Locals, expats in Oman looking forward to extended weekend

Many have made plans to get away from the city for a while to decompress and recharge

Oman - Muskat, Masjid Al Rasool Al A`dham Mosque with flowers.

Oman - Muskat, Masjid Al Rasool Al A`dham Mosque with flowers.

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Muscat: Omanis and expatriates alike are excited for the four-day weekend, which begins on Wednesday, 25 November, and only sees them return to work on Sunday the 29th.

Wednesday and Thursday are both designated as the National Day holidays, and many have made plans to get away from the city for a while to decompress and recharge themselves before returning to the daily grind.

Mohammed Al Hinai, an Omani national from Nizwa, said, “on Tuesday night and Wednesday, I have made plans to hang out with a few close friends – not too many because of the coronavirus pandemic – and then on Wednesday afternoon, I will go to my family home in Ad Dakhiliyah with my wife and daughter.

“We will spend a few days with my parents, who are looking forward to seeing us,” he added. “If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is the importance of family when things are tough.”

Sudhakar Pai, an Indian expat, has left it to his family to plan where they feel like going during the holiday. With the beaches still closed to the public to stop the spread of the pandemic, he is keen on exploring the mountains and taking advantage of the pleasant weather. “I feel a bit bad for my children because they are at home all the time,” he admitted.

“Usually, they’d go to school, then go downstairs to play with their friends, but this year, the pandemic has stopped all of that. This is normally a time when a group of us go camping in the mountains or to the beach, where we stay at a hotel, but we cannot meet this year.

“I have asked my kids to tell me where they want to go,” added Pai. “They have not complained even once during this period, and so my wife and I decided to let them make the plans.”

For Jassim Al Shukaili, National Day is a time for him to spend with his two brothers. He feels the holiday is a good time for people to relieve themselves of the worries of the pandemic.

“Times are tough for all of us, so let us remember to appreciate all that we have, and use this time to unwind,” he said. “A lot of us are facing the stresses of the economic impact of the pandemic, this holiday has come at a welcome time for all of us.”

However, Pakistani expat Hamida Khan will be using her holiday for something else: her stay in Oman is coming to an end, and she and her family are planning to return home before the end of the year.

“Our house is currently a mess because we’ve got things everywhere,” she said. “Myself, my husband and our son are involved in the packing process, and this National Day holiday is the best time to finish a lot of work, before the work week starts once again on Sunday.

“We’ve been in Oman for about 15 years, and it’s been an amazing stay for us here,” added Khan.

“My son was born in this lovely country, but it is now time for us to leave. All of us have very fond memories of Oman, and we hope to come back here one day. I want to thank all the Omanis and expats who made our stay here such a good one.”

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