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Shabab Oman


shabab2.jpg (40426 bytes)The RNO sail training vessel "RNOV Shabab Oman" is one of the largest vessels of its era in the world, which is still seaworthy and in active service. She is considered an important ambassador for Oman, visiting ports in Arab and friendly countries as part of its training programme, seeks to promote cultural contacts with other peoples and stimulate world interest in Oman, and acts as a reminder of Oman's ancient maritime history.

shabab5.jpg (48155 bytes)The ship was built in 1971 in Scotland from Scottish Oak and pine from Uruguay. She was first under the dictate of the Ministry for Youth, but in 1979, she was transferred to the Royal Navy of Oman for use as a training ship, teaching the trainees important navigational skills and providing experience to sail the seas.

Since joining the Navy, Shabab Oman has travelled to many countries including Australia, Russia, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Mediterranean. Training courses are still run on the ship, and are attended by young trainees from the Sultan's Armed Forces, the Royal Guard, and the Royal Oman Police. The ship is capable of accommodating 24 persons and during their voyages, the crew are provided with the opportunities to experience international cultures.

1983 Year of Youth Voyage

This voyage saw the start of Shabab's ambassadorial role when the Year of Youth was celebrated in Oman. The ship carried young people from various countries within the Gulf to visit GCC ports. She travelled to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, ending her trip in Qatar, in time for the inauguration of the GCC summit, held in Doha in 1983.

1986 United States of America

On the directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, Shabab Oman sailed to the USA, making her first long voyage. The voyage took seven and a half months and was undertaken in order to participate in the US naval show held to commemorate the first centenary of the Statue of Liberty in New York. During this visit, she also sailed to Canada, Djibouti, Jeddah, Alexandria, Gibraltar, Madeira, Bermuda, Rhode Island, Fair Marina, Baltimore, Washington, Norfolk, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Tunisia and Aqaba, covering 20,256 nautical miles and returning to Muscat on 18 October 1986.

1987 Australia

On 17 October 1987, Shabab Oman set sail for Australia in response to an invitation to participate in the second centenary celebration of the arrival of the First Fleet. Shabab Oman was the only Arabian ship to participate and arrived in Australia in January 1988.

1989 France

In April 1989, shabab6.jpg (142103 bytes)Shabab Oman set forth on a voyage to Rouen, France to participate in the celebration of the second centenary of the French Revolution and the international declaration of human rights.

Whilst docking in London, Shabab sailed under the Tower Bridge in a long sailing vessels event to commemorate the city's celebration of 800 years of admiralty in London.

Shabab's journey also took her to ports in Djibouti, Aqaba, Istanbul, Athens, Naples, Ibiza, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Brest, Hull, Rouane, Portsmouth, Dartmouth, Falmouth, Funchal, Casablanca, Tunisia, Limassol and Jeddah. She returned to Raysut, in the Dhofar region of Oman.

1992 United States of America

Shabab's second visit to the United States was to participate in the celebrations which marked 500 years since the discovery of America by Christopher Colombus on board the Santa Maria in 1942.

1994 France

shabab1.jpg (73244 bytes)Shabab's second visit to France coincided with the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Normandy Landings of World War II. During her seven day stay in Rouane, Shabab Oman was visited by approximately 20,000 visitors out of a total of one million visitors to the port.

1995 Dubai to Muscat President's Cup Regatta

Together with the Royal Baghla (Zeinat al Bihar), Shabab Oman competed with other ships in the annual President's Cup Regatta organised by the Association of Sailing, Royal Navy of Oman.

1996 Russian Federation

Under the directives of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, and the invitation of the Russian Navy, Shabab Oman sailed to St Petersburg to participate in the celebrations commemorating 300 years of the Russian Navy Fleet.

In the same year, Shabab Oman competed in the Cutty Sark Race for high mast ships, sailing from Rostock in Germany, to Copenhagen, Denmark. shabab4.jpg (69384 bytes)To Oman's pride, Shabab Oman finished first, and also won the silver shield for the best ship participating.

She visited many ports during this voyage, including Jeddah, Calgary (Sardinia), Oporto (Portugal), St Petersburg, Mariham & Turku (Finland) and Malta. She was immensely popular at each port and received over 22,000 visitors.

When Shabab Oman docked in Copenhagen, her guest of honour was the German President, Dr Roman Harzog, who was presented with a silver Omani khanjar. HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, also visited the ship when she docked in Finland.

1997 Japan

shabab3.jpg (72610 bytes)On 15 February 1997, Shabab Oman sailed to the Far East to participate in Japan's first centenary celebration of Osaka Port and to compete in the first Asian race for long sailing vessels. Shabab Oman was eagerly anticipated in every port she visited during this year, particularly as she had just won the International Friendship Award (Cutty Sark 1997) for the second consecutive year. This award is given to the ship which displays the best teamwork and cooperation. It is the first time in the history of the annual International Sailing Association's race that a ship has won the cup on two consecutive years. In recognition of the crew's outstanding success, His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos bin Said conferred on them a Royal Honour for their hard work, effort and good conduct.

2005 Norway

In the summer of 2005 she took first place in the Tall Sail Ships International Friendship Cup that began in Waterford, Ireland and concluded at Norway's Frederikstad port. This was the fourth time in succession that the majestic RNOV Shabab Oman was awarded this globally coveted cup.

Shabab at a Glance

Height: 30m

Length: 52m

Width: 8.5m

Maximum Draft: 4.7m

Total Sail Space: 281m2

Maximum Speed: 13 knots

Weight: 484 tonnes

Engine: 250HP Caterpillar diesel engine


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