Say it with your cars or stickers

By: Lakshmi Kothaneth

MUSCAT: In Oman, one of the favourite means to express one’s love or patriotism to the leader and the nation has been through car stickers. In November 2014, after the speech of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos the creativity was at the peak. At present, the plans are on to see what is the best way to express oneself. Marches are one way the community comes collectively to chant patriotic slogans and make a statement of loyalty and affection. Traditionally an impulsive reaction to happiness and celebration was to trigger the rifle in air. ROP has now forbidden this method of expression with a fine if caught firing in prohibited areas.

On the other hand, the new age means of celebration with stickers on the vehicles have been permitted by the Royal Oman Police to the delight of vehicle owners.

279724The vehicle owners have been making beeline to the car accessories specialised shops.

The shoppers have become more sophisticated as well. They want newer designs.

The cost of stickers could start from RO5 to RO 150. The trend is for customised stickers and people want to wrap the cars.

The street of Juma Market in Wadi Kabir has gotten busier since car owners received the clearance from the Royal Oman Police.

Aiman Salami of Salami International Car Accessories who is hands on with covering the cars has completed 20 vehicles so far. He was working on a smaller car when he spoke to the Observer without taking a break to catch up with the demand and deadlines.

He has been in the profession for the last 10 years and his expertise grew when the demand for car stickers went high after winning Gulf Cup in 2009.

“If it is a small vehicle I can finish in ten minutes. People want unique designs. On Sunday more custom designed stickers are arriving for larger vehicles and 4x4s. Most car owners want to wrap their vehicles,” said Aiman catching his breath.

In the neighbouring shop, a couple was busy with their vehicles and the wife wanted additional designs looking at another car that was being decorated. The trend is now not just with men.

Hamza al Jaradi is a business development manager and he excitedly showed a variety of stickers that he was going to incorporate onto the body of his car. The windows, the doors and windshield are all canvases for now.

“I could not believe it when my wife called me and said His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has arrived. We have been waiting impatiently. The whole family is extremely excited. All my friends are planning to wrap their cars with stickers. I cannot wait to drive off,” said Hamza.

279720Yet another car windshield is being covered with the latest images of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos arriving at the airport on Monday.

Meanwhile, the aircraft His Majesty arrived has become a symbolic icon on its own.

It was the moment of delight to see the aircraft arrive at Muscat after months of waiting and to see His Majesty the Sultan walk down the stair to the red carpet. The jubilation and celebrations have just begun. It is time to wait and watch the vehicles pass by with the best of creativity.

“I will have the stickers on until the Royal Oman Police tells me it is time to remove,” concluded Hamza. As for the message from Royal Oman Police as always is, “Drive Safe”.


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