Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yachts. Nothin' but trouble...

A nautical theme for today's post readers!

First, an update in the battle for Muscat's Capital Area Yacht Club. aka CAYC, a members only yacht club that happens to be right next to the newish Marina Bander Al Rowdha (a struggling commercial marina that also happens to be partially owned by... the MoT!)

It seems the Ministry of Tourism and their pet poodle OMRAAN still feel confident that intimidation, desperation and persistence will be enough to overturn the explicit written instruction of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos (who some time ago gave the CAYC a deed to their beautiful bay, which also happens to be Goldilocks 'just right' for an new ITD).

A hired heavy - an expat lawyer for MoT - apparently dropped by the CAYC recently and expressed disappointment that the plucky club had had the gall to keep the club facilities in good shape by renovating the patio.

Photo: The Capital Area Yacht Club... just right for OMRAAN

I'm reliably informed that on his recent surprise visit (co-incidentally just before a committee meeting) the Sudanese MoT lawyer asked the Club Manager "why they were carrying out improvements to the place?" (extension of patio area, new showers, shades etc). He then said rather ominously that they would be "moving within a week or two...".

What's next MoT? The old horse's head trick?

The MoT are now trying to move the case (a legal battle over the MoT's right to destroy the bay) to a different court, and are hoping to try their luck at the Oman Primary Court, even though the on-going case is already lodged with the Administrative Court. Any legal experts able to explain the difference?

Good luck CAYC. You should be able to get better lawyers than MoT, to be frank. In fact, maybe even get Omani lawyers, seeing as how the MoT seem unable to find one.

And for God's sake, look after that original deed from HM...

Readers. I encourage you to patronise the CAYC and give them some support. Most members are Omani, and it is a lovely place. After Ramadan, a lovely place for a swim, snorkle, a quiet ale and good value food. Not expensive to join either. Just mention that you're a guest of the Dragon and I'm sure you'll be taken care of. Note: this offer does not apply to one Mohammed Al Sunani - Director General of Planning & Projects at the MoT, a man who has better things to do than lounge around the CAYC, like maybe completing all the unfinished tourist development projects he's already started, perhaps?

In other news, a cautionary tale for my sailing chums.

a dear reader sent me these excellent photos from mid-July, when the Chairman of OHI, (HE?) Maqbool bin Hameed Al Saleh, had a bit of trouble with his nice beautiful yacht.

Photo: Not how it looked in the instruction manual.

I'm told he was out partying cruising on his boat with some guests, anchored at Bandar Khairan [aka 'BK'] for the night, when the wind picked up strongly.

Dragging its anchor under the squall, the crew were unable to get the engines started, and she quickly ran roughly aground, ripping her guts out.

Photo: Note to self: Million dollar Yachts and jagged rocks don't mix.


Fear not. Business is still good it seems, and the replacement craft (bigger, nicer) is on order.

BTW. Rumours I've heard, that this was an insurance job, really are totally ridiculous. HE was on board at the time, and people could have died. So, interesting as it may be to speculate, I'm afraid I can say it was not an insurance job, as anyone who knows anything about boats would probably know. And, I'll tell ya, get a boat like that in a swell/wind near rocks with no engines, and .... well, you're screwed.

OK, perhaps the crew, and almost by definition, her Captain, were more than a little remiss in their responsibilities. But we all know how hard it is to find good help, and the electrics were always a bit iffy since Gonu.

The real story is that, apparently, the ROP took some convincing it was important enough to come to the rescue. They thought it was either a hoax, or just some drowning illegal Afganis better left to... er... well, drown.

They had to be convinced by HE himself yelling down the phone with some gusto before they decided to leave port, it being a bit rough and all.


[A big thanks to my sources on this one: N, SM, S. ] You know who you are...


  1. I might take you up on the CAYC offer (how much is membership ? ) - as Bandar Jissah's work has already started and I will be beachless .

  2. Maqbool Hameed is a former HE – but like US Presidents once an HE always an HE

  3. I understand that CAYC is actively recuriting new members, both Omani and Expatriate. I think a family membership is a reasonable RO150 per year, and allows access to the restaurant, beach, bar, etc... You can bring your boat to live there for a nominal extra fee, like RO 150 or RO 300 per year +/-

    THe CAYC is a great asset, hope they can hang on to it.

  4. according to BluChi
    Administrative Courts are courts responsible for examining decisions made by the government in its public capacity. Anybody can sue the government in the administrative court if the government made any decision that applied to him which he thought is not fair. This is irrelevant if that person is doing business with the government or whether or not he has a contract with the government.

    The Elementary Court (or primary court) is part of the normal civil court system. This court can be used by individuals to sue other individuals for civil matters. If a person has a contract with the government, he may be able to sue the government in the regular court if the government was acting as a regular commercial entity and not as a public body. The government could also sue persons it contracts with at a regular court if that person breaches a contract. In many situations, if you are suing the government because of the government's breach of a contract, you might be able to sue them under both courts if the government breach involving making a decision in its administrative capacity as well as general breach of a commercial term.
    It seems that the Elementary Court would be used if you accept that the MofT is acting as a regular commercial entity .
    The Administrative Courts are if you feel the MofT is acting in its public capacity.
    So is the MofT is shifting court as it wishes to be considered part of the Gov not a commercial entity

  5. YNO
    I have no idea on what contractual basis MoT would be able to evict CAYC. I presume they can invoke powers to forcibly buy land for a Government project (like a road, or a hotel development)...

    But as part owners of the Marina next door that they are trying to force CAYC to move too, they have a commercial conflict of interest as well.

    Rock Devil


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