Analysis & Opinion

What are Public Open Spaces?

by Ruth Mabry
This is the second post of a 3-part series on urbanisation, public open spaces and physical activity in Oman.

Formal parks and gardens are relatively new features for a desert country like Oman; the first, Naseem Gardens, only opened in 1985. Muscat Municipality has declared its commitment to green spaces by noting their importance for humanising the city as […]

Muscat: Concrete Jungle or Oasis by the Sea?

by Ruth Mabry
This is the first article of a 3-part series on urbanisation, public open spaces and physical activity in Oman.

‘Beauty has an address’, the tag line for Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, aims to attract tourists and international investments and hopes to diversify an economy dependent on fossil fuels. The undeniable natural beauty of the country, situated on the southeast […]

Are walkable neighbourhoods possible in urban Oman?

by Ruth Mabry
This is the third post of a 3-part series on urbanisation, public open spaces and physical activity in Oman.

Urban planning in Oman has taken little consideration in designing open spaces that belong to the public realm and support physical activity. The parks described earlier are the main way the capital area has responded, concerned primarily with beautifying (and escaping) […]

  • Permalink Khaled Mashal has been based in Qatar since 2012.Gallery

    Same Same but Different: The GCC continues to clash over Islamists

Same Same but Different: The GCC continues to clash over Islamists

by Courtney Freer

The latest intra-GCC row between Qatar and its neighbours differs in intensity than the previous 2014 row, yet not in root cause. In both cases, Qatar’s support, whether tacit or active, of Islamist groups in the Middle East, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, has led to its alienation from its neighbours, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The […]

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    Concerts, Cinemas and Comics in the Kingdom: Revising the Social Contract after Saudi Vision 2030

Concerts, Cinemas and Comics in the Kingdom: Revising the Social Contract after Saudi Vision 2030

by Courtney Freer

Vision 2030’s focus is to mainly move the Saudi economy away from its dependence on oil. Nonetheless, any plan so ambitious will undoubtedly have social – and potentially political – consequences. The degree of social change, of course, depends on the extent to which portions of the vision are implemented in practice – something which is being […]

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