This Ramadan – Do This! — June 6, 2018

This Ramadan – Do This!

The sacred month of Ramadan is here! We wait all year round for this beautiful month as we get to spend time with our family and friends, pray with them and break our fasts with them. It is that month where we all come together and connect with the almighty!

Home décor plays an essential role, to get into the Ramadan spirit. So, here are a few tips to get your home Ramadan and Eid ready!

Clean up- This step is essential in any home décor process. Start by cleaning up your home and outdoor areas thoroughly. A clean and clutter-free home is more conducive to spiritual thoughts. A clean house will also be more peaceful and warm. Clean up your garden and outdoor areas as your guests would like to sit outside in the evening for Iftar.

Lighting- Lighting is an essential Ramadan décor. Add string lights, colourful lanterns and lamps in different corners of your home.

Banners and Cutouts- You could add Ramadan Kareem banner in your living room and other Star and crescent moon cutouts to decorate the sitting area in your home. Involve your kids in this project. They will be more involved and have fond memories of Ramadan as they grow up.

Countdown- Create an Eid countdown to track days until the final day to get the whole family excited for Eid.

Carpets- Layout beautiful carpets that serve as praying mats and create a warm festive ambience in your home.

Candles and vases- Candles and vases can turn any room from boring to beautiful in minutes. Place them strategically in different corners of your home and bring dead corners to life!

Stock up- Stock up your home with food, cutlery and crockery in advance! Don’t go running last minute when you are fasting and are already low on energy.

The good deed box- Ask your kids to make a good deed box and put in little money from their pocket money in it. Keep this box in your living area so that even your guests can contribute if they want. At the end of the month, do some good deeds with the money collected.

There are many more home decorating ideas that you can use along with the ones mentioned above to get your home Ramadan ready and get into the festive cheer. So, go ahead, get your home ready and make some everlasting memories with your family in the process. Ramadan Kareem!

Advertisements
Scientific Effects of Baby Toys on Infants —

Scientific Effects of Baby Toys on Infants

It is Ramadan, and us moms are busier than ever with all the fasting, cooking and guests. Keeping our little one busy now is more important than ever. Enter baby toys. They not only keep babies busy but also teach them something in the process.

Infants are naturally curious and eager to learn. They want to see and touch everything around them. The mind of a child from the age 0-6 is like a sponge, and he/she can absorb every single piece of information fed to them. An infant’s brain now is stronger than ever! They are trying to find connection and understand this world. And toys are their primary sources of connection to understanding our world. Yes, they need new toys every other day. And as a parent, spending money on toys may seem frivolous. But what seems like an expense to you is an investment for infants.

From cognitive development to social development, baby toys play an essential role in the overall development of an infant. Let us find out the scientific effects they have on infants-

  • Sensory development- Sensory development is at its peak in the first couple of years of a baby. Baby toys with different shapes, colours, textures and sounds develop an infant’s senses. Their different colours and sounds help to develop their vision and hearing senses as well.
  • Motor skills– Sense of touch and motor skills are developed by holding and feeling objects, building blocks, etc. Furthermore, once they learn how to sit and crawl, toys entice them to come and get them. This helps in developing the gross motor skills of a child.
  • Social development- Toys also play a role in the social development of an infant. With the help of toys, they first learn to interact with us adults and then with other kids their age. Playing with another child teaches them to share, cooperate and respect another individual.
  • Cognitive development- You may be surprised to know that toys even help in the cognitive development of an infant. They help little ones in memorising colours and shapes of their favourite toy. This further helps them later on with language and math skills.

Did you know these effects of toys on infants? Well, now that you know, keep your child active and busy with them so that you can make the most of this festive month. Ramadan Kareem!

Watch Out For These Top 10 Home Décor Trends In 2018 — April 27, 2018

Watch Out For These Top 10 Home Décor Trends In 2018

We always wish to decorate our home by adding modern elements to it. Decorating is an art however, if you are looking for a new house, sometimes decorating it can become challenging and time-consuming task when it comes to the picking the décor you wish to have. Or even you can feel in the same way if you are planning to renovate your house. Believe it or not, trend always plays a vital role in the decorating process of any space. Here are upcoming top 10 home décor trends in 2018, a glimpse of these points will help you to decide and make your home stylish and trendy without much hassle.

  1. Natural elements redefine the beauty-

It is said that natural elements will be one of the leading trends in 2018. Using materials which look beautiful and at the same time are long lasting makes your space look more lavish and speak of luxury also. Different types of natural stones can be used to decorate any part of your house.

  1. Light up your house with the right lamps-

You can give a new look to your interior with some exclusive lamps; options like a chandelier, pendants, or some different types of lanterns give a royal touch to the room.

  1. Curved Furniture-

The right type of furniture items always plays an integral part when it comes to the décor. You can use multipurpose furniture pieces to save the space. Use of bold color sofas or different types of side tables and stools make your living room look catchy and compact. You can buy exclusive furniture items from the famous furniture stores in Dubai.

  1. Be Bold- The year 2018 is all about bold colors. You can give your wall a touch of red, green, orange and vibrant blue color.
  2. Decorate with vintage accessories-Mixing items gives a unique and vibrant look. Vintage is making a comeback.
  3. Curved sofas– Curved sofas are the new trendiest sofas and are a better alternative to the L-shaped sofas. These sofas are a great addition to the rectangular room. Plus they look very beautiful from every angle.
  4. Wall paintings- Your walls work as the mirror of your personality. So, why not decorate it with some artwork? If you are no more interested in those typical colors and textures, then try something new. Paint your wall the way you wish.
  5. Glass doors- Bid adieu to the old wooden doors. Glass doors give a more elegant look. The wardrobes also have glass doors these days.
  6. Dark kitchens- People are heading towards darker colors. Add more colors in your kitchen.
  7. Say bye-bye to white and stainless steel sinks- Go for sinks in stone, granite, concrete and copper composite sinks with the color combination like bronze or black, darker hues of grey, etc. In 2018, black is ruling.
  8. Florals– Florals make a huge comeback in a more fashionable and bold way.

These trends are sure to steal the show this year and make your visitors envy you.

5 Perks of Banking with Muscat Bank — April 17, 2018

5 Perks of Banking with Muscat Bank

Muscat Bank holds tremendous value for its customers, across various touchpoints. We discuss the 5 perks of banking with them.

The Muscat Bank has been a venerable banking institution for years. It is one of the country’s premier banks, and is one of the most preferred banking partners for both individuals and businesses.

Below listed are the 5 perks of banking with Muscat Bank:

 A wide range of products and services:

The Muscat Bank has a robust network of branches, coupled with a wide range of products and services. One of the largest banks in the region, it is also the preferred choice for several expats working here. The Bank provides easy banking access with its large suite of products, and it leverages the digital medium to make everyday banking easy for individuals and companies. For instance, you can easily open a savings account with the bank if you have a passport but not a residency card. Getting credit cards, business finance, and other services is also quite simple.

Convenient locations and working hours:

Another major benefit of banking with Muscat Bank is that it has several branches all over the city. A few years ago, it opened for business in the evening hours, which has made it convenient for many people to visit bank after work. It is one of the few banks to follow opening hours of 8 am to 5 pm. There are several branches of the bank in the upmarket Shatti area, while the branch at the Muscat Intercon Hotel is also a popular one.

Preferential services for customers at many retail and bill pay points:

As a Muscat Bank customer, you have access to many benefits that others do not. For instance, you can get fantastic discounts during festive sale period, and you also become eligible to win cash prizes when you use your Bank card to shop, dine or make bookings. Most importantly, many retailers offer preferential discounts to holders of the Muscat Bank cards. At certain bill payment outlets in the city, the Bank’s customers have a specific desk only for their use.

Low operating charges on cards and transactions:

Muscat bank has transparent processes and no hidden charges on any of its products. You will never encounter unexpected fees levied on your cards or accounts. The schedule of fees and annual charges are explained to you at the time of buying a certain product.

It shows the best performance year after year:

Despite the presence of other nationalised and private banks in the city, the Muscat Bank continues to register robust growth every year. It is the recipient of several prestigious awards over the years, and it continues to set high benchmarks in personal and business banking every year. It has a keen thrust on customer service, innovation and dynamism in banking, and it is helmed by a team of experts that are helping to define banking standards in Oman.

3 Services Offered By Omantel That You Need To Try —

3 Services Offered By Omantel That You Need To Try

Omantel’s cloud services are powering businesses in several splendid ways. We look at 3 of them.

The term ‘cloud computing’ has become an integral part of the many businesses’ lexicon all over the world. Broadly, cloud services encompass the Internet-based resources and materials required for a specific set of tasks. They are used by companies which have a daily need for data storage and transmission. These processes support the deployment and selection to facilitate management of various Internet-based resources in the cloud.

Public v/s private cloud services

A service provider offers cloud services to many customers through the public Internet – these are known as ‘public cloud’ services. But there are data security concerns over the use of public cloud computing services. Businesses often require safety for their daily operations, and one way of ensuring it is to run on your company’s own infrastructure with only internal staff using the network. This employs private cloud services, that service providers like Omantel excel at.

Omantel’s cloud services are helping individuals and businesses connect with high performance public cloud platforms over a single interface. This is a helpful feature as it eases operations and reduces costs. Based on the company’s needs, Omantel provides a customised private cloud access solution over a dedicated connection, to multiple cloud providers from a single nodal point. Thus, the business experiences better operational value with a fully secured private connection between the company and the cloud services provider.

Let’s see how Omantel’s cloud services are benefitting businesses in the country in 3 ways:

Safe and secure Internet connectivity: With every unsecured Internet access being converted to a fully secured private one, Omantel’s cloud platforms are providing a safe platform for transaction of both financials and data. Your business does not need to access the public Internet when it has Omantel’s direct connection to many apps and clouds over a dedicated access line designed for you.

Guaranteed performance: Since the connection is dedicated to your business, it offers consistency and optimal reach in an assured manner. You are better able to manage your connections and also control the performance of the connection in a structured fashion. Your business performs better with an upgrade to higher speeds and many bandwidth options to suit your requirements.

Cost-effective: With low latency of Omantel’s cloud services, your business saves costs on daily processes and network investments. There is a resultant lesser provisioning time for various tasks, with guaranteed faster deliverables. With reduced work times, your business is able to complete targets much faster and optimise its daily workflow in a more cost effective way.

7 Tricks to Hide Kitchen Clutter — March 5, 2018

7 Tricks to Hide Kitchen Clutter

Kitchen cabinets

The Kitchen is the heart of a home. It is a place where you cook delicious meals for your loved ones, a place where family and friends tend to enjoy light-hearted conversations. Whether small or large, a kitchen is considered as the busiest room in the house. Thus, it is also one of the difficult places in the home to keep uncluttered.

Kitchen clutter is the bane of many modern homes today. Getting your kitchen in the proper state can be taxing and tedious. So, we have put together simple tips and guidelines that you can follow to keep the clutter at bay and your kitchen fully functional. Read on, you can thank us later.

1 Say ‘goodbye’:

The first step in organising your kitchen is to do away with all the things that you do not use or are unlikely to use. Get rid of utensils that have started to rust and baking trays that never made it to the oven. Decluttering the kitchen also entails getting rid of things such as spices and ingredients that have past their expiry date. Keeping expired food products will add to the clutter in your kitchen. Moreover, unknowingly you may end up using these expired food items.

2 Have a cabinet for your appliances:

No matter how much you try to keep your kitchen clutter-free, appliances take up a lot of space. Instead of keeping appliances like Microwave, mixer, grinder, toaster etc. on the kitchen counter, you can put them in a large cabinet under the counter. This will clear up counter clutter and will offer you more space to work.

3 Ugly ingredients, pretty jars:

The herbs that go into your food may enhance its flavour, but they are not always a pretty sight. Storing raw herbs in their own plastic packaging will make your kitchen look amateurish, not to mention untidy too. Here’s a good thumb rule: always store these spices in attractive containers. This helps in two ways – first, you will easily be able to use spices & herbs when you need them and the pretty containers complement the overall décor of the kitchen. Put basic supplies of flour, salt, and sugar in attractive glass jars and set them on a revolving tray so you can reach for them easily.

4 Spice rack for Spice Jars:

Spice jars on the kitchen counter will add to the clutter. Get a spice rack that holds all the bottles and jars. You can place the rack on the counter or pin it to the wall so that it looks neat and organized.

5 Have a coloured partition for the refuse area:

Your kitchen probably has a refuse area just off the main cooking space. It’s a storage space, and it should not be visible to anyone unless you open the door to it. Put away all the extra items that the storage can hold, and cordon off the area with a pretty curtain or a slide-down partition in a bold colour.

6 Overhead cabinets are best:

The kitchen, as a room, has many items stored in it. Some of which are a potential mess unless you organize them on a daily basis. Utensils such as cooking pots, pans, and spoons stay proper if they stored in under-the-counter kitchen cabinets. Everything else such as food items, jars holding raw ingredients, extra dinner sets, glasses, etc. can go in overhead kitchen cabinets. Not only do overhead

Kitchen cabinets look attractive, they also make for a great storage option that reduces clutter significantly.

7 Don’t buy what you don’t need:

Add this tip right on the top of your list. Another way and perhaps the most efficient one to declutter the kitchen mess is to not buy things that you don’t need. Too many pots and pans, spices, exotic condiments, recipe books, even new appliances, creates a whole world of clutter and caused a hindrance to the day-to-day functioning of the kitchen. Make it a point to only buy the things that you absolutely need.

Above mentioned tips and tricks will definitely help you in the struggle of maintaining a clutter-free kitchen.

How to Choose a Good Internet Plan? — February 20, 2018

How to Choose a Good Internet Plan?

Ever evolving tech marketplace has made it difficult for users to select a good internet plan. Choosing an internet plan these days is not just about comparing the price and speed, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Whether you are travelling to Oman for work or already a resident, the below blog will help you with tips to find a good home internet plan in Oman. Read on!

Understand types of internet plans:

When you think of home internet service, the first term that comes up in your mind is broadband. But, what exactly is broadband? Broadband refers to wired internet connections. There are three types of wired internet connections DSL, Fibre and Cable.

DSL: Digital subscriber line (DSL) is high spend internet service for homes and businesses. It provides internet access through existing telephone network. If your internet use is limited to web browsing, video streaming, then this is the ideal network for you.

Cable: Cable internet network offers more bandwidth than DSL and is delivered through coaxial television cables. However, it is comparatively pricier than other networks.

Fibre: Fastest of all, Fibre internet networks are known to provide stable internet connections. These are recommended if you rely on the internet extensively for your work or personal use.

Understand your needs:

In most of the cases, individuals opt for unlimited internet plans. However, if your use is limited to web browsing and checking social media, then purchasing an unlimited internet plan may be an unnecessary expense. Therefore, measure your needs and opt for a plan accordingly.

A few internet providers also offer usage statistics on request.

Compare different plans:

Registration fees, monthly fees, cost for setting up the network will vary from provider to provider. Some internet service providers have no setup costs, so, it is always a better deal to shop around and purchase the plan that best suits your budgets. Apart from cost, speed is yet another factor to take into consideration while comparing different internet plans. If you download content in bulk, it is better to select a plan with higher speed.

Choosing the right provider:

Choosing the right internet provider can mean the difference between having a frustrating experience or a fabulous one. Look for a provider that offers a network with fibre optic technology. Fibre internet network will allow you to download movies, music and other high bandwidth files quickly. Also, choose a provider that offers flexibility if you want to add devices to your current plan or switch between plans.

Moreover, it is important that your internet service provider has a dedicated customer service team to provide assistance in case of internet disruption.

Best Places to Visit in Oman —

Best Places to Visit in Oman

Oman; a small middle eastern country is increasingly gaining popularity among travellers from all over the world. If you want to expand your travel horizons, Oman is one place that you should definitely include in your travel bucket list. Whether you want to spend time in nature, admire the authentic architecture or explore its unique culture, Oman has incredible attractions in its every corner.

Here is the list of most amazing places to visit in Oman:

The Royal opera house:

The Royal opera house, Muscat is a place that rightly honours art and culture of Oman. The Opera building reflects Omani architecture and is surrounded by stunning landscape gardens. The house consists of an art centre for musical restaurants, concert theatre, restaurants, shopping centres to buy gifts, authentic jewellery, beauty products etc. You can book for events at the house through its official website.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque:

Located in Muscat, The Sultan Qaboos grand mosque covers an area of 456,000 square metres. The mosque is named after a leader in Oman and is one of the most famous mosques in the Sultanate of Oman. The Surrounding Wall of the Mosque reflects pure architectural beauty. Lights, decorations, patterns, crystal chandelier, adds to the beauty of the Mosque.

Salalah:

Known for its banana plantations, Salalah is a city located in the Dhofar region in the southern part of Oman. The desert terrain transforms itself into a lush green landscape during the Khareef season (monsoon). The entire Salalah including its mountains is covered with green plantations during monsoons. Do not miss out on witnessing unparalleled beauty of Salalah on your visit to Oman.

Wadi Bani Khalid:

Located 203 Km from Muscat, Wadi Bani Khalid is yet another popular attraction of Oman. Be it family vacationers or adventure seekers, Wadi Bani Khalid has something for everyone. As you venture along the Wadi, you will witness water flowing through natural springs. The constant flow of water throughout the year supports abundant vegetation thereby making it a beautiful attraction.

Wahiba sands:

Your Oman itinerary is incomplete without a visit to this place. Spend a night in the desert, experience the golden sunset, drive past the stunning water pools and shady canyon of Wadi Bani Khalid. The Wahiba Sands is also home to a wide array of flora and fauna.

Of all the Gulf countries, Oman is blessed with a number of tourist attractions. Moreover, by developing accommodation facilities, Oman has successfully attracted tourists from all over the world. There are many resorts in Oman that offer state of the art amenities. Al Qurum Resort, Turtle beach resort, Crowne plaza resort Salalah are some of the top resorts in Oman. Also, these resorts are in close proximity to famous tourist attractions.

What You Need to Know in and About Oman — February 2, 2018

What You Need to Know in and About Oman

Located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman is an Arab country that was ranked as the most improved nation in the world in 2010, over the preceding 40 years. In fact, the city recorded more than 77% urbanization in 2015.

Did you know that the sultan of Oman, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, is the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East? Popular as the man who led the modernization of Oman, Sultan Qaboos Bin took control of the Sultanate of Oman on July 23, 1970. He is still to declare his successor.

According to data published by Statista, Oman’s population was registered at 3.84 million in 2015. Although the capital is Muscat, it is Bawshar, home to 387,000 people, that is the largest city. Oman’s GDP amounted to a total of US$69.83 billion in 2012, with the largest share of 54% being contributed by the industrial sector, and 47% by the service sector.

Healthcare Facilities

From 49.3 years in 1970 to roughly 76 years in 2016, life expectancy has drastically increased in the nation. The credit of the health and improved lifespan of Omanis goes to the greater access to medical facilities and doctors. According to government reports, there were 13 private hospitals and clinics in Oman in 2015, with a total of 448 beds, along with 49 ministry-run government hospitals, with 4,659 beds. Of all these medical facilities, the large number of advanced hospitals and health centers are located in Muscat. All medical facilities in Oman are known to provide high quality of health care.

Education

In 1970, there were only three formal schools, with 900 students, in all of Oman. Ever since the accession of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said in 1970, education has developed at a staggering pace. Till 2006-2007, the number of public schools had reached 1,053, attended by 560,000 students, while 65,000 other students attended private schools. In Oman, education is provided free of cost up to the end of secondary education. However, attendance is not mandatory at any level.

Job Opportunities

Oman never disappoints in terms of the best job opportunities to make a career in top companies. However, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), there are 50,000 Omanis seeking work, an 11% rise since July 2017, with most of them being university graduates.

Fortunately for them, the Council of Ministers in Oman has planned to create 25,000 more jobs in both private and public sectors starting from December 2018, according to an article published by Gulf News Oman on January 24, 2018.

To get information on the schools, colleges, companies and clinics in Oman, take advantage of the local information guide that is available with just a few clicks of the mouse or a phone call.

7 Basics to Set Up Your New Home —

7 Basics to Set Up Your New Home

Until recently, buying property in the Sultanate of Oman was a dream that was hard to translate into reality. However, the government has now allowed foreign citizens to own property to either live in or let out, mainly to encourage foreign investments, says an article published by RETALK Mena on July 10, 2017.

No doubt, buying a new property or home is a feeling that is beyond description. However, when you have decided to move in to your new nest, there are few things that become an absolute must. Here is a list of 7 things you should begin with, with looking for leased line providers being one of them.

7 Things You’ll Immediately Need in Your New House

  1. A Bed: When you have moved into your new home, what will your heart immediately desire after a long day of unpacking and organization? Definitely, a cozy space to sprawl in. This requires homeowners to invest in a bed and a pair of clean sheets before they buy anything else for their new habitat.
  2. Windows Dressing: As a natural human tendency, peeping in the neighbor’s home to know who has just moved into the locality is a common scenario. However, at a time when you are trying to design your space, the last thing you’d want will be those prying eyes. It is therefore wise to invest in some good quality drapes or some sort of shades to secure your privacy.
  3. Toiletries: Having your toothpaste, toothbrush and soap handy is necessary no matter where you are. It will make you feel at home immediately, only adding to your comfort levels in the new space.
  4. Kitchenware: While it is easy for you to order food the very first afternoon or even the first few days, you’ll need to buy some plates, bowls, containers and cutlery, and to fill your pantry with daily food items to prepare your own healthy meal.
  5. Side Tables: Opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but can’t find someplace to keep it? Before you buy any other significant piece of furniture, buying side tables with sufficient drawers and ample surface area is a must.
  6. Telephone: Of course, we all are dependent on our smartphones but having a landline at home is not an obsolete idea yet. It has its own benefits. To save money, take advantage of leased line providers, who can couple your landline with TV and internet connectivity at reduced rates.
  7. Television: Nothing can be more relaxing than enjoying your favorite TV show on a lazy Sunday afternoon, while sitting on your couch.

After buying the TV, look for Ultra-Fast Home Broadband bundled with TV entertainment and Telephone Voice Minutes with built-in OSN packages, to get absolute value for your money.