‘Making Outward Bound schools more effective and resilient’

Sultanate of Oman

January 14th-17th 2019

Who should attend?

The conference is for Executive Directors plus other senior members of staff who have strategic roles within Outward Bound schools-ideally the chair of the board, and someone responsible for programmes, communications and marketing.

Why should you attend?

The World Conference is your chance to:
• share successful developments with the Outward Bound network,
• explore innovative solutions for communication, safety, marketing and sales,
• and contribute to Outward Bound International’s strategic planning.

How much does it cost?

The price has been held at the same level since the 2014 conference in Germany – 500 USD per head.

Pre- Conference Expedition

January 12th-14th 2019

For the more adventurous, there was an opportunity to take part in a three day camel and foot safari through the desert before the conference begins. The journey started with a city tour of the capital city of Muscat, including a visit to the old souk, before heading out to the Sharqiya Sands, a sand desert that borders the Indian Ocean, located two hours drive south of Muscat. There the team met their camels, and Bedouin camel handler, and spent three days walking and riding through the sands, sleeping out (no tents allowed!) under the amazing desert sky, and meeting some of the local Bedouin community. At the end of the journey the team returned to Muscat for the start of the conference.

Price: 140 OMR per person

Useful Conference Information

Register your place for the conference by following these six steps:

1. Please ensure that you have read the Visa Information documents before beginning the enrolment process.

2. Click on this link to access the OBIWC 2019 event booking page: Here

3. Enter all details as requested on the eventbrite page, that include completing your;
• Personal details.
• Legal disclaimer,
• Health and Dietary information forms

4. Payment is through the Eventbrite website as above. Payment must be made in full to ensure enrolment is confirmed.

5. Delegates should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance in place, which includes repatriation cover in the event of a medical emergency.

6. Once your travel arrangements are confirmed, please ensure that you share your arrival and departure flight details and times with the Outward Bound Oman team on obiconference@outwardboundoman.com

January in Oman is the best month of the year for travel; temperatures in the day average about 28 degrees Celsius, and at night can drop to single digits in the desert.

In addition to packing the normal items you would bring to attend a multi-day conference, we would suggest you consider the following;

A fleece top (temperatures may drop to single digits at night)
• Your own towel
• Think sun – the course will take place in the desert, so if you burn easily, remember a sun hat, a loose fitting long-sleeved shirt, some sun cream and sunglasses
• Accommodation on arrival will be in a 4-star Muscat hotel; thereafter it will be in a basic desert camp (for two nights), on a room sharing basis. The stars and night sky are a memorable part of anyone’s desert experience, so for the more adventurous we would strongly suggest bringing a 2-season sleeping bag and thermarest, and sleeping out under the stars for at least one of the night’s you’re out at the camp.
Footwear – you’ll be on sand most of the time; normal trekking/approach shoes are fine, and crocs are good around camp as the sand drains out easily.
• Rain is unlikely, but possible – remember a lightweight waterproof top
• The final evening in Muscat will involve a gathering and buffet dinner, possibly attended by a few VIPs, including Ambassadors, so try to keep something clean for the last evening.

General – The bulk of the conference will take place in an area frequented by the Bedouin; clothing is therefore better to be more conservative, and respectful, rather than revealing.

Finally – remember to bring a copy of your travel and medical insurance with you. Delegates must ensure that they have adequate travel insurance in place, which includes repatriation cover in the event of a medical emergency.

Arrival: You will land at Muscat International Airport, and the conference hotel is located 10 minutes drive away.

A free shuttle bus will travel to the MYSK HOTEL in AL MOUJ, MUSCAT from the International Arrivals Terminal, every hour, on the hour, from 0900hrs to 2100hrs on MONDAY 14 JANUARY 2019. The shuttle bus will wait outside arrivals and will have OBO’s logo clearly visible in front side and rear windows. The bus will wait for 10 minutes only so make sure you are on time.

Should your flight arrive outside of these hours, or if you prefer not to wait, it is easy to get a local taxi to the hotel. Download the Arrival in Oman document from the Useful Downloads for a letter for the airport taxi in Arabic and English to take you to the hotel.

Accommodation: If you enrol before 1 September 2018, your stay at the MYSK HOTEL in Al Mouj, Muscat ( http://myskhotels.com/hotels/almoujmuscat/ ), is guaranteed for the night of Monday 14 January 2019, prior to the conference.

Accommodation is on a twin room bed and breakfast basis (an extra charge for single occupancy will apply). For the duration of the conference at the Desert Centre, accommodation will be in a basic desert camp, again, on a sharing basis.

Winter in Oman is very short, and January is the prime time for tourism. Hotel prices are at their peak during these months.

If you have not booked by September 1st, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to stay in the conference hotel, and the cost of your attendance at the conference may be more than 500 USD due to the additional accommodation costs.

No accommodation is provided for the night of Thursday 17 January 2019.

Food: Once we have left the hotel. most of the conference meals will take place at a remote camp in the desert. The food there is always good, but limited. Those with special diets may wish to bring a supply of their own food to supplement meals. The meals included, and a sample menu are provided in the Arrival in Oman document on the Useful Downloads.

All conference delegates are required to apply for a visa online to visit Oman. Allow plenty of time to do this.

If you are a citizen of a G1 country (see the list by clicking the link below), you can apply online for an unsponsored visa.
https://evisa.rop.gov.om/en/visa-eligibility, click on List of Group 1 countries in the top right hand corner.

Apply for an unsponsored visa online by clicking here:

These step by step instructions will help you apply:

Citizens of countries not on the G1 list
You will require a sponsorship letter. Please email obiconference@outwardboundoman.com before September 1st 2018 for further assistance. Please do this as soon as possible so that we can obtain a sponsorship letter for you in good time.

The conference ends at 2100 hrs on Thursday January 17th, at The Sundus Rotana Hotel ( https://www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts/oman/muscat/sundusrotana ), located 10 minutes from Muscat International Airport. There are many flight options out of Oman that depart a few hours either side of midnight.

If you wish to spend the night of the 17th, or a few extra days in Muscat, the Sundus Rotana Hotel is a cost-effective option-please contact them directly to make any post conference plans.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with Aalia Khan at obiconference@outwardboundoman.com

About Oman

With soaring sand dunes, spectacular mountains that reach up to 10,000 feet into the sky, frankincense covered uplands, a coastline that stretches for more than 1,800 miles, modern cities, warm hospitality and a rich culture and heritage that goes back some 5,000 years – Oman is a haven of peace and tranquility, and the perfect home for Outward Bound.

Useful Arabic phrases & Facts

To enable you to get the maximum out of your visit, we have attached a short series of Arabic phrases, and some fast facts for you to learn before you arrive.