Join the Navy, see Oman!

#3
#4
Used to drive around Oman every month or so, Quite nice in places, with a gorgeous view of the Gulf... The checkpoint between Oman and RAK was lax though, I drove through it a few times without being stopped.
 

Tyk

War Hero
#5
Cheap support for an old ally, saves him having to go to Iran/China and we get to not have to use the Strait of Hormuz in dodgy times.
On those grounds alone it seems like a rational move, there are probably a few other benefits too. No obvious drawbacks leap to mind either.
 
#6
I was on a ship in duqm not a few months ago. Everyone said its the next dubai. The dockyard was very busy. Its not a bad investment. I could also see it being used for forward repair for UK units. Asry in Bahrain and the chaps in dubai are not renown for their workmanship.

Drawbacks at the moment included the only shore recreation facilities being a containerised pizza Hut and its a 6 hour drive to muscat for international flights.

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
 
#7
There's a lot of investment in Omani infrastructure coming up - we're setting up there as I speak. Meant to be the most civilized gulf country.
 
#8
There's a lot of investment in Omani infrastructure coming up - we're setting up there as I speak. Meant to be the most civilized gulf country.
It's a lovely place - great people, great landscape. There is a really interesting mix of cultures kicking around the place.
 
#9
There's a lot of investment in Omani infrastructure coming up - we're setting up there as I speak. Meant to be the most civilized gulf country.
A lot the guys I worked with had also worked in Oman, they universally preferred it to KSA apart from one thing. The salary.

An old mate who eventually left KSA in inauspicious circumstances (very badly burnt after a still blew up on him) now runs the RAFO tech training I believe. Interesting and complex chap who used to cycle to work in Dhahran until he got knocked off his bike and casevaced for the first time.
 
#10
Very sensible move, it is widely believed in a number of circles that in 30 years time only the Monarchies of Jordan and Oman will remain in the ME the rest will have morphed into something probably not very stable, Bahrain could well be under new ownership. Oman has been a firm friend for a long time and it is unusually proof against Salafist jiggery pokery due to their version of Islam.

Also no messing around in those nice tight bottlenecks up Bahrain way.

Mmmmmmm something is wrong it is far too sensible,,,,
 
#11
Join the Navy and see lots Omen...

Oman is stunning and the people are much removed from the Gulf Arabs to the North, i.e. nice, very hospitable and not up their own jacksies.
 
#12
I've been based out of Oman for years and it is a great country, but the oil prices have bitten hard on government spending (the main source of employment for nationals) and the next 24 months will be a very tricky period.

Duqm is absolutely not going to be the next Dubai, not least because the investment required to build it up has to come from the private sector and/or overseas - the Iranians are sinking US$300M into a new car factory - and at the moment it's not coming on anything like the scale needed.

The big unknown for stability is the transition from HM Sultan Qaboos (an incredible statesman) to [insert one of three names here]. Whoever follows him won't have the accumulated good will from the population that Qaboos genuinely enjoys and Oman faces the same structural demographic challenges seen around the region, but has much more modest oil reserves and income - what there is is often tight oil and needs hydraulic fracturing and EOR techniques to get it out = expensive. They do have significant gas reserves but those are yet to be tapped.

Western expats are leaving at an increasing rate as the lack of investment in construction and oilfield projects start to affect the private sector and that trend will continue. UK investment of any form is therefore very welcome and Duqm will be an interesting place with China, Iran, UAE, South Korea, Japan, the US and us all having an interest there of one form or another.

Interestingly Oman has an FTA with the US giving American citizens a big commercial advantage in business, a situation the UK could replicate in about two minutes outside the EU.
 
#14
I'm a big fan of Oman. In fact it's the only place in the ME I like. Nothing quite like Trader Vic's at the Intercontinental.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
I've been based out of Oman for years and it is a great country, but the oil prices have bitten hard on government spending (the main source of employment for nationals) and the next 24 months will be a very tricky period.

Duqm is absolutely not going to be the next Dubai, not least because the investment required to build it up has to come from the private sector and/or overseas - the Iranians are sinking US$300M into a new car factory - and at the moment it's not coming on anything like the scale needed.

The big unknown for stability is the transition from HM Sultan Qaboos (an incredible statesman) to [insert one of three names here]. Whoever follows him won't have the accumulated good will from the population that Qaboos genuinely enjoys and Oman faces the same structural demographic challenges seen around the region, but has much more modest oil reserves and income - what there is is often tight oil and needs hydraulic fracturing and EOR techniques to get it out = expensive. They do have significant gas reserves but those are yet to be tapped.

Western expats are leaving at an increasing rate as the lack of investment in construction and oilfield projects start to affect the private sector and that trend will continue. UK investment of any form is therefore very welcome and Duqm will be an interesting place with China, Iran, UAE, South Korea, Japan, the US and us all having an interest there of one form or another.

Interestingly Oman has an FTA with the US giving American citizens a big commercial advantage in business, a situation the UK could replicate in about two minutes outside the EU.
The UK could replicate that now, within in the EU should we wish, we have a separate bilateral trade agreement with the USA for example:

UK bilateral trade relations: business opportunities - Detailed guidance - GOV.UK

We also have preferential agreements with the Commonwealth, which give us, and them, easier access to each others markets, more so than the EU.

But that's by the by.

The Oman deal is a sensible one, I think the country is better position strategically than Bahrain, being outwith the Persian Gulf, and has been a long term ally. Was more surprised by the deal to set up the base in Bahrain a few years back, always felt that Oman was the better option.
 
#16
Lived in Oman now for over 12 years. Only came for three ☺

It has been very good to us but times are definitely changing as others have already said.

Just driven the coast road from Muscat to Salalah over easter. Stunning drive! Did round trip of around 3000km all in.

Great camping and very friendly people.

Shame the economy is so tied into oil and succession is complicated.

Duqm is still pretty basic although crowne plaza was nice. Hard to stock up on fresh supplies though for camping leg of trip.
 
#17
I had the pleasure / priviledge / dubious honour* of working for three ME Navies. One lot were incredibly rude, hypocritical, up their own arses, one was just a bit brusque and the other was Oman. They were delightful people, warm and friendly compared to the Saudis (oops, delete that). The Omanis even gave us a section of the galley (kitchen to you lot) where we coukld prepare our bacon and pork snorkers (two off) for brekky. This was ripped out and replaced after the ship's handover.

In fact the times working with the Omani Navy was so good that I began the process of joining the Oman Royal yacht (the yacht was crewed by ex RN personnel) a process eventually overtaken by other events.

* Delete as appropriate
 
#18
Couldn't agree more. Omanis are the best ME people.
 
#19
Also no messing around in those nice tight bottlenecks up Bahrain way.
FFS, I thought you said Bootnecks.

Friendly and tolerant place. ISTR that the hotel bars shut in the afternoon to prevent Jolly Jack making a total arrse of himself resulting in lights at the Foreign Office and in the old man's cabin burning all night.
 

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