Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rain in Oman, and work restarts in Bar Al Jissa

Bar Al Jissa Update
Real estate investors will be pleased to know construction work has recommenced in Bar Al Jissa's cliff-top villas and apartments. My sources tell me Sheikh Zubair got involved and ... no surprise, everything got sorted out. Ah, the joys of wasta.

The expat architect, construction and project managers - who had previously ignored several instructions to stop work, until they had their passports confiscated - have had their passports returned. And so the blue smurfs are now slaving away again.

Weather - we've finally got some
Isn't the rain beautiful? Just when it normally starts getting really hot as summer starts to arrive, we've instead had several days of cloudy, cooler weather, and today and tomorrow we're expecting lots of rain, lightening and even perhaps some hail! But it is NOT a cyclone. Here's the latest sat pic, and you can see there's nothing of note around Oman. Its just a standard low pressure front.

The Government has closed the schools in Muscat, and given Government employees 2 days off. Yes folks, rain is a cause for celebration in Oman. It does seem the authorities have learned some lessons from Cyclone Gonu, (except that the press are still reporting that only 49 deaths occured, when we all know the real death toll was well over 500, possibly even up to 2000).

You may want to try and protect your car over the next 2 days. The hail may be big enough to cause nasty dents...

Schools in Oman closed on Tuesday following hailstorm warning
Published: March 30, 2009, 16:48

Muscat: Oman is bracing for a hailstorm and rains as hospitals are put on stand by and educational institutions given a day off on Tuesday.
"It is not a serious matter, but looking at our country's topography we are taking precautions," Lt Col Azhar Al Kindy, a member of the National Committee for Civil Defence (NCCD), told Gulf News on Monday. He said the bad weather that hit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE is heading towards Oman.

Due to its mountainous region, Oman's wadis (valleys) overflow even with slightly moderate rain, therefore the authorities are not taking any chances.

"We have been advised by the Education Ministry to close our educational institutions," Abraham Mathews, Advisor to the Indian Schools Board, told Gulf News on Monday. Barring the school in Salalah, all other 14 Indian schools have declared Tuesday as a holiday.

Lt Col Al Kindy said the decision to declare school holidays was taken by the Education Ministry as a precaution.

Oman had suffered extensive damage and 49 people had died when tropical cyclone Gonu stuck its eastern coast and Muscat in June 2007. At that time, precautionary measures taken by the NCCD had controlled the damage, but flooding from the mountain had caused much damage and loss of lives.

This time there is no storm coming, but hails and rains could again cause havoc by flooding wadis and low-lying areas thus authorities are on guard. Explaining the cause for the expected hailstorm and rains, Abdullah Rashid of Meteorological Office IN Muscat said: "North westerly disturbance and low pressure over Arabian Peninsula will bring rains as well as possible hailstorm." He forecast moderate rainfall, but accompanied by hailstorm for Tuesday as well as Wednesday.

It probably won't be as spectacular as the lightening show in Dubai a couple of days ago.

'Course, we don't have a half kilometer high lightening attractor in Muscat!


  1. UD, A small error, there is no holiday for Govt. or private sector.
    Thanks for the nice photos of lightining and the sat photo. Huge crowds were there in all supermarket thanks to the "survivial kit" you had put earlier for "gonu survival".

  2. JC

    Not an official holiday, but lots of Gov employees - esp. non essentials - were told they could have Tue/Wed off.

  3. non essentials? I thought the ones that skipped work are those who live outside of Muscat (in al-Batina or Sur..etc). I hear they have heavy rain compared to Muscat, and it would be dangerous for them to travel.

  4. Hey- Realityinoman, there you go, thinking logically again. Abd

  5. that was not a storm! we got scared for nothing...

  6. Any more information on Barr Al Jissah?
    I saw that they are selling the small twon homes for OR 600K? could that be correct? or is this old data?

  7. "rain is a cause for celebration in Oman". This is how I was thinking up to today when I heard that the brother of my friend, Rashid, was washed away by the rain and his body was found today, after 24 hours missing.
    It's a Black day for Oman. Only black. Why should rain be a cause of death in 2009?


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