Oman is focusing on developing its dilapidating railways and ports to become globally-competitive and further help increase the country’s income. Omani ports can be linked with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and will help integrate the transport system between these countries as an integrated system.
Transport and Communications Minister Doctor Ahmed Mohammed Salim al-Futaisi said that the focus of Oman’s train network will make the transport industry a crucial resource for Oman. Becoming the gateway for the GCC in terms of transporting goods and services, Oman’s profits could increase with better activity in the service industry.
Oman Air may also contribute to the services industry as it opens in the new Omani regional airport at Duqm. The airlines had promised four weekly flights.
Meanwhile, Savannah Resources Plc has acquired interests in the Block 5 and 6 of Oman’s copper projects. The mutli-commodity exploration and development company uses the acquisitions as part of its growth strategy for its own company, and Oman’s enrichment as well.
Copper mining may be the best next industry for Oman as copper supply in the world is increasingly disrupted by mining troubles, decreased investor interest and high costs for major copper-producing countries.
According to an Abu Dhabi network, the Los Angeles-based reef developer Reef Worlds, had announced its interest to start building underwater tourism in Oman to further cultivate its underwater habitat sites. In line with Oman’s increasing push for its tourism industry, the rehabilitation of its underwater habitats is a welcome support.
The underwater tourism design company is considering to create a new and revolutionary tourist spot for Oman, which would guarantee a $3 billion tourism market in underwater habitats and tourism.
Reef Worlds designers expressed the intention of building an ancient Lost City replica underwater, which would help Oman become a focus for dive and snorkel tourism. It would also help Oman’s waters become lively and teeming with life.
Reef Worlds had also said that it wants to create more underwater tourism habitats in Dubai, the Philippines and other parts of the Middle East and Asia to boost the health of the underwater environment and help regional tourism provide more for the economies of the countries.
Dave Taylor, the Development Director of Reef Worlds, said their brand’s focus is to create and sustain a new habitat while providing tourists and people the ability to appreciate what the water world has to offer, besides from beaches and natural snorkelling resorts.
Business Insider had placed Oman Air as one of the top ten airlines for flying Economy Class at 9th Place. This places the airline company together with the industry giants in aviation. Oman Air excels greatly in passenger experience.
Salim Al Kindy, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Oman Air, welcomed Business Insider’s acknowledgement of Oman Air’s quality. He said “we are proud and delighted that Business Insider has recognised the outstanding quality offered by Oman Air and has listed us as one of the ten best airlines in the world.
Oman Air’s economy class blazed through the criteria of quality of passenger experience, punctuality and the actual performance of its logistics system.
Passenger experience is based upon the covering seat comfort, in-flight entertainment, cabin safety, service efficiency, meal quality and cleanliness.
Oman Air’s economy class provides good spaces between seats, wifi and mobile phone connectivity, and live satellite television with large personal entertainment screens in front of each passenger.
However, the top ten area does not cover whether Oman Air’s airplane technical capabilities surpass other industry giants. The placement of Oman in Business Insider’s top ten tells no indication on how the airline treats passenger baggage and other belongings.
The Royal Navy of Oman had met with the BAE Systems Naval Ships for the reception of the Al Khareef Project in the United Kingdom. Oman is to receive the Al Rasikh, a new warship, along with others. The vessel will be the last vessel of the Al Khareef Project and the Sultanate. Top officers from the Royal Navy of Oman and executives from the Sultanates and the Project attended the ceremony, held in Portsmouth City, United Kingdom.
The attendees had toured the innards of the warship and a guide had detailed the modern systems the vessel boasted. The tour guide had also gone in-depth on the ship’s adaptability when it comes to different marine conditions.
The RNO will use the vessel in coast patrols, relief, and search and rescue.
Representatives had signed the documents that would receive the warship and said that the ships will help bolster the maritime capabilities of Oman’s Armed Forces. It will also enable the Royal Navy of Oman to fulfil its obligation to protect the sea and security of the coasts of the country.
France’s proposal to have the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation against the Syrian regime and opposition’s crimes against humanity and possible war crimes Russia will shut down according to the Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. The four-year conflict, which began after a series of brutal crackdowns against protesters by the Syrin regime, had so far claimed 160,000 lives, most of them civilians.
France called for a vote on Thursday, but Russia revealed that it will veto the 58-country supported proposal. Ambassador Churkin said that the proposal was only a “publicity stunt”, which could affect all parties, including those in Syria, very negatively.
However, French Ambassador Gerard Araud said that Churkin could not argue against the proposal. No political process will be undermined because no political process exists against the proposal.
Other UN Security Council members aside from Russia and China had voiced their concerns regarding the possible abuses Syrians are suffering. France circulated a video from a Syrian defector showing the abuses endured by captives on both sides of the conflict as well.
China had chosen to remain silent on the issue.
Russia had already vetoed multiple UN Security Council proposals. One of them was against military action in Syria. A diplomatic resolution to the crisis was still highly improbable.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated in its World Economic Outlook that Oman’s economy in 2013 had dropped to a 2.8% growth in nominal terms in 2013. The IMF said that this is the slowest expansion the country had since 2009 as outputs from the oil industry had fallen behind.
In 2012, Oman’s economy had grown by 11.5%
According to observers, the slowing economy marks the challenges Oman’s government faces with regards to generating jobs for its growing population, which is now at 2.2 million. Despite progressing efficiently from 1970 as a modern economy, Oman’s deficits are caused by the lack of natural oil reserves.
The 1.4% drop in the oil sector, which accounts for 46% of Oman’s £75 billion economy, also played a great role in the slow growth of the economy.
Oman’s services sector is the largest contributor to the country’s GDP, but it had slowed down to 10.0 % from 15.1 % in 2012.
Analysts said that Oman’s real GDP growth should improve to 4.0% this year because of stable oil prices and the government’s investment on major profit-generating projects in the last two years.
The recent allegation of corruption and public protests that demanded jobs for its population had also hurt the reputation of the country. However, the country had also generated tens of thousands of new government jobs.
Five United Nations agencies have said that diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis had already failed and that the UN must focus on providing support for civilians trapped and having trouble in different parts of the country. According to them, “the war escalates in many areas. The humanitarian situation deteriorates day after day.”
UN Under-Secretary General for Emergency Relief Valerie Amos, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake, World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and World Health Organisation Director General Margaret Chan had signed the statement supporting the fact that humanitarian aid is more crucial now than diplomatic resolution
At least nine million Syrians are needing assistance from being trapped between crossfires from Rebels and government forces. The shifting battles had left many relief agencies limited access to provide humanitarian aid for civilian forces.
The five agencies also said that humanitarian access is often denied by all sides in the conflict. They added that “at least one million people are now in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Aleppo alone. Other key roads are blocked by different armed forces and groups.” The road links had been cut between the city and Damascus.
There is now a total of 2.7 million refugees escaping the Syrian civil war.
Computer-based systems are available in modern schools and universities across the world. Oman is adopting its own. CampusLIVE, a software that allows students to create their own academic profile, can allow their parents and educators to access their accounts and review information regarding their academic performance to their yearly fees.
According to the general manager of the IT company who made the software, Shiv Gupta, CampusLIVE allows routine sending of updates to parents by e-mail or SMS. Parents may view their student’s education, sports and extracurricular activities using different web links.
The school may also post tips on dealing with bullies, career development and supplementary educational material for their students. Teachers may also share resources with families to help them identify the possible career their children could have. Disciplinary remarks may also reflect on the child’s profile in the network.
Private schools, such as Assafwah Private Schools, are welcoming the system and said they parents of their students have a huge interest in the development of CampusLIVE and its implementation.
As of today, 11 schools in Oman are using the system. The Oman-exclusive software will also be released with fully Arabic features and will feature effective security measures depending on the clearance of the student, parent, teacher or school official.
A survey done by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk reveals that majority of consumers are using their PPI refunds to have vacation holidays or to purchase a new vehicle. A small majority only saves their refunds or uses it on clothing and gadgets. The survey also showed that UK consumers were quick to spend their PPI refund, contributing greatly to the UK economy.
Economists said the payout of £13.3 billion, which had already reached consumers, is equivalent to 1% of the UK GDP, a very effective “spend” signal that is better than quantitative easing or tax reductions. An increase in car sales from 2012 to the first quarter of 2014 is attributed to PPI.
An average PPI can pay out at least £2780-3500 for consumers. The amount is enough to afford medium-cost travel packages or a down payment for a new vehicle.
The survey showed that at least 19% of consumers who received their PPI compensation used it to purchase new home appliances. Some 17% of the recipients used the money to pay existing debt. The remaining saved the money or used them to buy apparel and groceries.
Mis sold PPI is the UK’s largest financial scandal in history with banks, including the Big Four major banks, setting aside £20 billion for mis sold PPI claims.
According to the Oman National Centre for Statistics and Information, the number of teachers in the classroom had doubled from one teacher for every 19 students in 2002, to one teacher per 10 students in 2012. The numbers show that the number of students enrolled in classes had declined boosting the ratio to close on each other.
However, it was also due to the efforts of the government to improve the educational standards in the country. The Oman Ministry of Education spending had increased by 279.8 million Rial to 925.2 million Rial in 2012. Education accounted for 6.8% of total government expenditure in 2012.
The Oman MOE had also provided 59.8 million Rial to construct new educational facilities and to upgrade existing facilities. The number of general education schools in Oman had increased from 1,019 to 1,043 in 2012.
Oman currently has 444 private schools, 39 foreign schools, six vocational centres and other literacy centres.