Queen Beatrix's visit makes headlines in Oman

8th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Queen Beatrix has made front page news. At least she has in Oman, where the royal family is going ahead with a visit to the protest-gripped country despite criticism from the Dutch parliament.

Oman's morning papers including English-language devoted front page space to details of Tuesday’s dinner between the Queen, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

The entourage is scheduled to arrive late in the afternoon local time and be greeted with a brief ceremony by Vice Premier Fahid bin Mahmoud al Said and Culture and Heritage Minister Haitham bin Tariq al Said. They will then depart for the royal palace at Bait al Barak to meet the Sultan for dinner. 

The Dutch press was quick to report on the foreign coverage of the visit; however, many media outlets overlooked the finer details. Some even went so far as to attribute the Muscat Daily’s orange banner as fit for the Dutch Queen as she heads the House of Orange Nassau and consequently the Dutch national colour is orange. The colour is actually the paper’s signature background and also used on its website.

NOS correspondent Marieke de Vries, reporting from Oman, said that Queen Beatrix’s visit “has really taken over.” She added much of the media attention was also related to the Sultan’s Monday sacking of a number of high ranking ministers.

Protestors calling for political reform and a crackdown on corruption have been demonstrating in the Arab country for weeks. They say they are not challenging the legitimacy of the Sultan, who has been in power for nearly 40 years.

The unrest led to the Queen Beatrix’s official state visit being postponed and downgraded to a private dinner. The decision to go ahead with the arrangement was made to safeguard a major defence contract, reported on Monday. Oman has placed an order worth hundreds of millions of euros with Dutch shipyard Damen Schelde for the construction of four naval vessels.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

0 Comments To This Article