The festival, which began on January 19 showcasing the Sultanate’s culture and tradition spiced up with adventure, sports and gastronomic delights, has been witnessed by nearly a million visitors to the two major venues
Kabeer Yousuf –
As the 24-day long display of culture, tradition and heritage spiced up with adventure, sports and gastronomic delights with lots of fun and frolic comes to an end today, the colourful extravaganza is leaving sweet memories for citizens and expatriates alike.
The Heritage Village that mirrored a bygone Omani era, the International Village that brought together countries of the world under one umbrella, the fireplays and comedians as well as the singers and dancers who enthralled the visitors, and the lavishly spread local dishes are all bidding adieu to the two grounds — Amerat Park and the Naseem Gardens hoping to see again in 2018.
The last days of the festival, which is also known as a window to the world, witnessed people arriving in large groups and from far-flung places, according to officials. The festival, which began on January 19, is acclaimed to be a mirror of Oman’s culture and tradition and nearly a million visitors to the two major venues.
A special village dedicated to science, technology and knowledge titled ‘1001 Inventions’ along with the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) was yet another attraction at the Amerat Park this year.
“This year, the response to Muscat Festival was astounding given the fact that the world economy is suffering from the oil prices. The footfalls at both venues were more than we expected”, said a source with the Organising Committee at Muscat Municipality.
Besides various exciting events, the Amerat Park had a Heritage Village, The Family Village, theatre performances of popular folklore bands besides the squares and theatre performances. Also, the participation of governmental institutions and service associations was another notable attraction this time. Laser shows and fireworks were added attractions at this venue.
The Naseem Gardens, a place dedicated to the people from Batinah and elsewhere besides the people from the capital city, was more of a ground for trade exhibition, while the Family Village and children’s theatre besides squares and theatre performances, fireworks shows, the rainforest, the illuminated village and others kept the families entertained throughout.
Just like last time, this time too the festival committee had given due prominence to culture and heritage activities and had divided the whole programmes into three broad categories such as Intellectual, Literary and Artistic. The speech series began with eminent scholars which was followed by lectures by a large number of highly knowledgeable personalities from various sectors throughout the month.
The annual Tour of Oman, one of the most sought-after cycling event will be held from February 14 to 19.
“Tour of Oman has, over a period of time, achieved remarkable success in the past editions by attracting the attention of global sport community to the Sultanate in general and Muscat in particular as important stations in the sports scene in the region”, the source commented.
“Tour of Oman is a major tourism attraction and a window to the Sultanate as several scores of mediamen and camera persons from across the world descend on Oman to cover the adrenaline-rushing event”.
Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising (OEPPA), to which the Oman Arabic daily and Oman Daily Observer English daily belong to, was a keen partner of the annual festival.
Scores of multi-linguistic people visited the pavilions wanting to know more of the publications and for subscriptions. Children were given an opportunity to take part in various infotainment activities following which they were given prizes.
Several contests for children including quiz and other competitions saw many kids walking away with fabulous prizes home.