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Life in Oman

 
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jason68sydney



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 6:55 am    Post subject: Life in Oman Reply with quote

1-Are there any bookstores in Oman that sell English books? What about music stores-Western music CDs?
2-If you have a car, is there a breakdown service like the AA in the UK?
3- If you travel outside the country while you are working there, can you easily purchase travel insurance there?
If you could answer any of the questions it would be much appreciated.

Nosaj.
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MindTraveller



Joined: 13 Mar 2003
Posts: 89
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 2:50 pm    Post subject: Oman Reply with quote

1. Yes, there's a large Carrefore (Europe's Wall-Mart, I think) that sells English magazines and books, paperbacks and bestsellers. You can also drive from Oman to the UAE, to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Al Ain where there are more malls and many more places to spend your money on books and CDs.

2. Not that I know of. However, Arabic hospitality usually applies to car breakdowns and people will usually stop and help you. Really. Once in the UAE, five young men in a car were motioning to me to pull over. I figured, ok. Turns out I had my music so loud, I hadn't noticed I had a flat tire. The guys fixed it with my spare.

3. If you CAR travel (drive to the UAE) you pay more for car insurance to cover your car in both Oman and the UAE. Other places? I have no idea. As a woman, I can't drive in Saudi Arabia (as if I even wanted to go there again after 2 years there).

4. There isn't a 4?????

MindTraveller
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16066
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add a bit more info to MindTraveller's message

1. There is a chain called Family Bookstores which sells all kinds of English books and magazines. The main drawback is the price.

There was a good used bookstore in one of the Qurm malls near Sabco Center called the Wadi Centre. If this one has closed, the same person owned branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so you could visit them when you travel there. I believe that they all trade under the name 'House of Prose.' The Oman shop was the first one opened and I used to drive from Abu Dhabi to Oman and fill my trunk with reading material.

Plenty of music stores, but the inventory will reflect their international audience, so there will be Arabic music and Hindi hits along with the western. Probably not many obscure new bands though. Smile

2. Absolutely right here -- you don't need things like AA when you have a country that functions rather like a small town. Help is almost always nearby.

3. If you buy a car, almost all carriers provide coverage for both the Emirates and Oman -- on my policy there was no extra charge for this. Be sure to bring a 2 year no claims letter from your home country with you when you come -- your premiums will drop almost in half.

If you are talking about 'travel insurance' for health care and other travel mishaps, any travel agency can provide it. It is normally with one of the big British groups (which I also had my car insurance with)
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kaw



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 302
Location: somewhere hot and sunny

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:02 pm    Post subject: books Reply with quote

Just a quickie to let you know that the used book shop VS mentioned is still there. They have a pretty good selection but for second hand book are a bit pricey - average book will set you back about 4 rials. They do however give you half of that back when you return the book.
Al-Fair (or some of them) also sell books and newspapers and magazines are pretty much everywhere though again they are pretty expensive.

Happy reading

K
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titanicman



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 8:34 am    Post subject: Entertainment options Reply with quote

What are the entertainment options in Oman? Things like movies, beaches, and others.

Thanks. Titanicman
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kaw



Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 302
Location: somewhere hot and sunny

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a couple of cinemas in Muscat - which show pretty new films as well as a million or so Indian films - Confused
Loads of beaches - there's the Dive Centre in Muscat as well as beaches pretty much everywhere else on the coast -the snorkelling is pretty good so I imagine the diving would be as well - there's also the opportunity to do the PADI course in various places.
As for other'entertainment' - limited to the hotels. The Intercontinental in Muscat has a decent bar as am sure the other hotels do as well but just remember that you'll pay hotel prices for your beer.....
Outside of Muscat you are very very limited. People generally make their own entertainment.
If it's the "bright lights big city" thing you're after then a weekend in Dubai would probably suffice.
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DingirEnki



Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 6:53 am    Post subject: Re: Life in Oman Reply with quote

Others have answered the question about car troubles and insurance. "House of Prose" (the used bookstore mentioned previously) is still there, and I'd argue that prices are very reasonable. You can usually get them for about the same price you'd pay for used books back in the states (around 2 rials, which is roughly $5.00 USD.)

In regards to the other question about other entertainment, as has already been mentioned, there are 3 notable movie theaters that play English movies that are fairly new and recent. There are a couple others, but they play mostly Hindi stuff.

There are plenty of places to eat out. The beaches are great! And during the winter you can go out of town and hike around the wadis and such. (You can during the summer, too, but I can't imagine doing that in 50 C degree weather.)
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crocus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: Life in Oman: House of Prose Reply with quote

Just as a follow on from what DingirEnki said:

DingirEnki wrote:
I'd argue that prices are very reasonable. You can usually get them for about the same price you'd pay for used books back in the states (around 2 rials, which is roughly $5.00 USD.)



They actually have about 12,000 different titles in stock - mostly fiction. The average is about 2.2 rials, and the most expensive books I've seen there are 4.2 rials, but they are the 'just in' newest titles. Do remember though that the actual price is 50% of that. [And they have well-past-it, non-returnable books for 300 baisa as well.] If you go to the supermarkets or the Family Bookshop you may get some newer titles, but the cost is a great deal higher.

To get there: Al Wadi Centre on the right at the far end of SABCO Qurum shopping malls; go up the escalator; walk right to the back of the mall and then take a left, past the Slimming Centre. I couldn't find it for ages, because there's no sign outside.

All the best,
Crocus
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MindTraveller



Joined: 13 Mar 2003
Posts: 89
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:17 am    Post subject: MOVIES Reply with quote

Actually, to see 'good' movies, you have to drive to the UAE. Oman usually doesn't have decent movies - just the violent ones.

I was surprised they had "Troy" and "Monster", both heavily edited for s$$. But usually I drive to Al Ain or Dubai for movies.

Sattlilte tv, ORBIT, kept me in touch with the USA, "Will & Grace" and other American shows I had only heard about but hadn't seen. Too bad ORBIT didn't have a science fiction channel.
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