Strengthening Bilateral Ties: Diplomatic Talks Between India and Oman

Strengthening Bilateral Ties: Diplomatic Talks Between India and Oman

Narendra Modi and Sultan of Oman

Significant diplomatic talks were recently held between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tarik al-Said. In their discussions at the level of delegations, they stressed how closely Oman and India coordinate. As a visiting nation, Oman was vital to India’s G20 leadership. Furthermore, a significant portion of the Indian population views Oman as their second home, demonstrating the close relationship and strong links that exist between the two countries.

In order to improve economic cooperation and fortify bilateral ties, India and Oman are striving to quickly conclude a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. The vision agreement that Sultan Haitham and Prime Minister Modi signed emphasizes their dedication to promoting stronger security and commerce relations.

Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of Oman made history by traveling to India on a state visit. This was the first time Oman had done so in 26 years. On this historic occasion, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar was fortunate enough to meet with the Sultan.

These events demonstrate the continued cooperation and common interests between Oman and India as they strive for mutual cooperation and prosperity.

Economy of Oman

Oman’s economy is mostly focused on the oil industry, with trading and fishing along its coasts serving as other sources of income. The following are some salient points:

Oil Dependency: Petroleum plays a major role in GDP, government revenues, and export earnings. It is an important factor. The economy of Oman is still largely driven by the petroleum sector.

Efforts at Diversification: The Omani government has taken steps to reduce its reliance on oil. The goal of programs like privatization and Omanization is to encourage other industries while reducing dependency on oil earnings.

Development and Growth: Oman’s GDP per capita has risen steadily during the previous fifty years. The 1960s and 1970s saw significant expansion, with more moderate growth in the decades that followed.

Trade and Tourism: Fishing, trading, and tourism all contribute to Oman’s economy. The strategic location of the nation and its historical significance are factors that support its economic operations.

Global Recognition: Oman was named the country with the greatest development over the previous 40 years by the United Nations Development Programme in 2010.

Even though oil is still the country’s main source of income, Oman’s efforts to diversify and fund development initiatives support the country’s economic expansion.

HISTORY OF OMAN

Oman is the oldest sovereign state in the Arab world, with a history lasting more than a millennium. Let’s investigate its intriguing past:

Ancient Times:

Archaeological evidence suggests that humans first settled in Oman about 106,000 years ago, during the Middle Stone Age. A time of declining Red Sea levels corresponded with the establishment of the Arabian Nubian Complex in southern Arabia, characterized by a distinctive Mobile Stone Age technocomplex. Because of the narrow channel this provided, early humans were able to migrate from Africa into Yemen and Oman.
These early migrants traveled through Arabia in favorable conditions after fleeing the changing climate in Africa, eventually settling in Oman.

Empire of Oman:

The Omani Empire stretched from modern-day Oman to Africa’s east coast by the eighteenth century. It competed with the British and Portuguese empires for sway over the Indian and Persian oceans.
In the past, Oman ruled over Gwadar for a considerable amount of time and was also the colonial ruler of the African island of Zanzibar.

Contemporary Period:

Sultan Qaboos bin Said ushered in a new era in 1970 when he renamed the nation from the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman to just Oman.
Oman currently holds a key strategic position at the meeting point of the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf. Known for its craftsmanship and frankincense in the past, Oman has always been coveted by those looking to construct empires.

Oman’s rich past—which includes prehistoric migrations and its involvement in international trade—continues to influence its dynamic present and bode well for the future.

Notable individuals from Oman

Here are a few well-known people connected to Oman:

Sultan of Oman and its Dependencies, Qaboos bin Said Al Said is a highly esteemed figure. Following a successful palace revolution that saw the fall of his father, Said bin Taimur, Qaboos came to power in 1970. He is a member of the Al Bu Sa’idi dynasty’s fourteenth generation.

Isla Fisher: Isla Lang Fisher is an experienced actress who began her acting career on Australian television. She was reared in Australia after being born to Scottish parents in Oman. She became well-known for her humorous parts in films including “Wedding Crashers,” “I Heart Huckabees,” and “Now You See Me.”

Amad Al Hosni: A renowned football player from Oman, Amad Al-Hosni competed in the Saudi Professional League with Al-Ahli Jeddah. He has also distinguished himself as an Oman national team player.

Fatma Al-Nabhani: A professional tennis player from Oman, Fatma Al-Nabhani has accomplished notable career accomplishments. She excelled in doubles as well and attained her greatest ranking in the WTA singles rankings.

Hashim Saleh: A football player from Oman who plays for Dhofar, he is officially known as Hashim Saleh Mohammed Al-Balushi. Hashim has been putting in effort to become a forward on the national squad.

These people have made significant contributions, and their accomplishments in a variety of professions have made Oman proud.

Oman boasts a wealth of captivating tourist attractions

A wealth of fascinating tourist spots that skillfully combine breathtaking natural features, a deep historical background, and rich cultural traditions can be found in Oman. Some locations you shouldn’t miss are as follows:

Golden Mosque of Sultan Qaboos:

This architectural wonder, which is located in Muscat, has a huge carpet with an amazing 1.7 billion knots and weighs an amazing 21 tons. It was created over a four-year period and is an example of traditional craftsmanship.

Shab Wadi:

Venture out into this enthralling geological structure, where the daring are beckoned by blue waters. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof camera bag and enough cash for the boat ride over the creek.

The Royal Opera House:

A cultural treasure, Muscat is home to the world’s first opera house with multimedia interactive displays built into the seats.

Nizwa Fort:

Discover the historical allure of Nizwa and take in traditional performances by men dressed traditionally as you tour this ancient fort.

Jebel Shams:

Known as the “Mountain of the Sun,” this Hajar Mountains area provides amazing vistas.

The Wadi Bani Khalid:

One of the most breathtaking wadis in Oman, it has several lakes that irrigate a verdant date oasis.

Jebel Akhdar:

It is often referred to as the Green Mountain and offers breathtaking views and milder temperatures.

Sands of Wahiba:

Take in the swaying dunes of this captivating desert environment.

Mutrah Souq:

Explore this lively flea market and take in the lively vibes.

Bait Al Zubair:

The Zubair family’s Omani collection is exquisitely displayed in this private museum, housed in a tastefully renovated structure.
A peek of Oman’s varied landscapes, culture, and heritage can be had at these attractions. Every traveler may find something to enjoy in Oman, regardless of their preference for mountains, forts, or immaculate beaches.

Strengthening Bilateral Ties: Diplomatic Talks Between India and Oman

Oman’s economic environment

Oman’s economic environment has been significantly shaped by tourism, which has helped it grow and diversify. The following are the main effects:

Economic Development

The tourism industry has become a significant contributor to Oman’s GDP, bringing in money from traveler spending, lodging, transportation, and other services.
Infrastructure, lodging, and attraction investments have boosted the economy and created jobs.

Creation of Jobs:

Both direct and indirect employment possibilities are provided by the tourism industry, including support roles in lodging, dining establishments, travel agents, and associated services.
Jobs in the hospitality sector, tour guide services, and cultural site maintenance assist the local population.

Earnings in Foreign Exchange:

The money spent by visitors helps Oman’s economy remain stable by adding to its foreign exchange reserves.
Earnings in foreign exchange increase the nation’s ability to import products and services.

Development of Infrastructure:

Oman has made investments in roads, hotels, airports, and other tourism amenities to better serve travelers, which benefits locals as well as companies.
Longer stays and more visitors are encouraged by improved infrastructure.

Cultural Preserving:

Oman’s cultural history is preserved through tourism, which draws attention to ancient sites, forts, and museums.
Travel boosts efforts to preserve ancient building styles and methods.

Increasing variety:

Oman is looking to expand its economy beyond oil, and one possible source of income is tourism.
Excursive travel, ecotourism, and cultural exchanges all help to diversify the economy.

Marketing of Regional Products:

By purchasing handicrafts, fabrics, and souvenirs, tourists frequently help small companies and local craftspeople.
Souks, or traditional markets, flourish as a result of tourism.

Problems:

Sustainable methods are needed to preserve Oman’s natural beauty, which means striking a balance between the rise of tourism and environmental conservation.
It will always be difficult to make sure that local communities gain as much as multinational firms do.
In conclusion, tourism has boosted Oman’s economy by encouraging growth, generating employment, and highlighting the country’s cultural legacy. Its future influence will be shaped by sustainable practices and strategic planning.

Festivals of Oman

Oman celebrates a wide range of holidays and festivals that highlight its intricate customs and rich cultural heritage. Here are a few that stand out:

Festival of Muscat:

One of Oman’s biggest celebrations of the nation’s culture and history is the Muscat Festival. The entire month of January and February is dedicated to it, and it is held in Muscat, the capital.
A captivating fusion of athletic events, educational programs, circus acts, theatrical productions, camel races, and more is available to visitors. International and traditional food sellers add to the joyful mood.
People from all across Oman come to take part in this magnificent celebration since the festival also offers tours that offer insights into Oman’s past and the typical Omani culture.

Festival of Salalah:

The Salalah Tourism Festival usually takes place from June 30 to August 31 during the Khareef (monsoon) season. Refreshing rain showers during this period turn Salalah into a beautiful sanctuary.
Artistic displays, cultural programs, activities, music, fireworks, and theatrical are all available to visitors. Because of the nice monsoon weather, families frequently go on picnics.
With roller coasters, cultural events, food vendors, and more, the festival is drawing in both domestic and foreign visitors as it grows.

Customary Boat Races:

To preserve its maritime heritage, Oman holds sailing and boat events early in the year. These celebrations attract eager onlookers and highlight the nation’s marine heritage.

Sinbad Classic:

This celebration, which bears the name of the fabled sailor Sinbad, honors nautical culture and history. Boat races, storytelling sessions, and cultural performances are frequently a part of it.

Program for Cultural Theater:

Theatricals, plays, and other artistic manifestations bring Oman’s cultural theaters to life, showcasing regional talent and drawing viewers into provocative stories.
These celebrations, which combine culture, the arts, and a sense of community, offer a window into Oman’s character. Oman’s festivities are a sensory delight, whether you want to take in the monsoon magic in Salalah or explore the busy streets of Muscat.

Oman Sports and Game

Oman’s traditional sports and games offer a fascinating window into the history and way of life of the country, eloquently showcasing the country’s vast cultural diversity. Let’s investigate a few of these intriguing pursuits:

Al Hawalees:

Omanis have a particular place in their hearts for Al Hawalees, which is a well-liked past time for people of all ages, from experienced fishermen to village kids.
A 28-hole hardwood board is used in Al Hawalees, a board game that originated in Ghana in the sixth and seventh centuries and is derived from Mancala. Traditional countertops are replaced with stones or seashells.
In this beach game, players strategically place their “counters” in sand-scooped holes. It’s a straightforward but entertaining game that appeals to all age groups and all classes.

Shabal:

Shabal is a traditional Omani team sport in which two teams of five players each compete.
Players utilize a little wooden ball instead of a puck, much like in hockey. The aim is to score goals by using a wooden stick to strike the ball into the goalpost of the other team.
Shabal requires players to be quick, nimble, and skilled in order to maneuver around opponents and keep possession of the ball. A rectangular field is used for play, and each team has a specific scoring area.

Layla:

Two teams of five players each compete in Layla, another well-liked traditional Omani game.
Players sprint, dodge, and tag opponents in a manner similar to tag. The objective is to tag every member of the other team before they tag every member of your team.
Layla is a vibrant, animated game that encourages amicable rivalry and fun.

Bullfighting, falconry, horse racing, and camel racing:

These stand for a few of Oman’s most beloved customary sports.
Horse racing and camel racing demonstrate the nation’s passion for equestrian sports.
Bullfighting events take place on holidays and during festivals.
Training and hunting with falcons is known as falconry, an old practice that emphasizes the relationship between people and these magnificent birds.

Dhow Racing:

Dhow racing honors Oman’s nautical history by showcasing classic sailing boats in exciting competitions, particularly during holidays and special occasions.
Oman’s traditional sports and activities offer a lovely blend of culture, history, and community spirit, whether you’re playing Al Hawalas by the sea, competing in team sports like Shabel and Layla, or watching camel races and falconry performances.

Cultural Heritage of Oman

Oman has a rich cultural heritage and an intriguing past. Its distinctive architectural legacy skillfully combines modern and traditional design elements. Now let’s explore some fascinating facets of Omani architecture:

Conventional Materials and Methods:

The use of organic materials like wood, stone, and mud, which are ideal for the varied topography of mountains, deserts, and coastal areas, is what defines Omani architecture.
Mud houses are common in localities such as Al Hamra and are considered to be ancient buildings, some of which are as old as 400 years. The thick walls of these adobe homes act as insulation against the strong summer heat, while the roofs lined with palm trees offer shade and safety.

Castles & Fortresses:

Oman’s many forts and castles are architectural wonders built for defense, bearing witness to the country’s turbulent past.
Omani forts place a higher value on durability and functionality than lavish buildings. The country’s strategic importance is illustrated by the more than a thousand forts that dot the landscape.

Golden Mosque of Sultan Qaboos:

Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat to get a picture of contemporary Islamic architecture. This mosque, which is made of Indian sandstone, is elegant and simple.
A ten-ton Swarovski crystal chandelier is suspended from a teak ceiling in the prayer hall. Ornamental mihrabs that are inspired by Central Asian, Indian Mughal, Iranian, and modern Islamic forms have elaborate mosaic tiles and tribal motifs.

Elegance, Moderation, and Simplicity:

The arched windows, white or off-white exteriors, and fort-like castellations that characterize Omani buildings are a recurring motif. Omani architecture is characterized by beauty, moderation, and simplicity, in contrast to that of its more opulent Gulf neighbors.
This style permeates all buildings, from homes to retail centers, lending an air of austerity and minimalism.

How Mud Architecture Lives on:

Since Oman started modernizing in the 1970s, its traditional architecture—especially its mud structures—has fared better than in other Middle Eastern countries.
Ancient mud-and-brick adobe houses can still be seen in villages like Al Hamra, providing a window into Oman’s past and the tenacity of its architectural legacy.

In conclusion, Omani architecture skillfully combines functionality, cultural understanding, and a strong bond with the earth. Whether touring modern mosques or learning about the history of forts, tourists can enjoy the diverse architectural fabric of the nation.

The Famous Music and Dance of Oman

Oman’s cultural legacy is well ingrained in its music and dance. Let’s investigate these intriguing facets:

Customary Soundtracks:

Because of the connections between seafarers, Omani music has acquired musical aspects from places like Egypt and Tanzania, which is impacted by its coastal position.
Unique to Oman, every Omani celebrates important life milestones including birth, circumcision, marriage, and death with song, regardless of age or gender.
The genre Ṣawt al-Khaleej, or Voice of the Gulf, was invented by well-known Omani musicians such as Salim Rashid Suri, sometimes known as the “Singing Sailor,” who combined elements from different Indian Ocean musical traditions and the northern Persian Gulf.
The music and dance styles Liwa and Fann at-Tanbura are practiced in groups whose ancestors are Bantu people from the African Great Lakes region.

Al-Bar’ah Dancing:

The Dhofar region in southern Oman is home to the distinctive Al-Bar’ah culture, which consists of a warlike dance performed to tribal chants.
This half-circle dance, which is actively performed by both sexes, reflects the historical relevance and cultural continuity of the area.
Contemporary Expressions:

In addition to traditional music, Oman is home to a growing underground metal scene, which is being highlighted by bands like Arabia and Belos.
The ageless rhythms of Omani heritage mingle with these modern manifestations to create a dynamic musical landscape.
Discover Al-Bar’ah:

You can look through films like Al-Bar’ah, music, and dance of Oman Dhofari valleys to see the mesmerizing Al-Bar’ah dance.
Omani music and dance honor the nation’s history, culture, and people’s unwavering spirit.

The Famous  Omani Poetry and Literature

Inspired by the history, culture, and oral traditions of the nation, Omani poetry and literature have a rich and varied legacy. Let’s examine a few fascinating features:

Novels and Historical Fiction: In recent years, Omani literature and historical fiction have gained international acclaim. The renowned Man Booker International Prize was awarded to Omani writer Jokha Alharthi in 2019 for her book “Celestial Bodies.” This literary work addresses themes of love, loss, and societal transition while providing a poetic window into Omani life in the 20th century.

There are many Omani books that explore the history and oral traditions of the country; they are published in both Arabic and English. As an illustration, consider Bushra Khalfan’s “Dilshad,” which examines the difficulties a family in early to mid-20th-century Oman encountered over the course of three generations.

Contemporary Poetry:

Poetry from Oman has evolved, moving away from conventional Arabic forms. Modern Omani poets dabble in prose and rhyme-free poetry.
Modern Omani poetry frequently addresses conflicts, inconsistencies, and cultural shifts as a reflection of the nation’s shift from tradition to modernity.

Omani Writers:

The literary landscape of Oman benefits greatly from the contributions of Omani poets. They explore identity, memory, and current affairs in their works.
Some poets express themselves in Arabic, but others write in English, which allows them to reach a wider range of readers and fosters cross-cultural relationships.

Voices Underrepresented in Society:

In Oman, initiatives are being made to give marginalized literary voices a platform. Omani writers are highlighted in literary journals and other forums, which highlights their distinct viewpoints.
To sum up, Omani poetry and literature offer an engrossing blend of artistic expression, cultural insights, and historical narratives. They act as windows into the goals, history, and present of Oman.

Oman’s traditional clothing, which is different for men and women, combines practicality with cultural significance:

Men’s Clothing:

The dishdasha, often called kandura, is a typical ankle-length, collarless robe worn by Omani men. These dresses are available in a variety of hues, including brown, blue, green, and black.
White dishdashas are made of wool (often from Kashmir) in the winter and cotton in the summer, and are only worn on formal occasions.
The dishdasha may have a furakha or tarbousha, a decorative tassel that is typically scented, at the neckline.
Men wear beige cloaks called bishts, which have elaborate gold lining, to formal ceremonies.

Omani men cover their heads with a kummah (cap) and turban (mussar). Their heads are shielded from heat and cold by the woollen mussar, and their kummah cap, which is commonly made of Kashmiri wool, has special embroidery known as tanjeem.
A belt known as a shal fastens the ceremonial dagger, known as the khanjar, to their waist. There are several varieties of khanjars, including Al Saidi (royal family), Al Nizwami (from Nizwa), and Al Suri (smallest variety), which represent virility.
Men from Oman also carry an assa, or cane, which they use for practical purposes when shepherding and as a decorative element when performing traditional dances.

Ladies’ Clothes:

In accordance with Islamic tradition, Omani women cover their heads with a head covering known as a lihaf, which can encircle the head, neck, and partially conceal the face.
The lihaf is available in a variety of styles, some plain and others embellished with embroidery and sequins.
The sirwal, a traditional Omani dress worn over pants, is made of materials that are specific to the region in terms of color, design, and texture.
amid spite of cultural modesty, Omani clothing promotes ventilation amid the country’s high heat. Omani apparel is visually interesting and fascinating due to the blend of tradition, practicality, and cultural aesthetics.

Oman’s political

Oman’s political system is based on an absolute monarchy, in which the Sultan of Oman serves as both the head of state and the head of government. The following are important realizations:

Monarchy: The supreme commander of the armed forces and prime minister are titles held by the Sultan, an inherited status, who also selects a government to assist him.
Political Parties and Legislature: The official legislature and political parties are absent from Oman. Alternatively, the government receives advice from bicameral representative organizations.

Succession: Following the death of his cousin, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said, in January 2020, the current Sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, took over as ruler. The ruling family decides unanimously who would be appointed as the new Sultan upon the death of the current one.

The three levels of Oman’s legal system are the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and Elementary Court. An Administrative Court also hears cases pertaining to the government.

Administrative Divisions: There are 59 districts (wilayats) in Oman, and each is governed by a wali, or governor. The 84 elected members of the Consultative Assembly (Majlis al-Shura) serve as a liaison between the people and the government, offering recommendations and vetting proposed laws.
The political system of Oman is distinguished by its combination of stability, tradition, and dedication to progress. The Sultanate makes an effort to balance current modernization efforts with its historical legacy.

The cuisine of Oman is an intriguing fusion

The cuisine of Oman is an intriguing fusion of flavors shaped by several cultures and ancient trading routes. Let’s examine the wide range of Omani cuisine:

Herbs and Spices with Aroma:

Oman’s use of aromatic spices, herbs, and marinades sets their cuisine apart. These ingredients provide the food unique flavors and enticing scents.
Cloves, cardamom, and black limes are among the often used spices.
Meat and Seafood:

Oman’s vast Arabian Sea coastline makes seafood a staple of the country’s cuisine. Main course offerings include fresh fish, shrimp, and other marine delicacies.
Often found in recipes like biryani, shuwa (slow-cooked beef or camel), and halwa (a sweet mixture of sugar, saffron, and rosewater), popular meats include lamb and goat.

Bedouin Warmth:

Deeply ingrained in Bedouin culture are Omani culinary customs, which are demonstrated by the gracious hospitality shown by dishes like traditional Omani coffee (kahwa), which is served in tiny cups (fenjans).
Bedouin roots can be seen in the slow-cooking technique known as “shuwa,” which involves wrapping marinated meat in banana leaves and baking it in underground ovens.

Diverse Cuisine, Diverse Population

Oman’s multiethnic population—which includes Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Sunni and Shia Muslims—contributes to the country’s diversified culinary scene.
This diversity is on display in both high-end hotels and traditional Omani restaurants.

Specialty Foods:

Shuwa: Slow-cooked, marinated meat baked in an underground oven while wrapped in banana leaves.
Mach boos: Aromatic rice dishes flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and saffron, usually served with chicken or fish.

Dates: A staple in savory stews and curries, as well as a delightful dessert.

Karak Tea and Omani Bread:

Bread from Oman is a traditional food that is frequently served with different sides.
The strong-flavored spiced tea known as karak tea is a favorite among the natives.
Omani food is a symphony of tastes and a delightful journey through history and culture. Enjoying the sweetness of dates or slow-cooked meats, each dish tells a story about Oman’s diverse and culturally rich culinary history.

Geography of Oman

Oman is a country in West Asia that lies on the Arabian Peninsula’s southeast coast. It has an interesting and diverse topography. Now let’s explore its territory:

Place and Boundaries:

Oman borders Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on land.
The Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and Saudi Arabia’s Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) encircle it.
Historically, Oman’s coastal towns were connected to the rest of the world primarily by nautical routes.

Terrain Area:

The entire land area of Oman is roughly 309,500 square kilometers, or 119,500 square miles.
One can classify the terrain into:
Deserts and valleys make up almost 82% of the entire landmass.

Mountain ranges: Making up about 15% of the total area.
Approximately 3% of the area is made up of coastal plains.
Regional Obstacles:

As a natural barrier, the Hajar Mountains form a belt that separates the desert from the coast.
Oman and the Arabian interior are divided by the vastness of the Rub’ al-Khali, a difficult desert to travel even with modern transportation.
Natural Attributes:

Ru’us al-Jibal: Includes the Musandam Peninsula’s northern region.
Al-Batinah: Creates a coastal plain that stretches southeast along the coast of the Gulf of Oman.
The interior of Oman consists of the foothills, the Hajar Mountains, and the edges of the desert.
The coast stretches around the point of Ras Al Hadd from Muscat to Matrah.
Island in the ocean called Masirah Island.

Barren coastline: Extends to the southern Dhofar region.
Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ):

The EEZ of Oman is around 533,180 square kilometers, or 205,862 square miles.
In the Somali Sea and the Guardafui Channel, the southwest boundary of the EEZ is located in close proximity to the Yemeni archipelago of Socotra.
Oman’s varied topography—which includes lowlands along the coast, mountains, and deserts—contributes to its unique cultural legacy and historical seclusion.

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