT: A study is being carried out to set up Internet2 network in the Sultanate, said Hilal Al Hinai, The Research Council (TRC) general secretary, at the Internet2 Middle East Regional Interest Group Meeting yesterday.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oman Air to Milan

Oman Air, the National Carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, is to launch a new service between Muscat and Milan in the first week of December. Oman Air's internationally-acclaimed A330 aircraft will touch down at Milan's Malpensa Airport for the first time on Friday 3rd December and the airline will then operate four flights per week in each direction.

Announcing the new route, Oman Air's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Hill said, "We are delighted to be launching our new service to Milan; our 41st destination and the ninth we have unveiled this year. As Italy's capital of culture, design and fashion, and one of the world's great business and financial centres, Milan is sure to be a popular destination for travellers from Oman and from many other destinations within our rapidly-expanding network. The new service also offers travellers from Italy a great opportunity to discover the beauty and hospitality of Oman."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Desert Tourism in Oman

In the Omani desert of Sharqiya Sands, Sean Mooney crosses an ocean of dunes to reach the water.

The secret to a successful desert crossing lies in the preparation. You need plenty of food and water, spare tyres, extra fuel and a shovel in case you have to dig your way out of trouble. But we find much more than the basics in the Sinaw Provisions Store, our last stop before we enter the Sharqiya Sands, a great sea of dunes covering much of the Sultanate of Oman's eastern flank.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

أمريكا تدعم طلب الهند الحصول على مقعد دائم في مجلس الأمن

عواصم - «وكالات»: عبر الرئيس الأمريكي باراك أوباما أمس عن دعمه طلب الهند الحصول على مقعد دائم في مجلس الأمن الدولي داعيا أكبر ديمقراطية في العالم لتأخذ مكانها “الشرعي” بين القوى العظمى.

Oman and China enhancing their ties

MASCAT, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to enhance its ties with Oman by promoting mutual trust and cooperating more closely in such fields as trade, energy and culture, China's top political adviser Jia Qinglin said here Monday.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oman most-improved nation in last 40 years followed by China

By Tavia Grant
Globe and Mail Update
Published Thursday, Nov. 04, 2010 11:41AM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Nov. 04, 2010 11:42AM EDT

Life is better in most nations since UN began tracking human development index 20 years ago, but progress hasn't been uniform .
 
Basic aspects of life such as health and education have improved for the vast majority of the planet's population in the past two decades, with the greatest strides seen in the poorest countries, a United Nations report said Thursday.

The UN's human development index, launched in its 20th edition, shows that while development has not been uniform, huge steps in areas such as life expectancy, school enrolment, literacy and income means its index of 135 countries has climbed 18 per cent since 1990 and 41 per cent since 1970.

نجحت سلطنة عمان في اعادة بناء الانسان

محمد أنعم

خلو سلطنة عمان من عناصر القاعدة.. و جماعات التكفير.. ومن عباد الـ (تي ان تي)  والأحزمة الناسفة.. من مشعلي الفتن الطائفية والمناطقية.. ومن أحفاد ابن العلقمي وأبو رغال.. وحجاج السفارات.. وكذا خلوها من قطاع الطرق، والقتلة.. والخاطفين.. والثارات ومن فرق الموت التي تسعى الى إبادة مواطني جزيرة العرب بدعوى تحرير فلسطين.. و.. و...الخ.

كل هذا التميُّز الاستثناء في المنطقة يجعلنا نقف أمام التجربة الرائدة التي تقدمها السلطنة للإنسانية بتواضع العظماء في تجفيف بؤر الارهاب من خلال التجسيد الصادق لنهج الوسطية والاعتدال وتحصين الشباب من التطرف والتعصب والغلو..

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

تعديلات الأحكام المنظِّمة للعلاقة بين ملاك ومستأجري المساكن في المرسوم السلطاني 107/2010

مسقط – محمود بن سعيد العوفي  


تضمّنت تعديلات الأحكام المنظِّمة للعلاقة بين ملّاك ومستأجري المساكن، والمحال التجارية والصناعية، وتسجيل عقود الإيجار الخاصة بها في المرسوم السلطاني

سلطان عمان ينعم بمكرمة سامية على موظفي الجهاز الإداري للدولة والمتقاعدين

مسقط - العمانية 

تفضل حضرة صاحب الجلالة السلطان قابوس بن سعيد المعظم -حفظه الله ورعاه- فأنعم بمكرمة سامية على موظفي الجهاز الإداري للدولة والمتقاعدين

من موظفي الحكومة وذلك بمناسبة العيد الوطني الأربعين المجيد. جاء ذلك في بيان أصدره ديوان البلاط السلطاني اليوم فيما يلي نصه : "استمرارا للمكارم السامية تفضل حضرة صاحب الجلالة

السلطان المعظم -حفظه الله ورعاه- وأنعم على موظفي الجهاز الإداري للدولة والمتقاعدين من موظفي الحكومة وذلك بمناسبة العيد الوطني الأربعين المجيد وفقا للآتي:

* راتب أساسي واحد للمدنيين العمانيين شاغلي الدرجة المالية الثالثة فأعلى من جدول درجات الخدمة المدنية وما يعادلها في أنظمة الخدمة الأخرى والعسكريين من رتبة ملازم أول فأعلى.

* راتبان أساسيان للمدنيين العمانيين شاغلي الدرجة الرابعة فما دون من جدول درجات الخدمة المدنية وما يعادلها في أنظمة الخدمة الأخرى والعسكريين من رتبة ملازم ثان فأقل.

* مكرمة مالية بما يعادل (40 بالمائة) من المعاش التقاعدي للمتقاعدين من موظفي الحكومة المدنيين والعسكريين.

أيد الله جلالته بحفظه ورعايته وأمده بتوفيقه وعنايته وأعاد عليه هذه المناسبة المجيدة أعواما مديدة وأزمنة عديدة إنه سميع مجيب.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to demarcate their disputed border

Thursday, July 22, 2010    

ABU DHABI — Two leading Gulf Arab states have agreed to demarcate their disputed border. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have agreed to a project that would demarcate their 250-kilometer border. The two countries have selected and signed a contract with a New Zealand firm to conduct the border delineation. "The contract was signed and maps will be drawn in accordance with extremely high standards," Kuwaiti Interior Deputy Undersecretary Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al Muhana said.

Al Muhana said New Zealand's NZ Aerial Mapping was awarded the contract to delineate the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. The general, who said several companies competed for the project, did not specify the value of the contract.

"The company will soon begin operations," Al Muhana, responsible for border security, said.

On July 20, the two Gulf Cooperation Council states concluded border talks in the Saudi port of Jedda, Middle East Newsline reported. The Saudi delegation was led by Maj. Gen. Zamim Al Sawat, director-general of the Saudi Border Guard.

Officials said both GCC states have formed technical teams to monitor the border demarcation. They said Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have enhanced military and security cooperation and were planning naval and other exercises over the next year.

Published in

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bin Laden threatens France

Paris, 27 Oct. (AKI) - A man claiming to be Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden on Wednesday threatened France with violence if it didn't

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

حقيبة ورق - اين انتم يا أرباب الأعمال في سلطنة عمان؟

حمود بن علي الطوقي
كاتب عماني

تابعت أمس الاجتماعات التي أقيمت بمبنى غرفة تجارة وصناعة عمان بين الجانبين الكوري والعماني وقد تعززت وتوجت هذه الاجتماعات بالتوقيع على إنشاء

Friday, October 22, 2010

سفينة تجارية تغرق وبها حوالي 300 سيارة 30 ميلا من شاطئ شناص وترفع علم بنما

عمان:انقذت شرطة خفر السواحل بمنطقة شمال الباطنة فجر امس طاقم سفينة تجارية يتألف من 15شخصا هم 13هنديا ومصري وسوري وذلك لدى غرق السفينة شمال شرق ميناء صحار الصناعي وتحديدا على بعد 30 ميلا بحريا من شاطئ ولاية شناص .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

أربعة مراسيم سلطانية (الخدمة المدنية وعقود الإيجاروالهيئة العامة للإذاعة والتلفزيون وإجازة تنازل شركة نفطية) ز

العمانية: أصدر حضرة صاحب الجلالة السلطان قابوس بن سعيد المعظم ـ حفظه الله ورعاه ـ أمس أربعة مراسيم سلطانية سامية فيما يلي نصوصها.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oman crude futures traded will become the main benchmark for Asian markets

SINGAPORE, Oct 19 - Oman crude futures traded on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) will become the main benchmark for Asian markets of both

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rising incidence of respiratory diseases in Oman



MUSCAT — The rising incidence of respiratory diseases was highlighted at a symposium organised by the Oman Respiratory Society (ORS) in collaboration

Monday, October 18, 2010

Diabetes has reached alarming proportions in Oman

MUSCAT — The incidence of diabetes has reached alarming proportions in Oman and is continuing to rise, posing a big challenge to the country’s health

Saturday, October 16, 2010

6 major freight yards along the route of the Oman Railway network

By Conrad Prabhu

MUSCAT -- A total of six major freight yards are envisaged at key locations along the route of the Oman Railway network in the initial phases of its

Friday, October 15, 2010

غياب الدور المصري

زاهر بن حارث المحروقي
كاتب عماني

1 “
في ال28 من شهر سبتمبر الماضي مرت 40 عاما ثقيلة على رحيل الزعيم جمال عبد الناصر ، الذي رحلت برحيله آمال وطموحات الشعوب العربية وشعوب

A house for rent in Wadi Adai, Oman

Property Description (Not available anymore)

A well maintained 2 storey house, comprehensive maintenance was just completed, 5 Bedrooms including a master bedroom, 1 sitting room, 1 family hall, 1 big kitchen with brand new cupboards, 4 bathrooms.

Features

- Good location.
- Outside sitting areas (including a sitting area on the top).

Location

Located just at the entrance of Wadi Adai, 2 to 3 minutes drive to Wadi Adai Round about, close to Ruwi downtown, main hospitals, major malls and all city activities.

Availability

Available from 1 November 2010.

Price (1 US Dollar= Riyal Omani 0.388)

Riyal Oman xxx/month for a family
Riyal Oman xxx/month for Bachelors.

Contact

Phone number:                       
Email:              

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nawras extends the Initial Public Offering period

According to a report by Dow Jones, which cites sources familiar with the matter, Oman’s second national telecoms operator, Omani-Qatari Telecommunications Company (Nawras), has

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Queen Elizabeth II will visit UAE and Oman

By Elsa Baxter Tuesday, 12 October 2010 11:16 AM



Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will visit the UAE and Oman in November, Buckingham Palace has said.

The official state visit will be to Abu Dhabi on November 24 and 25 and to Muscat between November 24 and 28, according to an official statement.

The visit has been arranged following invitations from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan and His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

This will be the second visit by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to the UAE and Oman, the statement said.

This year’s visit to Oman will mark the occasion of the 40th year of the reign of Sultan Qaboos.

Published in

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A stranded Indian lady died in Muscat

An Indian housemaid, who was stranded in a transit lounge of Muscat airport for five days after losing her passport at

Saturday, October 9, 2010

iPhone Application for Mariners

08/10/2010

JMS Naval Architects and Salvage Engineers have announced the release of their first iPhone application: the US Navy Salvor’s Handbook. The Salvor’s

A large algae bloom in the Sea of Oman destroyed a coral reef

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A large algae bloom in the Gulf of Oman destroyed a coral reef in just three weeks, showing the threat such

Friday, October 8, 2010

UPMC proposes building Oman's first children's hospital

Friday, October 8, 2010
Pittsburgh Business Times - by Kris B. Mamula  kmamula@bizjournals.com or (412) 208-3825.


The government of Oman is weighing a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center proposal to build and operate the nation’s first children’s hospital.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ali al Habsi is not cheap

07:45 PM 07 October, 2010

Wigan Athletic Football Club have been told Ali Al-Habsi won’t come cheap.

The Oman international is on loan at the DW Stadium for the season, but Roberto Martinez is said to be keen on making the deal permanent.

However, Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle has told his Lancashire rival that the 28-year-old goalkeeper will not be made available on the cheap.

"The only way they can keep him for good is by paying our club a large transfer fee, if indeed that's acceptable to us," said the Trotters manager.

"Wigan can make as much noise as they want. Ultimately I will decided whether Ali Al-Habsi is a Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper or not."

Published in

Monday, October 4, 2010

United Nations Resolusion

A United Nations resolution (UN resolution) is a formal text adopted by a United Nations (UN) body. Although any UN body can issue resolutions, in practice

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bin Laden makes an appeal urging to help Pakistan flood victims

By KIM GAMEL, Associated Press Writer Kim Gamel, Associated Press Writer – Sat Oct 2, 4:01 pm ET

CAIRO – Softening his tone, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden issued a humanitarian appeal on Saturday urging Muslim governments to do more to

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oman Air awarded the Silver Award for the Best Marketing Campaign 2010

28 September 2010

Oman Air
Corporate Communications & Media

Oman Air, the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, has been awarded the Silver Award for the Best Marketing Campaign 2010, held by

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oman to attract 12 millions visitors annually

By Asmaa Malik
Friday, 24 September 2010 15:42


Oman has high hopes for its tourism industry, with the government aiming to attract 12 million visitors annually by 2020 – a significant

Norway signed an agreement with 6 African countries for Cintinental Shelf extension

Published on Wednesday, 22nd September, 2010 at 13:45 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau. Last Updated on 22nd September 2010 at 13:57.

Norway has signed an agreement with six African countries, committing itself to helping them gain jurisdiction over their continental shelf

Monday, September 20, 2010

2,000-km-long deepwater transnational gas pipeline from Oman to India


DUABI: India is actively considering building a 2,000-km-long deepwater transnational gas pipeline from Oman for transporting natural

How to stop cough

December 26, 2008 by Paul

We have all been kept awake by our own or someone else’s cough. Try this and pass it on. The tip and not the cough. ANYTHING is better

مجلة الواحة العمانية - سبتمبر 2010م

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ميناء الدقم يستقبل سفينة محملة بمعدات للحوض الجاف

كتب – محمد الشيزاوي: استقبل ميناء الدقم بنجاح أمس الأول سفينة تجارية محملة بمعدات للحوض الجاف في انجاز جديد يحققه الميناء الذي

الإفراج عن سارة شورد

الأربعاء 15 سبتمبر 2010

العمانية ووكالات: وصلت مساء أمس إلى مسقط الصحفية الأمريكية سارة شورد بعد الإفراج عنها من قبل السلطات الإيرانية، وصرح مصدر

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sarah Shourd freed

(Tehran) -- American Sarah Shourd arrived in Oman today after being freed from more than a year of captivity in Iran. She was met by her mother and uncle at an airport in Muscat, that capital of Oman. She told journalists there that she was fine.

Earlier, Shourd was seen on Iranian state television thanking Iran's president and various officials for helping secure her release. Shourd and two other Americans were arrested in July of last year near the border of Iran and Iraq.

Their families claim the three were hiking, but Iranian officials accused them of espionage. The other two Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, are still in Iran.

President Obama has praised Shourd's release and called on Iran to release the other Americans.

(Copyright 2010 by VERTEXNews/Newsroom Solutions)

Published in

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nawras to sell shares in Oman

Updates with CEO’s comment in third paragraph.)
September 01, 2010, 8:07 AM EDT


By Faizul Haque and Zahra Hankir
--Editors: Shaji Mathew, Claudia Maedler.
To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Nawras, the phone company controlled by Qatar Telecom QSC, plans to sell 40 percent of

Sunday, August 29, 2010

أرقام الإبلاغ عن المتسولين في سلطنة عمان

يمكن الإستعانة بفريق مكافحة التسول وإبلاغه عن وجود متسولين عن طريق الهواتف التالية
+ 968 24 569 475
 + 968 24 794 949
+ 968 24 707 405
+ 968 99 833 055
+ 968 99 873 234

الإحتفاء بأول مصحف عماني يكتب بخط اليد

وزارة الأوقاف والشؤون الدينية العمانية تتبنى النسخة لتقوم بطباعة المصحف بأحجام  ومقاسات مختلفة 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The UAE is likely to raise gasoline prices in September

By AMENA BAKR
REUTERS

Published: Aug 24, 2010 00:53 Updated: Aug 24, 2010 00:53

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates is likely to raise gasoline prices in September, an energy official said on

Friday, August 20, 2010

Air India emergency landing at Muscat airport

Agence France-Presse
Muscat, August 20, 2010
 
An on-flight bomb scare that out to be a hoax forced an Air India passenger jet to make an emergency

شهر رمضان المبارك

كتب عليكم الصيام كما كتب على الذين من قبلكم لعلكم تتقون
[سورة البقرة: 185]

Oman orders C-130J Super Hercules aircrafts.

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 18 (UPI) 

Lockheed Martin announced it has received a contract from the Sultanate of Oman for two additional C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No plan to block BlackBerry services in Oman

Press Trust of India / Dubai August 10, 2010, 16:12 IST

Oman has said it does not plan to block BlackBerry services even as Saudi Arabia is working with the device maker RIM on a solution that

Saturday, August 7, 2010

دعاء دخول شهر رمضان المبارك

اللهم اهله علينا بالأمن والإيمان والسلامة والإسلام والمسارعة إلى ماتحب وترضى والعافية المجللة
 
والرزق الواسع ودفع الاسقام اللهم ارزقني صيامه وقيامه وتلاوة القرآن فيه اللهم سلمه لنا وتسلمه منا
 
وسلمنا فيه وقد عفوت عنا وغفرت لنا ورحمتنا اللهم اجعل صيامي فيه صيام الصائمين وقيامي فيه قيام
 
القائمين ونبهني فيه على نومة الغافلين وهب لي فيه اليسر والعافية إنك على كل شي قدير وقربني فيه

إلى مرضاتك وجنبني فيه من سخطك ونقماتك ووفقني فيه لقراءة آياتك برحمتك ياارحم الراحمين

Investigators have concluded that a suicide bomber attacked a Japanese-owned oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

By MARGARET COKER

—Spencer Swartz contributed to this article.

ABU DHABI— Investigators in the United Arab Emirates have concluded that an Omani suicide bomber in an explosives-laden motorboat attacked a Japanese-owned oil tanker last week as it traveled through the

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Japanese tanker damaged in the Strait of Hormuz was a terrorist attack

A Japanese tanker damaged last week in the Strait of Hormuz near Oman was the target of a terrorist

تفاصيل المرسوم السلطاني رقم 91/2010م

كتب - سعود بن جميل الغنبوصي

صدر المرسوم السلطاني السامي رقم 91/2010م القاضي بتعديل بعض اعمال السمسرة في المجالات العقارية والتي على مكاتب السمسرة العاملة في المجالات العقارية توفيق أوضاعها طبقا على هذا المرسوم خلال سنتين من تاريخ العمل به.

ونصت التعديلات أولا على تعديل مسمى (قانون تنظيم اعمال السمسرة في المجالات العقارية) ليكون (قانون تنظيم اعمال الوساطة في المجالات العقارية).

ويستبدل بكلمة (السمسرة) كلمة (الوساطة) وبكلمة (السمسار) كلمة (الوسيط) اينما وردتا في قانون تنظيم اعمال السمسرة في المجالات العقارية.

ثانيا: يستبدل بنصوص البنود(أ) و(ب) من اولا و(أ) من ثانيا من المادة (3) والمادتين (10) و (19) من قانون تنظيم اعمال السمسرة في المجالات العقارية المشار إليه النصوص الآتية:

مادة (3): أولا: أ- أن يكون عماني الجنسية او من مواطني دول مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية إقامتهما العادية في عُمان.

ب- ألا يقل عمره عن 21 سنة ميلادية.

ثانيا: أ- أن تكون مؤسسة او شركة عمانية مرخصا لها مزاولة الوساطة في المجالات العقارية ولا تقل نسبة العاملين لديها بمهنة الوساطة عن (80%) من العمانيين ويحملون على الأقل مؤهل الدبلوم العام أو ما يعادله.

مادة (10): يتقاضى الوسيط اجره من الطرف الذي يفوضه فإذا كان مفوضا من طرفي التعاقد التزم كل منهما بنصف الأجر المتفق عليه وفي حالة عدم الاتفاق يحدد الأجر بنسبة (3%) من قيمة العقد اذا كان التصرف بنقل الملكية او أي حق من الحقوق العينية او (5%) من اجرة التعاقد خلال عام او المدة الإجمالية لعقد الإيجار ايهما اقل إذا كان التصرف ايجارا.

مادة (19): مع عدم الإخلال بأية عقوبة اشد ينص عليها قانون آخر يعاقب بالسجن مدة لا تزيد عن ستة أشهر أو بغرامة لا تزيد عن 3000 ريال عماني او بإحدى هاتين العقوبتين كل من يزاول مهنة الوساطة بمقابل في المجالات العقارية دون أن يكون مرخصا له في ذلك.

كما يعاقب بغرامة لا تزيد عن (1000) ريال عماني كل من يرتكب مخالفة أخرى لأحكام هذا القانون من المشتغلين بالوساطة في المجالات العقارية المرخص لهم في ذلك.

وفي حالة تكرار المخالفة للمرة الأولى يجوز بالإضافة إلى الغرامة وقف المخالف عن مزاولة المهنة لمدة لا تزيد عن ستة أشهر فإذا تكررت المخالفة بعد ذلك جاز الحكم عليه بحرمانه من مزاولة المهنة نهائيا وسحب الترخيص الممنوح له وشطب قيده من السجل الخاص بالوساطة في المجالات العقارية.

ثالثا: تضاف إلى قانون تنظيم اعمال السمسرة في المجالات العقارية المشار إليه مواد جديدة على النحو الآتي:

مادة (3) مكررا: يشترط فيمن يعمل في مجال الوساطة العقارية اجتياز دورة تدريبية متخصصة في المجال العقاري قبل الترخيص له بممارسة المهنة على أن تتولى وزارة القوى العاملة وضع ضوابط وآليات اجتياز تلك الدورة.

مادة (5) مكررا: على المرخص لهم في مزاولة مهنة الوساطة في المجالات العقارية موافاة وزارة الإسكان بالترخيص الصادر لهم ورقم القيد لتسجيلهما لديها.

مادة(8) مكررا: يجب أن يكون عقد الوساطة مكتوبا وتوضح فيه أسماء الأطراف المتعاقدة ومواصفات العقار وشروط الوساطة وأجرة الوسيط وأية بيانات أخرى.

منشور في جريدة عمان

Oman is interested in buying more F16

By Bob Cox

Lockheed Martin will someday build the last F-16 fighter jet at its Fort Worth plant, but that day is still years away.

Lockheed could be close to landing another foreign order for F-16s after the Defense Department notified Congress on Tuesday that the government of Oman requested permission to negotiate to buy 18 planes, weapons and other equipment worth about $3.5 billion.

It would be Oman's second F-16 purchase after taking delivery of the first of 12 in August 2005. Just a year ago Lockheed's F-16 order backlog was down to about 80 planes, and production was slated to end in 2012. But late last year, Egypt and Morocco each ordered 24 planes, extending the production line another year.

"I think we're into 2013, and 18 F-16s for Oman would extend the line until summer of 2014," Lockheed spokesman Joe Stout said. The F-16 order backlog was 81 planes at the end of June.

The Oman deal still faces several hurdles. Congress has 30 days to veto the proposed sale. If that does not occur, the U.S. government would extend a formal offer to sell planes to Oman. Once that offer is accepted, Oman and Lockheed would negotiate terms of a sale.

The Block 50/52 model aircraft Lockheed is now building and delivering to most foreign customers is essentially on a par with the latest aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force.

In addition to the 18 planes, at cost of $60 million each, Oman would purchase weapons systems, radars, navigation and other electronics systems. It would also get upgraded components for its 12 existing F-16s.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which handles controlled weapons sales, said in its message to Congress that the proposed sale would not upset the military balance of power in the Middle East and would enable Oman to cooperate with U.S. and allied forces.

Lockheed delivered 31 F-16s last year. It is building about two a month, with 11 delivered in the first six months of 2010. Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said it's conceivable that F-16 production could extend beyond 2015 or well beyond if a couple of large deals are consummated. "If you adjust [the price] for inflation, the F-16 is an incredibly good deal," he said.

Lockheed is pressing India to select the F-16 for an order of 126 multirole fighters the nation has been considering buying in a drawn-out procurement process. Taiwan would like to buy 66 new model F-16s, but both the Bush and Obama administrations have refused for fear of upsetting China.

Sales of the F-35 joint strike fighter were supposed to have sealed the fate of the F-16, but years of delays and soaring cost estimates could keep the F-16 production line going.

"The most interesting thing is Israel. Given the sticker shock they seem to be having about the F-35, they could decide to opt for a high-low mix of some F-35s and more F-16s," Aboulafia said.

He said Israel and other F-16 owners could decide to buy some additional jets over the next several years to replace their oldest planes.

Bob Cox, 817-390-7723

Published in

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A militant group claimed responsibility for the explosion aboard an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz

By Saad Abedine, CNN
August 4, 2010 -- Updated 0753 GMT (1553 HKT)
 
(CNN) -- A militant Islamist group has claimed responsibility for the explosion aboard an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz near Oman last month.

In a statement posted on various websites that regularly carry messages from al Qaeda leaders, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades included a picture of a man they claimed carried out a suicide attack on the tanker on July 28. The group said the attack was intended to "strike an economic blow to the infidels."

CNN was not immediately able to authenticate the claim.

The group, said to be inspired by al Qaeda, is believed to be behind several attacks in the Middle East, including the October 2004 attack on a hotel and nearby camp sites in Egypt that killed more than three dozen people.

The statement from the Abdullah Azzam Brigades said the attack on the tanker was the "conquest of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman" -- a reference to the imprisoned blind cleric who inspired the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York.

"In a blessed episode of our Jihad in the name of God and in order to weaken the global infidel network, a battalion from our Jihadi brethrens managed to carry out an operation in order to strike an economic blow to the infidels," the statement said.

"After midnight on last Wednesday, the hero, the martyrdom seeker Ayoub Tayshan, blew himself up in the Japanese tanker M. Star in the Strait of Hormuz between the United Arab Emirates and Oman causing damages, that were reported all over the international media outlets. This heroic operation will have a major effect on the global economy and the oil prices."

The day after the July 28 blast, the owner of the Japanese-owned, Marshall Islands-flagged M. Star said the ship suffered hull damage caused by an explosion which "seemed to be an attack from external forces."

But Capt. Musa Murad, director of the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, gave a different account of the incident. He told WAM, the state run news agency, that the tanker was passing through the strait when it was exposed to a high wave as a result of an earthquake shock.

The Brigades, in its message, made mention of the UAE account. "The enemies of God wanted to hide the truth of what happened in this operation and some even tried to explain it by saying there was a strong earthquake. But indeed, our martyrdom-seeker shook the grounds underneath them by reaching his precious goal, proving to the global infidels again that the guardians of God -- the Mujahedeen -- will open the most difficult doors with God's blessing, and nothing will stop them -- no security system nor the intelligence service."

The M. Star was bearing two million barrels of oil, according to the port of Fujairah marine department. The tanker with 31 crew members -- 16 from the Philippines and 15 from India -- on board, was heading to the port of Chiba, Japan.

The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow body of water between Oman and Iran, leading from the Gulf of Oman to the Persian Gulf.

An Omani enclave sits on the southern coast of the strait.

Published in

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Omani giant ship repair yard set for March 2011 opening

The Arab world is set to get another giant ship repair yard. Oman Drydock Company (ODC) is planning to commence ship repair operations at its new yard in Duqm in March 2011.

Duqm is in the Al Wusta Region of Oman, located in the southeast corner of the Arabian peninsula.

The shipyard will have two ULCC-sized graving docks -- measuring 410 m x 95 m and 410 m x 80 m which are being built by a consortium of Korea's Daewoo Engineering and Contracting and Galfar Engineering and Contracting.Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co has a ten year agreement (renewable for another ten years) to operate and manage the facility, which is owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman.
The yards initial market focus will be on oil tankers and LNG carriers, with its first customer being the state-owned Oman Shipping Company. It has a current fleet strength of 48 vessels, including tankers, LNG vessels and bulk carriers--and ambitious expansion plans.

Duqm's strategic location on the Arabian Sea is seen as giving it a competitive advantage. And whereas ships going to rival giant repair yards in the region have to go to Fujairah to remove residuals before repair, Oman Drydock Company is investing in aslop reception and sludge treatment plant.

The number of vessels that can be repaired at the yard will be limited in the initial months, with operations starting with a work force of 600 people. But the yard will be able to handle to 120-130 vessels in a year once it stabilizes operation, when the workforce will go up to 3,000.
Published in

USA Navy confirms no vessel were near the Japanese damaged supertanker

Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Amran Abocar

DUBAI July 29 (Reuters) - There were no U.S. Navy or maritime coalition vessels near a Japanese supertanker damaged in an incident in the Strait of Hormuz, a Fifth Fleet spokesman said on Thursday. Asked if there were any U.S. navy or coalition vessels close to the supertanker at the time, he said: "No, there were none close to the ship ... none of our vessels were involved."

He was speaking by telephone from Bahrain.

© Thomson Reuters 2010 All rights reserved



Published in

Friday, July 30, 2010

Three theories on what damaged Japanese oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

By Justin McCurry, Correspondent / July 30, 2010

Tokyo

Whatever it was that shook a 260,000-ton Japanese supertanker as it sailed through calm waters between Oman and Iran just after midnight Wednesday, it was not a freak wave.

But beyond that, officials investigating a huge dent in the side of the M. Star are still some way off establishing exactly what happened.

Several theories are doing the rounds: The 333-meter-long ship collided with a submarine or a degraded sea mine left over from the Iran-Iraq war; there was an internal explosion; or, most unsettling of all, it was the target of an attack by pirates or terrorists in a strategically vital stretch of water in a sensitive region.

But Mitsui OSK Lines, operator of the world’s second-biggest fleet of oil tankers, was standing by its initial suspicion that the M Star had been “attacked by external sources” as it left the Gulf and entered the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passes. Japan depends on the Middle East for 90 percent of its oil.

All that the investigation team – which has grown to include the US Navy, maritime authorities from Britain and Japan, a Dubai-based expert on military attacks, and ship operator Mitsui – knows for sure that the cause remains a mystery.

Initially, local reports said the Japan-bound M. Star, laden with 2.3 million barrels of crude oil, had been struck by a freak wave triggered by an earthquake in Iran.

Sea mine or submarine seen as increasingly likely

By Thursday, speculation was growing that the ship had collided with a submarine or a sea mine. “What we know is that some collision happened,” Capt. Mousa Mourad, a general manager at the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah, where the M. Star is now moored, told a news conference. “We don’t know what it was. It is possible that it could be a submarine collision, or that it could be a sea mine.”

The collision theory has not dispelled fears that the tanker had been targeted by pirates or terrorists. The scene of the incident lies a few hundred kilometers north of where Somali pirates have hijacked supertankers, including, in April, a South Korean ship bound for the US. The strait has also been identified as a potential target by Al-Qaeda.

Mitsui officials showed pictures of a large square dent on the rear starboard side of the ship’s hull. The explosion – or collision – had also damaged railings, shattered windows, and broken furniture and fittings. News agency photos of the vessels showed that a lifeboat had been blown away on impact.

Crew aboard the M. Star reported seeing a flash, followed by an explosion. One sailor sustained light injuries, but there was no oil leak and the strait remained open for business.

Published in

The Cause of the explosion in the Strait of Hormuz is yet unknown

UPDATED ON:
Thursday, July 29, 2010
19:29 Mecca time, 16:29 GMT


A suspected explosion that damaged a Japanese oil tanker in the Straits of Hormuz, between Iran and Oman, could have been caused by an "attack", the ship's owners have said.

The ship was diverted to a port in the United Arab Emirates after it "suffered damage to its hull caused by an explosion which seemed to be an attack from external sources," Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd said in a statement on Thursday.

Japan's transport ministry confirmed that Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd had reported the incident as a possible attack. "A crew member saw light on the horizon just before the explosion, so [ship owner Mitsui O.S.K.] believes there is a possibility it was caused by an outside attack," it said.

However, the company's statement contradicted earlier claims that the damage to the M. Star on Wednesday had occured after it was hit by a freak wave. A coast guard official in Oman, in whose territorial waters the incident took place, told the Reuters news agency that "the boat was hit by a tremor ... we have no information of an attack".

'Mystery and intrigue'

Dan Nolan, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the UAE, said that details of the incident were unclear. "It is certainly shrouded in mystery and intrigue ... a port official here in the UAE was questioned about what may have caused this, he was quite vague about what it could be," Nolan said.

"When asked if it was possible it could be a sea mine, he said that yes, it is possible. It was a collision of some sort and anything is possible, it could be a submarine, it could be anything."

The damage to the vessel's hull is being examined by experts off Fujairah, one of the UAE's emirates, and the incident is under investiation. The ship's owners from Japan have hired a Dubai-based specialist in military attacks to head [to the port] to also cast an eye over this," Nolan said.

Will Geddes, a London-based security specialist, told Al Jazeera that pirates could have been behind the alleged attack. "We know that pirates will try and stop vessels by two means: rocket propelled grenades or ramming the boat," he said. Geddes said it seemed unlikely that the tanker had hit a mine as that would have probably breached the tanker's hull.

The M. Star had been filled with sabout 2.3 million barrels of crude oil on Tuesday at the UAE port of Das Island and was heading for Chiba port in Japan.

Around 17 million barrels of oil are transported through the Straits of Hormuz every day.
Al-Qaeda has previously threatened to carry out attacks in the key transit route for much of the world's supply of crude.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
 
Published in

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Airblue yet to announce whether UAE or Oman based passengers were on the crashed flight

By VM Satish

Emirates Business 24-7, 29 July 2010

The local offices of Airblue are waiting for the official passenger list to decide whether any UAE or Oman-based passengers were on the flight that crashed on Wednesday morning.

Airblue's flight EB202 from Karachi was coming into land at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International airport when it crashed in a ball of flames.

Expatriates are concerned that there could be passengers from the Gulf who might have used the flight as a connecting service. The airline operates several flights from the UAE and Oman to Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan. The phone number for information regarding passengers on the flight is 111247258.

However, airline officials in Dubai said there was no information about flight cancellations from the UAE. Speaking to Emirates 24/7, a district manager of Airblue said: "We don't have any idea whether any of the passengers to Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi were on the plane. The passenger list will be released soon and we will come to know about it later."

He said the airline operates about 14 flights per week from Dubai and the summer vacation is a busy season for the budget carrier.

"Many of my friends were planning to travel on Airblue for their summer vacation. I don't know whether they will fly on the same airline now. Many passengers are attracted to the airline because the rates are very cheap," said Waheed, a Pakistani national based in Dubai.

Airblue has scheduled three flights for departure on Wednesday night from Dubai and Sharjah, including a flight to Islamabad (ED 411). A source in the Sharjah office of Air Blue said: "We don't know whether the flight to Islamabad or Karachi will be cancelled. We are waiting for information from the head office."

This is the summer vacation season and most Airblue flights have good bookings. "We have received some calls from Pakistani expatriates in the UAE inquiring whether their relatives are on the crashed plane. We are waiting for information from the head office," said an airline source in Sharjah.

Published in

Mystery surrounds latest Strait of Hormuz incident


Thursday, July 29, 2010
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

(CNSNews.com) – Mystery surrounds an incident in which a laden oil tanker was damaged in the Strait of Hormuz Wednesday. Maritime and shipping officials are at odds over whether the cause was an intentional explosion or a freak wave caused by seismic activity.

Whatever turns out to be the case, the incident again highlights the vulnerability of the world’s most important energy waterway, one which Iran has periodically threatened to block, in retaliation for international pressure over its nuclear program.

Up to 40 percent of the world’s daily oil supply – including three-quarters of Japan’s needs – traverses the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz chokepoint en route to markets in the West and Asia. Situated between Iran, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the channel is less than 30 miles across at its narrowest point.

The 160,000-ton M. Star, a Japanese-owned, Marshall islands-flagged supertanker, was anchored off Fujairah in the UAE on Thursday, undergoing inspection of its damaged hull.

A photo released by the UAE’s WAM news agency showed a large, square-shaped dent in the vessel’s hull, near the waterline.

The unexplained incident in Omani waters early Wednesday morning was first described by the owners, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), as “an explosion which seemed to be an attack from external sources.” The statement that prompted speculation that pirates, terrorists or a military force may have been responsible.

MOL said one of the crew was lightly injured, but none of the 270,200 tons of crude oil taken onboard in the UAE the previous day had leaked from the damaged hull.

The “explosion” theory appeared to be backed up by a statement from the Japanese transportation ministry, which said one of the 31-member crew reported seeing “a flash on the horizon immediately before the blast.”

But maritime officials in the UAE, Iran and Oman said that the M. Star had been hit by a large wave. A UAE port captain was quoted as telling local media the wave was “a result of seismic shock” while an Iranian official cited an “earthquake.” One report cited the Omani coastguard as saying the wave was triggered by a 3.2 magnitude earthquake in the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

The U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors earthquakes worldwide and lists all events 2.5 magnitude and bigger, has no report of any quake in that region in recent days. The most recent quake in the region was a 4.8 magnitude tremor on Saturday, July 24, in southern Iran.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also has had no tsunami warnings in the entire Indian Ocean region since June 12. Prof. Mike Sandiford, earthquake expert and director the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said Thursday there was “zero chance” of a wave being caused by a quake four days earlier. A “submarine slope failure” – an underwater landslide – could be a possibility, he said.

MOL was sticking to its guns Thursday, with an official telling a briefing in Tokyo a quake-induced wave was unlikely the cause of the incident, and that the damage suggested the ship had been hit from the outside. A spokesman for the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, said the ship had reported by radio that an “explosion” had occurred. The Navy had offered assistance, but the ship’s master determined it was not necessary. The ship made its way to Fujairah under its own steam.

The spokesman said the M. Star incident did not affect the shipping lane. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the U.S. had no information to suggest that the event was anything other than an accident but would be “watching carefully as more information comes in on that.”

Piracy, terrorism, military action

Maritime security experts have long warned of the danger of a terrorist or pirate attack on a supertanker in one of the world’s strategic sea chokepoints, which include the Strait of Hormuz, the Malacca Strait between Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Gibraltar and the Panama and Suez canals.

Apart from the environmental impact should a tanker’s hull be intentionally or accidentally breached, the economic cost and disruption of an incident blocking a crucial waterway for a period of time would be massive.

The Strait of Hormuz is hundreds of miles away from the area where pirates have been operating in recent years – the Red Sea and mouth of the Gulf of Aden and the coast of Somalia. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Center, however, there have been reports of suspicious activities closer to the Gulf – off Oman’s Arabian Sea coast, including sightings of suspicious small boats and “in some cases ships chased with unknown intent.”

Islamist terrorists have targeted ships before. The destroyer USS Cole< was bombed in Yemen’s Aden port in 2000, an attack that killed 17 sailors, and boat-borne suicide bombers attacked the French oil tanker Limburg off the coast of Yemen in 2002.

In 2004 two sailors died when a U.S. Navy patrol vessel intercepted a dhow heading for an oil terminal in Iraq and the dhow exploded in an apparent suicide bombing. In 2005, two U.S. Navy ships docked in Jordan’s Aqaba port were targeted by Katyusha rockets. Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists claimed responsibility.

In what is believed to be the deadliest terrorist attack at sea, an al-Qaeda linked group in the Philippines bombed the Superferry 14 passenger ferry near Manila in 2004, killing 116 people.

The Iranian government and its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has on several occasions in recent years threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, typically in response to Western statements or pressure relating to its nuclear activities.

Last month Tehran warned that if Iranian ships were stopped and searched as part of a sanctions regime it would retaliate by stopping foreign ships in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

In 2008 Iranian gunboats approached U.S. warships in the Gulf in what the Pentagon said was a deliberately provocative maneuver.

Oil tankers traversing the strait do so along two-mile wide channels demarcated in each direction, sailing through Iranian territorial waters in the north and Omani waters in the south.

Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, ships have the right of “innocent passage” through the territorial seas of a coastal state.

In the event of the chokepoint’s closure, an alternative route for the oil would be via the 745-mile East-West pipeline across Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea, from where tankers would have to sail north through the Suez canal or south through the Gulf of Aden and piracy-affected Horn of Africa waters.

According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, the Strait of Hormuz route accounts for up to 17 million barrels of oil a day. By comparison, the Saudi pipeline only has the capacity to handle five million barrels a day.

Alternative routes would also be longer, further pushing up costs, the EIA says.

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The Japanese vessel incident near Oman is due to a freak wave, triggered by a small earthquake

28 July 2010 Last updated at 15:43 GMT

A Japanese oil tanker has been damaged in an incident in the Strait of Hormuz near Oman, injuring crew members.

An early report from the Japanese transport ministry said there had been an explosion on board the ship which could have been an attack. But a port official in the United Arab Emirates says the vessel was hit by a freak wave, triggered by a small earthquake.

There are no reports of any oil leaking from the tanker, the M Star. The vessel, with 16 Filipino and 15 Indian crew members on board, had been bound for Chiba port near Tokyo when the incident occurred.

Earthquake report

Several of the crew were injured in the incident, according to an official at the port of Fujairah in the UAE, where the ship was due to dock to have its damage assessed. "The cause of the incident was a freak wave and there is damage in the upper accommodation decks of the ship and a few injured people on board," he told Reuters news agency.

"The ship is not being tugged and there is no damage to the engine." Oman's coastguard cited "a tremor" as the cause of the incident. A seismologist in nearby Iran said an earthquake of magnitude 3.4 happened in Bandar Abbas.

Captains of other ships near the incident also mentioned the earthquake, Attollah Sadr, head of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organisation, was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency. The Strait of Hormuz links the ports of oil-rich states such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with export markets. About 40% of the world's traded oil passes through it.

The M Star was loaded with some two million barrels of crude oil when the incident occurred, said Japan's Mitsui OSK, which owns and operates the vessel. Earlier, Japan's transport ministry issued a statement saying an "explosion" had occurred at around 0030 local time (2030 GMT). "A crew member saw light on the horizon just before the explosion, so ship owner Mitsui OSK believes there is a possibility it was caused by an outside attack," the ministry had said.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Japanese oil tanker damaged by an explosion near Strait of Hormuz

By Osamu Tsukimori and James Topham

TOKYO, July 28 (Reuters) - An oil tanker owned and operated by Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd was damaged in an explosion suspected to have been caused by an attack near the strait of Hormuz on Wednesday.

A crew member suffered minor injuries and the ship was heading to port to assess the damage, the company said. The impact to the spot Asian crude market was seen as minimal.

The ship, the "M. STAR", was loaded with 270,204 tonnes when the incident occurred in waters off Oman, Mitsui O.S.K. said.

It said the ship had been bound for Chiba port near Tokyo. The explosion occurred at around 00:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday (2030 GMT Tuesday), the transport ministry in Tokyo said.

The ministry said there had been no reports of piracy in the area. There was no leakage of oil from the tanker, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) with 16 Filipino and 15 Indian crew members on board.

It was sailing under its own power towards Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates to check the damage, a spokeswoman for Japan's second-biggest shipper said.

Around 17 million barrels per day of oil flow via the Strait of Hormuz, and Middle East crude accounts for 90 percent of Japan's total imports.

The location of the explosion near a lifeboat at the rear starboard side of the ship suggested the blast was unlikely to have been caused by oil on the tanker, Mitsui O.S.K. was quoted as saying by the ministry.

"In addition, a crew member saw light on the horizon just before the explosion, so (Mitsui O.S.K.) believes there is a possibility it was caused by an outside attack," the ministry said in a statement.

The impact to the Asian spot crude market could be minimal because the tanker would have taken three weeks to arrive in Japan, traders said.

This (event) won't stop the flow of crude, so there will be no impact on what is able to be bought," said a Tokyo-based crude trader.

The tanker was carrying around 2.3 million barrels of Qatar Land and Abu Dhabi Lower Zakum crudes, industry sources said.

"The impact could be limited if there's no severe damage," said a trader with a northeast Asia refiner when asked about the potential impact of the cargo's diversion on the physical crude market.

"If there is a spill, that might be different story. But not a big impact," said another trader. (Reporting by Yoko Nishikawa, Osamu Tsukimori and James Topham in Tokyo and Alejandro Barbojosa and Luke Pachymuthu in Singapore; Editing by Michael Watson)

© Thomson Reuters 2010 All rights reserved


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