When was the last time you went to the cinema, took a walk in the park, or went out exploring one of the many historic forts in the country?
It’s been quite a while since many of us have had the opportunity to do that – to count the months that have passed in the meantime makes the mind boggle – but there isn’t too long left before you plan your next trip to these places.
Earlier this week, Oman’s Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19 allowed for the reopening of a number of economic activities, including the above three, as well as mall food courts, game parlours, kindergartens, visa application centres, and rehabilitation clinics.
A number of already functioning businesses, such as beauty salons and gyms, were allowed to expand their operations. Ahead of the weekend, we spoke to locals and expats in Oman to ask them how they felt about this latest development.
Ayman Al Hosni
It is a tradition of ours to take our young son and daughter to the park every Thursday evening. We make it a point to alternate between the parks every week, whether it is Riyam, Naseem, Wadi Kabir, Amerat, or the one in Qurum. We plan on repeating that tradition this week.
To see children playing together is one of the most natural, beautiful and joyous things of all time, and we feel bad that we have been unable to give them the space to play outdoors, especially since many parents are cautious about letting their kids play with others.
Houda El Ghamdi
I am really close with my family back in Tunisia, and the pandemic gave me the change to connect with them every day. My parents used to ask me how I was spending time here, and I’d tell them I was at home a lot because nothing was open. Understandably, these places were closed to preserve people’s lives.
Now that the cinemas have reopened, I have plans to go there with my friends this weekend. Of course, it won’t be the same, because of social distancing, but we will be able to meet after such a long time, and that is what matters.
Oman is a really lovely country to explore with a rich heritage. As an expat here, I used to spend many weekends, before the pandemic began, visiting various areas to experience its wonderful history. Sadly, a lot of the museums and other wonderful areas to explore around the country were shut. I am so happy they’ve been allowed to reopen again. I know what I’m doing this weekend!
The weekend for us is a time to slow down and enjoy the environment around us. Oman, in that way, has plenty of opportunities for us to connect in the outdoors as a family. We plan on going to the beach this weekend, but we need to be cautious while we’re there. – [email protected]