The Jabal Al Akhdhar Tourism Festival held recently was a huge success due to the adventures by equestrian riders.
This year the adventure began from the ultra-luxurious resort Alila Jabal Akhdhar with the horses galloping towards the Seeq village in the backdrop of green mountains.
The highlight of the festival was the procession of Omani riders in their traditional attire and horses with silver sets. There were about 18 pure Arabian horses, and 2 pony horses for children with hundreds of people witnessing the event.
About 8 riders, 5 from Oman and 3 from Saudi Arabia, held the audience in awe as they trotted majestically against the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains.
Oman from Horse Backs supported by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is considered the first project in the Gulf region to conduct various trips to discover the area and the charm of the Sultanate of Oman on horseback.
Saif bin Ali al Rawahi, head of Oman from Horse Backs, says they encountered several challenges in organizing the festival from off-road paths, high altitudes, air pressure, loading equipment, leveling ground, and weather conditions. However, they successfully hosted the event professionally and diligently which was made possible by staff having local and international experience in event organization.
“The festival benefited the local community of Jabal Al Akhdhar and boosted tourism. This was obvious from the huge numbers who visited Jabal Al Akhdhar and purchased local produce, occupying hotel rooms, apartments, inns and visited pomegranate and rose farms.”
Mahfoodh al Hadi, Assistant Team Leader, Oman from Horse Backs, prides himself in being part of such an incredible festival.
“The equestrians performed one of the most unique adventures on Oman landscapes. We are happy to have overcome the challenges that the team faced. This is considered the first project in the Gulf region which deals with conducting trips to discover the country and the beauty of Oman through horses,” says Mahfoodh.
Two years after establishing the programme in 2015, the team organised tours in cooperation with Sweden’s Unicorn Company, one of the famous companies which organises such adventures for amateurs from European and American countries, accompanied by riders from the Sultanate of Oman.
During the tours, the riders and the technical staff visited tourist sites, popular markets, castles and forts, and enjoyed the Sultanate’s heritage and cultural assets as they passed through the locations.
A major event called the ‘Scottish in Oman’ took place in November 2018 which saw about 200 participants from Europe take part under the name ‘The Flower Land’. The Sultanate of Oman was chosen to host the event in coordination with the British Embassy in Muscat and the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism at Muttrah. The event included a camel and horse march with participation from several countries.
The march set off from Al Bustan Beach in the Governorate of Muscat towards the Council of Oman building and then to the Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel. A heritage village displayed traditional handicrafts, and Omani cuisines, along with horse and camel performances.