MUSCAT: High waves break on the Mutrah sea side promenade in the Omani capital Muscat yesterday as the Shaheen tropical storm hits the country. - AFP

MUSCAT: Omani authorities have decided that today and tomorrow (October 3 and 4) will be an official holiday nationwide due to bad weather conditions triggered by tropical storm (Shaheen). Oman's official news agency reported that the decision came due to the adverse climate conditions in the Sultanate, and to ensure the safety of public and private employees. But, the Governorates of Dhofar and Al Wusta were exempted.

However, the official agency said that private companies may ask their staff to work during the public holiday, only if necessary. Oman's Civil Aviation Authority warned on Friday that tropical storm Shaheen was expected to develop into a category 1 tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours. The public was advised to take precautions and steer away from low lying areas. - KUNA