Press Releases

Oman Relive Its Sailing Glory Days Oman Air Pledges Support for the Project

Date: 24 Jan 2010
Jewel of Muscat

Oman Air lends support to the prestigious maritime project – Jewel of Muscat, reaffirming its commitment to the Sultanate's initiative in upholding a glorious past tradition. As a major sponsor of the project, Oman Air is providing air travel and freight.

Jewel of Muscat, an 18-metre long reconstructed ninth century sewn-plank ship modelled on the wreckage of the old Chinese Tang dynasty treasure ship which sank in the Indian Ocean while carrying precious items, will set sail from the port of Muscat next month, heading for Singapore, with Omani sailors aboard.

Jewel of Muscat will travel along the same trade routes across the Indian Ocean as those described by Arab geographers and navigators. Once in Singapore, she will be officially handed over as a gift from the Government of Oman to the Singapore Government and housed in a museum along with the treasure from the original wreck.

A spokesperson from Oman Air’s Corporate Communications and Media official stated that Oman Air is proud to be supporting this venture. Through its commitment to respecting Oman's heritage while building Oman's ties across the Indian Ocean, the Jewel of Muscat project captures the spirit driving Oman Air's ambitious plans for the future. The idea of this was inspired from the Tang Treasure that was discovered in 1998 in Indonesian waters. It took about 12 months to construct this vessel, which represents an important Omani cultural and heritage initiative, it was informed.

“It was necessary for Oman Air to support this project to keep history alive, furthermore bring both the nations closer. A large part of Oman's history is interwoven with the sea,” the official said. Jewel of Muscat, a type of ship that traded between China and Oman more than 1,000 years ago will undeniably reignite international interest in Oman’s long maritime heritage and emulate the enchanted feats of one of the country’s most renowned mariners, the legendary Sinbad. “Oman, which has a long and proud history that extends back to the earliest of civilisations, left its mark on history as a nation of traders and explorers,” the spokesperson concluded saying.

It is worthwhile to mention that Sohar, a replica of a ninth-century Arab dhow that was built in Oman too, sailed from Muscat and arrived in the China in early July 1981, at the end of a 9,600 kilometers voyage. The point of the voyage was to prove that Sindbad's legendary voyages are rooted in historical fact - and they certainly proved that the voyage itself is possible. In a hand-built craft stitched together with coconut string, and navigating with medieval navigational instruments, the dhow sailed between Muscat and Canton. Named after the legendary Omani sailor Sindbad who explored the seas in ancient times, Oman Air's Frequent Flyer Programme symbolises the rich and rewarding seafaring
history of Oman.

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