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.
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.
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.
In April 1989, 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.
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. 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.
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
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
Shabab at a
Maximum Draft: 4.7m
Total Sail Space: 281m2
Maximum Speed: 13 knots
Weight: 484 tonnes
Engine: 250HP Caterpillar diesel engine
Oman Culture in focus
The Traditional Dhow
Folk songs & Dances
Horses of Oman