Of all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, non-OPEC Oman is most vulnerable to low oil prices. In the 1990s, the sultanate discovered that its oil reserves were substantially smaller than previously thought and Oman's sovereign wealth fund is a fraction of the size of other GCC nations.
Riyadh's decision to execute Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr at the start of this month, the Iranian response, and the political fallout have raised the Middle East's sectarian temperatures to the highest level since the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
Israel's extended olive branch to the UAE occurs within a complicated geopolitical context, in which some traditional alliances are strained, several states are exploring new partnerships and various actors are seizing upon newly generated opportunities in the region.
If GCC officials slowly pivot toward the perception that their long-term interests reside in an improved relationship toward Iran, such a strategic shift would be seen in Riyadh as an erosion of GCC unity against an emboldened Iran.
As friends boasted about their procurement of $187 roundtrip tickets to Abu Dhabi on Etihad, I urged them to consider adding Oman to their itinerary; a five hour drive from AD or a quick, cheap nonstop flight departing close to every hour of the day.
Ornithologists may have discovered a rare species of owl in Oman. But there's an even rarer breed of higher education exhilaration in this tiny nation, an excitement that is igniting a flame of hope and possibility in a world that so desperately needs it.
Oman straddles effortlessly between the modern and the ancient. I love the way that the developers have embraced Arabic sensibilities in building a modern nation: super fast highways co-exist with the intricately worked wooden doors.
While Oman continues to use its leverage to thwart a military confrontation in the Arabian Gulf, officials in Muscat have accepted that their influence is naturally limited, and they have taken actions to prepare for a scenario in which the Strait of Hormuz is closed.
The 20th century witnessed a string of influential women who have impacted the world of Western art from Gertrude Stein to Peggy Guggenheim. Perhaps unknown to some even in the arts field, a mixture of native and expatriate women across the Arab Gulf States have also played a major role.
Greece once dominated the world of wine. Aspects of wine enjoyment we take for granted today -- e.g., focused tastings, sommeliers, glasses designed for particular types of wine -- all developed originally in ancient Greece.