All roads lead to festival venues

MUSCAT, JAN 12 – Like every year, expectations from the Muscat Festival — which has just kicked off — are high. And so is the rush.
The two major festival venues, Al Amerat Park and the Naseem Garden, which are offering a host of cultural, fun and infotainment activities, besides showcasing the local gastronomic delights, saw a beeline of vehicles from far-flung places as well as those from within the city. The festival venues saw visitors from various countries.
“We are here (Al Amerat Park) for the first time. We are here because we heard about the festival from our friends who had visited the country before,” said members of a four-member Italian group. They comprised Noora and Sarah, sisters with Egypt-Italian origin, and Tommaso and Yasmine, who had just arrived from Milan.
“I have always been fascinated with Oman because we have heard a lot from our mother. Our first visit has been memorable, thanks to the festival, where we can see a lot of people from across the country and beyond,” said Noora and Sarah.
What makes the festival different is everyone can find something that appeals to their senses and tastes.
The Heritage Village, for instance, appeals to those who love artefacts. Merchandise from different parts of the world are found under one roof, while the food corners selling a variety of stuff is sure to tickle one’s taste buds.
“People in Oman are fond of art and culture,” say Sayyid and Sarah, an Iranian artist couple, who has a stall at the ‘hall for special events’.
Intricately-woven carpets, kaleidoscopic images made from glass and paintings make the ‘Hall of Art’ a treat for the connoisseurs of art.
“I can assure you all the programmes at this year’s festival are new. A lot of new artistes, troupes and ideas are being implemented in this year’s edition of the Muscat Festival,” said a Muscat Festival official.
“It’s truly a family festival. Please come and experience the warmth of Muscat Festival.”
The festival will conclude on February 9.
Both venues are open to the public on weekdays from 4 pm to 11 pm. On weekends, they will be open until midnight. Some days have been set aside for families and women.