Amal Al Raisi – The fashion designer taking Khaleeji style to the runways of Paris and Torino

Omani business graduate Amal Al Raisi found a career in fashion totally by accident while working for a government ministry in Muscat. After searching for a wedding dress and becoming frustrated at the lack of choice, she decided to design her own. The dress was so popular that she began designing for her family and … Continue reading Amal Al Raisi – The fashion designer taking Khaleeji style to the runways of Paris and Torino

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The Omani fitness coach challenging culture through handstands

He places his hands on the floor of the coffee shop, manoeuvres a little upside down to shift his balance, then slowly tenses his core and lifts his legs straight up into the air with grace and ease. “The handstand is very symbolic,” he tells me later. “It’s about seeing things from a new perspective, … Continue reading The Omani fitness coach challenging culture through handstands

The Qatar spat: The crack in the GCC’s armour deepens

Six Arab countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing the tiny natural gas-rich Gulf emirate of sponsoring terrorism and destabilising the region. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have closed their borders with Qatar, stopping flights into the country and giving Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries. Kuwait and Oman … Continue reading The Qatar spat: The crack in the GCC’s armour deepens

Oman: An Uncertain Future for ‘the Middle East’s Most Welcoming Absolute Monarchy’

Unable to see past the war and instability engulfing the rest of the Middle East, many will look at you with sceptical concern when you inform them that you are going to Oman. Images of suicide bombings in Iraq, Lebanon’s sprawling refugee camps and Yemeni children holding AK-47s inevitably infiltrate perceptions of the region. But this beautiful, … Continue reading Oman: An Uncertain Future for ‘the Middle East’s Most Welcoming Absolute Monarchy’