Muscat: The official Eid holiday and the summer break for many expat schools mean the coming days are the busiest of the year for staff at Muscat International Airport.
But management at the new jewel in the crown passenger terminal have a simple message for the hundreds of thousands who will arrive to fly in the next few days: ‘We are ready’.
“The Eid Al-Fitr holiday for employees of private sector companies and establishments will be effective from Tuesday 29 of Ramadan, 4th of June until the end of Thursday, 6th of June,” the Oman News Agency announced.
“Eid Al-Fitr holidays for employees in ministries, public bodies and other units of the administrative apparatus of the state will be from Tuesday 29 of Ramadan, 4 June to the end of the 3rd of Shawwal, ” the government news agency added. That means public sector workers will return to work on Sunday, June 9.
A senior official at the Oman Airports Management Company, told the Times of Oman: “Muscat International Airport is prepared to deal with any congestion whether on public holidays, Khareef season or school holidays. Staff at the airport are provided with intensive training courses to deal with any situation at the airport, especially congestion flow in departure and arrival.”
Expatriates living in the Sultanate of Oman are all set to head off ahead of this weekend, as many expat schools close on Thursday for the summer. Travel agents have advised those going to the airport to arrive at least three hours before their flight is scheduled.
“Most of the flights to India are full, so we are advising everyone to be at the airport at least three hours before departure time.”
“Please also leave the house early, because there is likely to be a lot of traffic on the way to the airport as well,” Mohammed Shafiqul Islam, General Manager, New Star Travel & Tours, said.
Rajat Naik, an Indian expat in the country, said his family and two small children were looking forward to their late-night flight on Thursday because it was the monsoon season in India at the moment.
With the Eid holiday also now announced, many are planning to travel overseas on short trips. Salim Syed said he and his friends were planning a trip to Azerbaijan.
“The rates are really good now and it is hot in Oman, so it would be nice to travel overseas for a few days,” he said. “My friends and I had this plan in mind for a while but were waiting for the holidays to be announced so that we could finalise our trip. Now that is done, we can go ahead with it.”
Travel agents said package trips to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia were among the most popular destinations.
“We have been getting many calls about these three destinations over the past few days,” said a travel agent in Muscat. “Because it is summer in Europe, many people also want to travel to places like France, Italy and Spain for the Eid holidays.”
The neighbouring United Arab Emirates also seemed to be in demand for expats. Simon Benn, a British national working in Oman, said, “The kids really love going to Dubai, so we will be heading there next week. There’s a lot to see and do for them and they really like all the parks and the different options for entertainment. They are really excited about going there.”The neighbouring United Arab Emirates also seemed to be in demand for expats. Simon Benn, a British national working in Oman, said, “The kids really love going to Dubai, so we will be heading there next week. There’s a lot to see and do for them and they really like all the parks and the different options for entertainment. They are really excited about going there.”