Our Oman: ‘Our children are totally safe in Oman. No one will touch anybody’
July 29, 2018 | 9:45 PM
by Times News Service

When British expatriate Keith Holt first heard that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has become the Sultan in 1970, little did he know that it would be the beginning of his lifelong attachment to Oman.

“I was in Bahrain. It was headline news,” he recalled.

In England, Holt had joined the British Bank in the Middle East in 1968. After a stint in Libya, he was transferred to Bahrain.

“Then, in 1972, I came to Oman. My first day in Oman, I remember being shown where I was going to live. I lived in an apartment, down in the Muscat area.

“When I first arrived here there weren’t many commercial buildings, but now there are a lot. But the good thing is they are not 52 stories high!”

Lovely years

Like many British bankers at the time, Holt’s career took him around the world. After what he described as “two very, very lovely years in Muscat”, he was on the move again.

“And then from Oman I was sent to Jordan, Jordan to Khor Fakkan, Khor Fakkan to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Shanghai, Shanghai to Cairo, and then back to Oman as the Chief Executive. The number one man.

“When I came back, it was a very different country. There weren’t that many cars on the road. But again, Oman had put in the Muscat Expressway and the roads were much faster, much wider, and much bigger.”

It was on his return to Oman that he met his wife, Monique, and they soon married.

“We’ve been here non-stop,” Holt added.

“One of the reasons we decided to stay is because Oman, according to the BBC, is reckoned to be the 4th safest country in the world for tourists. Your children are totally safe. No one will touch anybody and that is very, very good. And the police are very efficient, said Holt.

Like many longtime expats, Holt and his wife would go on to invest in the Sultanate.

“For one reason or another, I left the bank and joined another big company. We then decided to set-up a diving company to help our son develop himself, so we established Global Scuba as foreign investors. “As foreign investors, we have 100 per cent ownership. So it works out very, very well. Because Oman is a very friendly and open-minded country.

British expatriate Keith Holt. –Shabin E

“The government is very broad-minded...which is why we love Oman.” Holt and his wife Monique have now lived in the Sultanate for 25 and 23 years, respectively. There is simply no other place they would rather be. “This is home,” he concludes. “Oman is our home.”

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