Soccer fever grips Sultanate

MUSCAT, June 12 – With the Fifa World Cup set to kick off in the Russian capital of Moscow on Thursday, the Sultanate is in the grip of a football fever. Top convention centres, star hotels as well as the street-side coffee shops are leaving no stone unturned to bring matches live to the fans. Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), for instance, is set to screen the matches on seven massive LCD screens specially built for the month-long season. A steady stream of crowds is expected to watch the matches being beamed live. Fans can also catch up with their favourite teams at the street-side coffee shops.

“My favourite team will lift the World Cup and I will celebrate their win at this coffee shop in Al Khuwair with a big TV screen,” said Salem, a staunch supporter of the Brazil team. Hotels are vying to attract as many people as possible to their specially built ‘World Cup areas’ with tailor-made packages. Their pool-sides and halls are already home to huge TV sets. Dinora Shamirzaeva, Marketing Communications Manager at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, said the hotel will telecast live matches from a dedicated ‘Shangri-La World Cup Tent’. “The tent will have a giant screen and two plasma TVs, and screen all the 64 games live.

It will offer extensive beverages and sumptuous bites to keep the fans’ game spirits high,” she said. Kempinski Hotel Muscat, the latest addition to the Sultanate’s hospitality sector, will host their guests at the specially built Zale Beach Club & Lounge, which promises to give an ‘electrifying atmosphere’. “Zale will offer unmissable food and drink offers with a live broadcast of the matches. A selection of tailored food bites and selective beverage bundles will make the matches even more enjoyable,” said Gerard Saliba, Public Relations Manager, Kempinski Hotel. “We are all prepared to offer our guests a special view of all the World Cup football matches,” said Giby, Operations Manager, Majan Continental Hotel.

KABEER YOUSUF