News Rewind: New Islamic year holiday announced in Oman
September 22, 2017 | 10:07 AM
by Staff Reporter

With most of the country waiting for the announcement of the holiday for the Islamic New Year, the topic dominated headlines in Oman this week. Here are Times of Oman's most read stories from the past week, with our weekly News Rewind:

The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs (MERA) announced on Wednesday night that it could not spot the moon, leading them to announce that Friday, September 22, would be the first day of the new Islamic year, and of the month of Muharram.

This meant that Sunday, September 24 was then automatically designated as a holiday in Oman, since Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal bin Saud Al Busaidi, Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court, Chairman of the Civil Service Council issued a decision on the holiday earlier in the week, saying, "If the first day of Muharram 1439 AH falls on Friday, September 22, 2017, the holiday will be on Sunday 3rd Muharram 1439 AH, corresponding to September 24, 2017."

This was followed by MERA announcing on Wednesday that the moon sighting committee would be meeting that evening to establish when the first day of Muharram — and the holiday for it — would be.

In other news, Omanis travelling to India were warned by the Oman Consulate in Mumbai not to travel to the tourist spot Falaknuma in the city of Hyderabad, since Indian authorities had tightened security measures for Omanis in the area.

The Ministry of Manpower also announced that expat looking to work or continue working in the Sultanate will soon be able to apply for and renew employment visas online. The move will reduce the hassle of having to run between various government departments and ministries to obtain clearances ahead of hiring employees.

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