Muscat: Residents and citizens in Oman are incensed after the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi put up a map of the Sultanate, which showed its governorate of Musandam as part of the UAE.
On Twitter, an Arabic hashtag which translates as Musandam is part of the Sultanate of Oman has been trending, with Omanis vociferously emphasising that it is part of their nation.
“Civilisations from Musandam and Dhofar have formed the deep roots of our history for more than 5,000 years,” said Qusai Al Amri.
“Listen to me, and understand.” Mohammed Tabook added, “There must be a formal procedure to change this now and this should be done without much hassle.
I think this may have been done for business reasons, but this map must now be changed with a formal apology.
The state must move formally with the publications of the proceedings of this change so that everyone knows what the right situation is.”
The Omani exclave of Musandam, which lies north of the United Arab Emirates and is some 400 km from the capital, Muscat, gives Oman control of the Strait of Hormuz along with Iran.
It is the world’s most travelled shipping route and about 20 per cent of all global petroleum trade passes through the strait.
Musandam is also a famous tourism destination, with it clear waters and experienced seamen providing plenty of opportunities for adventure sports and exploration.
“Musandam is a geological characteristic of Oman and its origins are very clear,” added Salma M. “No one would even think otherwise.” Many Omanis pointed fingers at the Louvre Abu Dhabi for their misrepresentation of the Sultanate.
“Dear @LouvreAbuDhabi It is disappointing to show the gulf countries map in a non-professional way,” said Mohammed Salim Al Harassi. “You’ve got an outstanding reputation based on @MuseeLouvre and would love you to keep it up.” Sultan Mohammed Al Kasmi added: “In summary, the government in the UAE has to make an official apology for this mistake, which we consider unintended, if they are already seeking to maintain the strength of relations with the Sultanate.”
Futaim Al Balushi probably said it best with: “Museums have been developed to document the history and geography of the countries.
It is not to falsify and steal cultural heritage and invade the borders of other countries.”
“They have not respected our neighbourhood, and we cannot be silent in front of the UAE,” exclaimed Rose Al Shaqsi.
“It is obvious that they are trying to grab Omani heritage and Musandam, so any actions taken by our people towards the Emiratis will be because of what they did.” Daily flights connect the capital, Khasab, to Muscat, while a fast ferry service also links the Omani mainland with both Khasab and Dibba. Also under the jurisdiction of the Governorate of Musandam is the Omani territory of Madha, which is located in the UAE, about halfway between Musandam and Oman’s mainland.
Historical maps have always maintained that Musandam was part of the Sultanate, whether those drawn previously by Britain or those of the Ottoman Empire.