Businessman tells of Michael Jackson's love of Oman

The popstar 'felt safe' and planned to visit again this year, businessman says.
Businessman tells of Michael Jackson's love of Oman
POP LEGEND: Michael Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, poses for a picture with Omani businessman Anis Zadjali and his son during a visit to Muscat in 2007. (AFP)
Tue 30 Jun 2009 08:23 AM

Michael Jackson fell in love with Oman, a desert and rugged mountainous Gulf sultanate where he "felt safe," spending a month and a half in 2006, according to an Omani businessman.

"Michael Jackson had come here for a visit of three days, which he extended to 45 days," Anis al-Zadjali told AFP.

Zadjali, who works in tourism, said that Jackson, who visited the country secretly with his children, was "touched by the love and the generous hospitality he found in the sultanate."

"A lot of people visited him and took pictures with him, but nobody took advantage of his fame as they did not publish those pictures in the media, which made him feel safe in Oman."

The businessman said Jackson spent most of his time with the Zadjali family, despite staying at a hotel, and that he frequently visited the traditional souk of Mutrah, where he bought souvenirs.

The international pop icon left Oman after the death of his friend James Brown in December 2006, Zadjali said, adding that Jackson was planning to visit again this year.

The late Michael Jackson also lived in the Gulf state of Bahrain with his children in 2005 after leaving the United States following allegations of child abuse. He left Bahrain in May 2006.

Jackson died suddenly on June 25 at the age of 50.

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