Salalah: Holiday mood has settled in Salalah even though a few days have been left when the actual dates of Eid al Adha holidays would be announced. There has been continuous flow of people from all over the GCC. Everywhere there is festivity as monsoon is working as a mood elevator in every nook and corner. People don’t mind drenching and children peeping through sunroof fitted vehicles are common sight here.
Festivity and rain have become synonymous so much so that an overwhelmed local resident working in a public sector establishment said the government should declare some days of ‘khareef holiday’ for the people of Salalah just to roam around and feel the beauty of khareef. “It is so wonderful!” he said innocently in his effort to justify his wish.
Keeping in mind arrival of guests from all over the GCC countries most of the hospitality majors here have lined up some events or the other under the banner of Salalah Tourism Festival (STF) to keep people engaged even though the main STF event is happening at the Recreation Centre in Itin. Since the hypermarkets are receiving new guests on daily basis, they also have events, mainly in the evenings, as a mark of reception of the tourists as well as to keep them occupied in their premises to have more business.
The courtyards of Salalah Gardens Mall — both indoor as well as outdoor — have events on daily basis ranging from children games to awareness programmes for all age groups. Some GCC wide companies chose to put up stalls to attract customers to promote their products.
Similarly, Lulu hypermarket has lined up entertainment events involving students and local artistes for three days a week with prizes, gifts and raffle draws. A photography exhibition by Salalah Photography Club is coming in the hypermarket premises from August 16. The exhibition is likely to continue for ten days.
Hawana Salalah, which is an integrated tourism complex having three hotels and a traditional living experience facility called Souly Lodge, has fiesta every Thursday and Friday and a Bazaar every Saturday.
The lively fiesta welcomes guests showcasing the products and services of the local small and medium enterprises. They also showcase Oman’s rich cultural heritage, as well as an array of lively entertainment.
The mixed entertainment events offer lots of options for children and families, as there are clown and magic shows happening on the sidelines. Tanoura dance and musical performances are very popular among the visitors here.
The Saturday’s “Bazaar As-Sabt is an opportunity for the visitors to browse and purchase locally-made items,” said a participant who comes every week to sell her products.
Crowne Plaza Salalah Resort also has daily musical programmes offering soulful music on Omani musical instrument Oud. The visitors here are seen requesting the Oud performer Miled Ammouty to play tunes of their choice.
The whole of Itin area has turned into stage for entertainment with the venue for the Salalah Tourism Festival and Atinaland, which offers range of entertainment to the visitors. Two major public parks in this area attract maximum crowd. The famous Al Magbi restaurants, which offer meat preparations cooked on stones, are located in front of one of these parks.
Similar is the case with Sahalnoot which has emerged as a new and major entertainment location due to hot air balloons and other platforms like open air cinema, holograms, children games and extreme racing events. The place is attracting people due to its location, a place with high plains, wide and a perfect location for flying kites and spending time leisurely with family.