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People in Oman set for long weekend
March 15, 2020 | 10:17 PM
by Madiha Asif / [email protected]
Citizens and residents in Oman are in a fix about whether to go out or stay at home after a public holiday of Isra’a Wal Miraj was announced on Sunday. Photo: File
 
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Muscat: A public holiday has been declared across the Sultanate for next weekend on March 22 (Sunday), on the occasion of Isra’a Wal Miraj.

The Oman News Agency (ONA) reported, “On the occasion of the memorial of Isra’a Wal Miraj, it has been decided that next Sunday, 27 Rajab, corresponding to March 22, will be an official holiday for employees of ministries, public bodies and other units of the state’s administrative apparatus as well as workers in private sector companies and institutions.”

However, citizens and residents in Oman are in a fix about whether to go out or stay at home after a public holiday of Isra’a Wal Miraj was announced on Sunday.

Talking to the Times of Oman, people living in the Sultanate had mixed feelings due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. They are still debating with themselves whether they should take the opportunity of the long weekend and go about doing some outdoor activity or stay home to prevent themselves from getting infected.



“Who doesn’t love a paid holiday? We all desperately wait for holidays that fall with a weekend because that gives us a chance to explore the beauty of Oman, and at the same time, an escape from the day-to-day chaos. But with the outbreak of coronavirus, we are a bit sceptical about going out as it is highly risky. My husband and I are thinking we will sit this one out...let’s see how we feel towards the end of the week– we might end up going out,” said Doha, a Lebanese national residing in Muscat.

On the other hand, Qais Al Habsi, a local resident, is planning a gathering of his family members at their farmhouse.



“With all that is going around the world, by the grace of God, Oman is still in safe hands and hopefully will remain that way. Since I have been away from my family for a long time and have returned to Oman this year, I am jumping on this opportunity of the long weekend ahead and arranging a barbeque gathering for my family members at our farmhouse in Fanja.”

At least this way no one will have an excuse to not show up,” Al Habsi said.

Another group of expat friends living in Muscat are looking forward to the weekend for a camping trip to Bandar Khairan.

“We understand the grave situation we all are in currently but the authorities in Oman have done and are still doing an exceptional job of keeping us all safe. With the instructions provided by the Ministry of Health and other relevant departments, we definitely will be taking all precautionary measures to make sure we don’t come under the grip of coronavirus.”

“We are a group of about 12 friends from various countries, and we are arranging a camping trip to Bandar Khairan during the holidays. We are positive that everything is going to go smoothly and we are going to have a great time before the summer hits,” said Hamza, one of the group members.



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