MUSCAT, Feb 9 – The curtains came down on the 21st edition of Muscat Festival which showcased Oman’s tradition and culture, attracting nearly a million visitors from across the globe. Held at two venues — Naseem Garden and Amerat Park — it was an opportunity for the Omani youth to showcase their talent as well as products. “Many local start-ups and village industry representatives participated in the crafts and villages expo,” said Fahad al Ghafri, in-charge of the initiative.
“A number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have made use of the facility, while governorates and wilayats showcased their art and culture. The aim behind the initiative was to introduce the public and visitors to SMEs’ products and services.” Ghafsa bint Hamad al Jahafi from Masirah Island, who showcased her products ranging from beauty products, saffron and kohl to rose water, said: “The presence of home-made products is an extension of knowledge and heritage of Oman to the present and future generations.”
“It shows the crucial role in reviving and supporting tourism movement in the country,” said Ghafsa. What stands out is the way the festival supported the handicapped and less-abled people by offering them a platform to showcase their creativity. Salem bin Abdullah al Mahrouqi, an artist with an auditory handicap, displayed his plastic art to well-known local artists. Salem began his career by drawing portraits of well-known figures and mastered the art of drawing faces. “I have used many colours, but I want to experiment further. I can draw a portrait in 20 minutes and people might mistake it for a photograph,” he said.