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The Musical Band of the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) for Piping and Drumming came first in the Scottish Innerleithen Competition in the category of infantry and military discipline in June. The band also won best-team award in military marching. The RGO took part in the Scottish Helensburgh Competition and finished fifth. The Musical Band of the Royal Guard of Oman is marked by its music inspired by authentic Omani heritage coupled with traditional Scottish bagpipes.
At the Paris Air Show (17-23 June), Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker announced the purchase order for nine Boeing 777-300ER jets in a deal worth up to $2.8bn at current list prices. The order for the additional aircraft, which is an extended range version of Boeing 777, will help the airline open up new routes and add capacity to existing markets. “With its reliability, economics and range capability, the 777 will continue to play a key role in enabling Qatar Airways to operate more direct non-stop flights from our hub in Doha to destinations in many markets including Australasia and the United States,” the CEO noted, adding: “We have already shown a desire to open up new destinations in the US and the Boeing 777 will further feature in our expansion plans in this part of the world, as well as increasing frequency to other destinations.”
Marwan Al Sarkal, Shurooq’s CEO, said the plans for the Dh 500m ($137m) development project began two years ago. “We wanted to create a destination that will really make a difference to the Sharjah tourism sector,” he said.
The International Media Council for The Next Century Foundation presented Pat Lancaster, Editor of The Middle East magazine with the Peace through Media award at a glittering ceremony at London’s Oxford & Cambridge Club in Pall Mall in May. The Next Century Foundation is a charity devoted to conflict resolution.
Richard Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), for which Wagner both composed the music and wrote the libretto, celebrated its his 200th anniversary at the Royal Opera House Muscat in May. The Flying Dutchman tells the romantic story of a man cursed to roam the violent seas for eternity until one woman’s true love offers him salvation. The opera was presented by the Latvian National Opera, which has been performing Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman since 1919; the performances were conducted by Maestro Mārtiņš Ozoliņš.
The concept behind each of the works, generously lent by prominent collectors in the region, was literacy in its wider sense – the notion of reading and writing but also communication .
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The Moroccan tourism sector attracted Dh14bn (€1.25bn) in investments in 2012, 93% of the country’s target under its Vision 2020 to attract an average of Dh15bn (€1.33bn) each year.
In the “Carnival of Darwiches,” Sana Gallery and the Middle East Institute in Singapore present an extensive collection of contemporary art and masterpieces by Lebanese artist Raouf Rifai. The “Darwiches” are an extensive body of work created by the artist over the past several years. Rifai’s Darwiches are many and varied.