Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Welcome to North Korea….Oman.

As sent to me by two of the PDO folks who sent the cyclone preparedness tips. They asked if I could post it here.

I've copied it verbatim, Note they sent it with the track changes info still attached… duhAccording to the grapevine, there is much gnashing of teeth ampongst the outdoorsey types regarding this missive. I don't have an opinion one way or the other.

Security Communication Note: Tour Visits to Oil & Gas Concession Areas

Dear staffColleague,

Please be advised that tour visits to Oil & Gas Concession Areas are generally not permitted on personal levels. Such visits need to be arranged only with Travel / Tours Agents, who then seek the required permission from the appropriate authorities.
Staff who wonder around on their own in the Oil & Gas Concession areas do so at their own risk and maywill face legal action by the authorities who are patrolling the areas constantlyif apprehended by Security patrols.

We therefore advise staff who love to adventure and explore more about the beauty of Oman and its natural scenery the following:

1- Always use the official routes for such travel, i.e. via Travel / Tours AgentsTours Agents.
1-PDO letter to the ROP notifying them of the tour of PDO staff is not enough, although it is wise to keep PDO Security in the picture always.
2- Travel / Tours Agents will take care of the formalities required to access the concessions areas, and provide an official tour guide, which is a must on such tours.
3- Such arrangement arearrangements are deemed necessary should the tourists face difficulties and require rescue services from the appropriate PDO / Local authorities.
4- All tourists are advised not to approach or camp near the International Borders, which could lead them to be mistakenly apprehended and face unwelcome escalated issuestreatment by security authorities.
5- All PDO expatriate staff who visit the PDO interior locations on business requirements are reminded not to venture outside the operations area on their own using company vehicles or their own. , else they will face legal action by the authorities.
6- It is totally forbidden to take photos of any Oil & gas Installation, Army Camps, or International Borders mark-ups.

We wish all our expatriate colleagues a welcome stay andhope they wouldstaff will appreciate that such legal procedures are for their own safety and security, and need not be seen as impeding or discouraging them from discovering the beauty of Oman. Please note that the Oil & Gas Concession Areas are considered to be of most sensitive nature and therefore such measures are necessary to safe guard PDO and other operating companies, staff and installations and operations and staff well being.

Kxxxxx Sxxxxx xxx/X
Corporate Security XXXX


Anonymous said...

What's your point?

I don't see any link to North Korea's ways here..

Everything they edited was legit and replaced by something similar. =S

Anonymous said...

Interesting post Sub'.

I think the issue is that it is completely over the top and obviously issued by someone who hasn't really though the implications of what they're saying: IE Yeti is part of a concession area. Tiwi beach. So is Adam. So are the entire Oman mountains. Even Qurm Shopping center.

This would imply I [as an expat because this is specific to non-Omanis] need to be accompanied by an official tour guide to go almost anywhere [just like I would in say, North Korea anon].

As for this therefore addressing security issues - like some vanilla white expat who is actually working in the oil industry and had to pass detailed security checks in their home country to get a work visa is more of a threat to the nation's vital oil industry than some dis-affected extremist-adoring bored unemployed Omani is such a complete joke it's laughable... unless this is what they actually think...

If the only way to beat terrorists is to turn Omani into a police state based on fear, the average Omani [and expat] has lost. Quiet surveillance and monitoring seems to be working well so far.