There were plenty of new developments in Oman and the Middle East in the past week. Here are the top five headlines on the Times of Oman, with our weekly News Rewind:
Qatar announced on Wednesday that it would be allowing visa-free entry for citizens from 80 countries, in a move that is expected to enhance air transport and tourism in the country. Nationals from dozens of countries in Europe and elsewhere including India, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States only need present a valid passport to enter.
The full list of countries has been divided into two: 33 countries whose citizens can gain a visa waiver on arrival, that is valid for 180 days; while the waiver for nationals from the 47 other countries is valid for 30 days.
Landlords in Oman have been forced to cut their rents in the past few years, in a bid to keep their tenants from moving out in a market that has dipped, experts say.
Duqm Refinery also awarded three main Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts to multinational companies, towards the building of the proposed 230,000 barrels per day capacity- refinery in Oman. The beneficiaries of the contracts included Tecnicas Reunidas SA, Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd., Petrofac International Limited, Samsung Engineering Co. Ltd., and Saipem SpA.
The Royal Oman Police have also cautioned residents and citizens in the Sultanate against keeping large amounts of cash at home, after a woman in in Barka was tied up in her own house and robbed of OMR17,000. The robber, identified as an Asian man, then tried to flee the country but was arrested.