There’s been many momentous occasions in Oman over the past year – here’s Y’s top 9 picks.
After two months of routine medical checks in Germany, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said returned home. The news of His Majesty’s return, on April 12, was cheered by Omanis, who took to the streets to celebrate.
The blazing sun set, and the breathtaking moon rose. The super moon of 2016 was the closest it had been in decades, and bathed the Sultanate in a cool white glow. We hope you’re not holding your breath for the next rarity, which is due around November 2034.
The hues of red, green and white engulfed every other colour on the streets of Oman during the country’s National Day celebrations on November 18. With national pride at its highest in celebrating His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said’s 46-year rule, there was no better time to be in the Sultanate.
As we recognised Omani Women’s Day, we met some some of the Sultanate’s most inspirational women. From teachers to bankers, they came together to celebrate their contribution to the Sultanate.
The UK’s Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall began their tour of the Gulf in Muscat, where the Omani Heritage and Cultural Minister and a troupe of traditional dancers greeted them. The royal couple continued their trip, visiting the National Museum and Bait Al Noor Church.
Al Hoota Cave reopened on September 5, 2016, and was accessible again after having been closed for refurbishment. The stunning rock formations and tranquil waters are a haven for adventure enthusiasts and a major tourist attraction.
Oman played a crucial role in the release of Candian-Iranian hostage Dr Homa Hoodfar in September, after being detained in Iran for three months. She also expressed her appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said and the Government for aiding her release.
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said was awarded the Arab Human Rights Award 2016, in December, by The Arab-European Centre of Human Rights.
The on-off saga of the Sheraton Oman Hotel was finally resolved, when the 14-storey hotel was re-opened at the end of last year. The hotel, the highest building in Muscat, had been undergoing a lengthy refurbishment.