Embracing tradition and innovation, the North Al Sharqiyah Winter Festival paints a vivid canvas and unites communities in a grand celebration that highlights Bidiya's picturesque landscape.
Winter festivals in desert places play a crucial role in enhancing community spirit, preserving cultural identity, boosting the local economy, and promoting sustainable practices, making them a valuable and cherished tradition. For the case of this festival, it contributes to the local economy by attracting tourists and encouraging small and medium enterprises to participate in consumer exhibitions.
As predicted, the festival experienced a significant turnout of visitors since its launch on January 20 as it featured a variety of heritage, cultural, social, and recreational events.
Various activities are taking place in Bidiya Public Park, including the Heritage Village, consumer exhibition activities for small and medium enterprises, and open theater activities.
The festival offers a children’s play area, entertainment competitions, the mobile car area, the food area, and other sections that successfully create an entertaining family atmosphere for visitors from the Sultanate of Oman and beyond.
The Heritage Village stands out due to its diversity, featuring three corners: the Omani Women’s Association Corner, the Agricultural Life Corner, and the Bedouin Life Corner.
The association’s pavilion hosts stalls of productive families, showcasing handicrafts and homemade products like clothes, perfumes, and Omani food. Additionally, there is a stall illustrating the daily life of women in the Al Sharqiyah North Governorate, presenting a live simulation of how to manage a home, raise children, and handle family affairs.
In the Agricultural Life corner, visitors learn about the traditional irrigation system of Al Falaj and the water quotas set by farmers. The corner also displays the Tabsel dates season, for which the governorate’s wilayats are renowned, and highlights the role of society in raising livestock and its management.
Visitors also gain insights into Bedouin life, including their tent houses, camel raising practices, and traditional welcome ceremonies, along with Bedouin folk arts for which the governorate is famous.
The Heritage Village hosted accompanying events, notably the visit of a Saudi trade delegation seeking to explore investment opportunities by meeting entrepreneurs at the consumer exhibition for small and medium enterprises.
The consumer exhibition witnessed significant participation from entrepreneurs, institutional owners, craftsmen, and productive families.
The village also served as the venue for the open theater, featuring numerous cultural and entertainment events and programs, children’s competitions, poetry recital evenings, and scientific and entertainment shows, with wide participation from specialists within and outside the Sultanate of Oman.
The winter festival is organized by the North Al Sharqiyah North Governorate in collaboration with various institutions in the public and private sectors, civil society organizations, and individuals.
The events will conclude on February 10, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy various sporting events, such as bicycle racing and motorcycle shows in the Wilayat of Dima W’attayeen, paragliding shows, and a cricket tournament. Another highlight of the festival is the First International Festival for Cinema and Desert, along with the Omani coffee-making competition.