COVID-19 takes shine off Khareef festivity

Salalah: The Coronavirus has taken the shine off the festivity of the monsoon season even as the season started on June 21 and the mountains have already turned green due to recent spell of rains in most parts of Dhofar.

With the beginning of June, everyone would start talking about the Khareef season, as most of the people have to give finishing touches to their prospective businesses, which the season promises with success generally.

Everyone is missing the charm of the season while living amid the fear of the pandemic that calls for utmost care, safety, and all possible health hygiene. But they are happy over the decision to lock down the Dhofar Governorate to keep them safe from the disease.

“This is an unprecedented situation for which no one was prepared. This is in the interest of the people and the country to follow the pandemic norms and stay safe. We can have many more festivals if we are safe and healthy,” said Mirbat resident Abdullah Ba Omar.
Every season Abdullah does some good business, but this season he left with no other option but to stay quiet.

Last season Salalah recorded 766,772 visitors and The visitors’ spending reached RO 78 million, up 1.4 per cent compared to the season of 2018.

“More visitors mean more business for us. I have some furnished apartments, but all of them are lying vacant. During the season I would have been busy talking to customers or doing some necessary renovations,” Abdullah said.

Despite many other developments, Khareef still holds the key from the perspective of direct involvement of local people in all sorts of businesses ranging from handicrafts to real estate, restaurants, agriculture, art and culture, and even laundries and barbershops.
Khareef keeps the residents of Dhofar engaged because every Dhofari has some connection with Salalah, which makes the festive mood and the most productive business season for local people. For entrepreneurs, this is the best launch season for their ideas and products to get wider publicity.

People are hoping for the good times, as they are yet to settle with the new normal of face masks, gloves, and even virtual meetings. They are keeping their fingers crossed and still pinning hopes on the season.

Oman Observer

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