Day One to the Middle East

On Mon early morning, the team flew into Oman through Dubai and had a comfortable flight on Emirates.

We had a comfortable 90min of transit time between our connecting flight to Oman so window shopped at the Dubai airport. We still have 45min to get to the gate so thought we would order Starbucks as a little “perk me up”.

Who knew that this particular Starbucks is the slowest and most disorganized coffee joint in the world. Besides being slow, the drinks did not come up in any particular order. We had 5 drinks and they came out at different times between other people’s orders. Many customers were also not getting complete orders and some customers who just ordered got their drinks before others waiting for 15min.

In the end, it took more than 20min to get all our drinks and we ended up running to the gate! Ning is always saying that she runs at airports with me because, no matter how early we are, something crops up and we end up being the last on the plane. This time, it was not my fault 🙂

We reached Oman and were greeted by friendly airport staff arranged by the client to see us through immigration and customs. We were then on route to our hotel and event venue, the Al Bustan Palace Intercontinental, which is probably the top hotel in Oman with a private beach facing the sea.

Our ride to the hotel was long but pleasant. We had a glimpse at the country landscape and architectue. We also saw several ladmarks including the Grand Mosque.

The famous Grand Mosque, which is the 3rd largest mosque in the world. It is really a sight to behold

Scenes caught along the way to the hotel from the airport

The team in the Al Bustan Palace Intercontinental lobby. The lobby features a 37m high ceiling that is touted to fit a 747 aircraft vertically if placed in the centre of the lobby.

The rooms and service is excellent here and is making our stay very comfortable, allowing us to prep for a great show.

View from my room

Another view from my room


Once settling down on site, we headed to the ballroom for business. We met the show producer and technical director, all out of the UK. There had been several major changes to the event line-up due to the European travel restrictions that are preventing crew and talent to fly out of the UK. Even our agent out of the UK is currently unable to get out to Oman. Hopefully, they will make it by Wed, the show date.

It was a blessing that the UK producer chose to book us as the main show. If he had gone with a European act, there would be almost no way to get a replacement and have props shipped in time.

After examining the stage/ room set-up, we checked on our gear that was airfreighted to Oman a day earlier. The ATA cases took quite a beating and one of our expensive cargo straps was stolen. But, all our illusions were intact. We set up most of the bigger illusions such as Human Light Tunnel with Light & Space, 360 Sawing, Crystal Metamorphosis and Extreme Burn. Rehearsals and technical run throughs only start tomorrow since the room will not be fully set-up till then.

We spent the rest of the day literally relaxing and being pampered. 🙂

About J C Sum

International Headline Entertainer, Content Creator and Investor
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