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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Showcasing the wonders of Oman to French viewers

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In October last year, I was approached by French TV journalist Marie Perrin about taking part in a travel program titled Echappées Belles [Beautiful Excursions] which is broadcast on France 5.


The program takes viewers off the beaten track to discover new places—from the most iconic landmarks to the least known treasures—and for this collaboration, the team was planning to dedicate one episode to Oman.


The weekly discovery magazine had its first broadcast in 2006 presented by its seasoned hosts and explorers, and from its humble beginnings, it is now watched and enjoyed by millions weekly per episode, not just in its home country but also by those who watch the show across different social media platforms, including Youtube.


I was delighted by the offer and jumped on this great occasion to promote the uniqueness of this country, which I know very well and cherish so much.


The team arrived in Oman in November and spent 12 days shooting in different locations.


The episode included reports about different subjects showcasing the natural beauty of the country, its people, its development, and its traditions backed by interviews with Omanis active in many different domains.


The team who visited Oman included Sophie Jovillard the journalist, Mathieu Despiau, cameraman and director, Yann Manier, the sound engineer, and Agnès Vanhems, the assistant.


The team shot for several days in Oman to create nearly an hour and a half of a show that showcased the diversity of the country.


Overall, they've met different Omani personalities taking viewers to an intimate look at what makes Oman a beautiful country.


They showcased many of Oman's different traditions packing it all in within an hour and a half show showcasing traditions such as henna tattoo amongst women, what comprises an Omani meal, and how the most revered Omani dishes are prepared but ultimately looked at the soul of the country and its people.


They ventured into Sur to understand the relation of Omanis to the sea, explored the wonderful world of sea turtles, interacted with local fishermen to talk about changes and traditions, visited desert safaris and not only understand what life is like in the desert but what the culture is like for people living in the desert.


For my part, I was glad to have shown the team not just within Muscat and its many beautiful attractions including the historic Muttrah Souq but also showed them the grandness of some of Oman's beautiful architecture including the Royal Opera House Muscat.


Beyond Muscat, I was honoured to show the team some of Oman's beautiful canyons, took them for a hike deep into the mountains and showed them the beauty as well as why the aflaj system of Oman has become a beautiful addition to the World Heritage site list of Unesco.


Overall, the program was an insightful look into Oman and why it is a destination filled with welcoming and hospitable people with beautiful traditions worth checking out.


I was very thrilled to watch the documentary when it was posted on Youtube on April 30. The episode on Oman had a great positive impact. I received plenty of messages from enthusiastic travellers telling me that the places shown in the documentary are so unique that it made them consider visiting the magnificent hidden Eden called Oman.


You can watch the documentary at this link: https://youtu.be/-YpSk4Xx6s4.


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