pictures are taken during our trip to muscat, oman on mr. khairul’s birthday in early march.
1) one of world’s largest yacht is in muscat?
before leaving for dubai, we took a stroll along the corniche at muscat port. alongside it – the while row of shophouses, old houses and even a mosque – is the old muttrah.
we were lucky that day, as we could clearly see this yacht. so? we LIVE in dubai marina. we see posh, rich people’s yacht all the time. so what’s so special about this particular yacht? well, it belongs to the ruler of oman – sultan qaboos. yeap. it’s HIS personal yacht, and it’s one of the largest in the world. I love this picture that I took, because you can see the size of the yacht alongside the typical arabic dhow. awesome.
ordered to be made in 2006, the impressive-looking yacht is named ‘al said’. at the time of launching, the yacht was the world's second longest, and the most powerful.
ok you’ve seen his yacht. wanna know where sultan qaboos lives?
2) what’s the ‘al-alam palace’?
my sis-in-law tina in front of ‘al-alam palace’, sultan qaboos’ official residence
that blue-gold-blue building is the official palace of sultan qaboos (he used it only during special functions. sultan qaboos has 5 other palaces!). it’s called ‘al-alam palace’. the palace has a history of over 200 years, built by imam sultan bin ahmed, who is actually the 7th direct grandfather of the current sultan! talk about keeping-it-in-the-family huh? it’s re-built looking like that in 1972.
I would say this area is the putrajaya of oman, as the palace is flanked by all the ministerial buildings.
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3) historical old forts : al-jalali, al-mirani & muttrah fort
other than frankincense, muscat is also known for its old forts, especially al-jilali fort and al-mirani fort. these two forts are often described as the ‘twin fort’ because of their location on either side of muscat harbour. a beautiful, historical representation of oman’s past.
and even cooler fact : the ‘twin forts’ flanked ‘al-alam palace’, a powerful symbol of protection of the sultan against any foreign attack? what’s clear is, no other building rises higher than these two forts.
that’s the al-jalali fort behind my boysobviously overlooking the sea of oman; protecting the country from foreign attack coming from sea.
al-jalali fort was built by the portuguese in the 1580s to protect the harbor. once in the 17th century it’s also used as a prison for members of the royal family. it’s currently a private museum storing old valuable oman cultural history, open only to foreign dignitaries who visit the country. tak aci!
notice the punctuated dots on the fort in between two towers? that’s the holes for the canons!
that’s me in front of its twin – the al-mirani fort. muscat was strongly defended against attack from the sea by these twin forts. built in the 16th century, it contributed to the fall of portuguese in muscat.
muttrah fort, still holding one of the old canons used in the days of yore. awesome! I LOVE these historical places with extravagantly old items; like touching the stones of the pyramids, or looking at mona lisa, or being inside the taj mahal. it’s just amazing that these are the items that have seen all the wonders of the olden days – the people, the speech, the costumes and customs. and it’s still here, for us to see and touch!
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4) oman, famous for frankincense
frankincense is an aromatic thingy from a plant, that emits smoke when burnt. macam kemenyan tapi wangi. orang arab suka sgt kan benda ni. aku tak minat sangat.
frankincense is a popular item of trade in oman since the 15th centure. in fact, it’s so popular that it has become an iconic symbol for oman. a huge frankincense burner was actually built on top of a hill along the roadside of muscat’s corniche; best viewed from the park beside it.
my boys along this beautiful muscat bay. behind them is the iconic frankincense burner – a symbol of what oman is most famous for.
what’s so engrossing from grandma to her three dubai grandsons?
my sis-in-law tina with her goofy nephews
look at that azure water. it’s so amazingly blue it’s almost magical. and this photograph is NOT filtered in any way. it IS. THAT blue. such gorgeous waters of oman sea!
ok fine. THIS was filtered. filtered baek punya haha. just an awesome reminder of that brief time spent with my sons, in view of the wondrous azure waters of oman sea. just breathtaking.
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we will return! (alah. 4-5 jam je drive weh dari dubai ke muscat! sblom buat highway, ipoh-kl pon 4 jam. ape la sangat. huhu)