A need to reform nationwide festivities

Celebrations and festivals are some of the ways of spending time with family, friends or colleagues. Different types of festivals are scheduled in our annual calendar, some of which are annual and some occasional.
Among annual events, the month-long Muscat Festival, which kicked off a few days ago, is one of the most awaited one. It increasingly attracts visitors to the Sultanate from all over the world and promotes the country as a worldwide tourist destination.
Year on year, it is becoming a source of attraction for people from different segments and interests.
For some, the festival tops the list of must-visit destinations with its range of events and activities.
Many tourists and residents are attracted by the rich Omani culture and heritage. Since its inception in 1998, the fun-filled festival has been among the most liked social and cultural events in the country.
Perhaps, it is becoming one of the top renowned international events that attract people from different backgrounds, interests and cultures.
However, the change in activities at the Muscat Festival is not being clearly observed; they have been only minor changes over the years.
The organising committee needs to get creative and bring new and more diverse activities to the festival. Most of the current activities have been recurring for years now.
Despite the government’s and sponsors support for the festival every year, the same videotape is being played every year. Each edition should be different from the previous ones.
Visitors expect the best in every edition of the festival. If not an entire facelift for the festival programme, there should be some new and attractive activities.
The main change happened in the past couple of years when the main location of the festival was moved to Al Amerat Park. Another addition was the cycling event, Tour of Oman.
However, the change in events and activities is not commendable yet. Serious steps are required to change old-fashioned activities at the festival.
Diverse activities are essential to attract and involve people from different segments from within and outside the country.
More attention should be accorded to creativity among Omanis. The focus should be on talented Omanis. The festival could be an opportunity to showcase their innovations and creativity.
In the last 20 years, the festival has been a significant social, entertaining, educational and artistic platform for people of different ages and interests.
It has been a forum in which multicultural and multilingual activities are staged as well as, attracting visitors from various nationalities.
The organising committee should strive more and spare no efforts in improving the festival’s programme and make it a memorable experience for visitors.
The authorities in the tourism sector need to “refresh their minds and think out of the box” when it comes to holding the local festivals. They need to be more creative in developing internal tourism with modern facilities and services as well as new innovative ideas to uplift the standards of Muscat Festival.