MUSCAT, Nov 14
Amid fears of novel coronavirus spread and precautionary measures, the Sultanate started celebrations to mark 50th National Day that falls on November 18.
Although it is not a grand annual event this year unlike in the past, some of the streets have already been bedecked with red, white and green decorations and lit with decorative lights for the big day.
Safety is the top priority this year for the country with the coronavirus still around and social distancing a golden rule.
Dr Saif bin Salim al Abri, Director-General of Surveillance and Disease Control of the Ministry of Health has already alerted the public about gatherings that can further deteriorate the situation.
“We know people want to celebrate the 50th National Day, but we want to remind you all gatherings are banned and all of you have to abide by precautionary measures,” his advice came during the weekend media briefing about the pandemic.
November 25 and 26 have already been announced as holidays for both public and private sectors.
National Day is the annual celebration of the Sultanate since the blessed Renaissance in 1970 and it brings together the citizens and multitude of nationalities to express patriotism, unity and gratitude to Oman’s leadership.
Retail outlets are witnessing brisk sales of mementos, accessories, garments and other souvenirs through which people can express their love for the country.
“Both citizens and expatriates are looking to express their love and support for the country and its leadership, and hence there is a huge demand for these items,” said Nasser Ali Ahmed, a shopkeeper.
A number of goods including wall hangings, coffee cups, bottles, trays, key chains, table tops etc. carry slogans hailing the Sultanate and its leaders.
“The National Day brings everyone together in the country. The use of clothes and accessories based on this theme helps in the external manifestation of people’s feelings for the country. It is a very important day because it symbolises national unity ”, said Mubarak al Wahaibi in Ruwi.