Salalah: The much-awaited Salalah Tourism Festival kicked off at the Municipality Recreation Centre in Itin on Tuesday.
A breathtaking display of fireworks, traditional dance and music show ‘Layali al Maharjan’ and performances from traditional bands were highlights on the opening day of the festival.
The festival, which began without any formal ceremony, drew spontaneous response from both holidaymakers and local residents.
It will continue until August 25.
A choice of entertainment was available to both young and the old, including toys, rides and games.
Participants at the Culture Village showcased the traditional way of life in cities, deserts, mountains and market places when no modern amenities existed.
The festival saw some captivating folk performances from 15 troupes.
One of the major attractions every year is the gallery titled ‘Oman country of friends and peace’, which draws attention from most of the visitors.
Children were the happiest as most events were dedicated to them.
Theatres and halls conducted entertainment programmes
Children also took part in quiz events and grabbed gifts from organisers.
Most of the events took place between 5 pm and 11 pm, except for ‘Layali al Maharjan’ at Al Murug, which began late at night.
The opening day drew a large number of visitors, with most of them heading directly from the mountains and other tourist spots.
A large number of public and private companies are participating in the festival.
Ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, which has launched an awareness drive to tell the local farmers how they can increase farm output through right technologies and techniques.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has dedicated stalls for visitors with messages to cut down on road accidents and to check the use of narcotic drugs among youths.
The festival has participation from Information Technology Authority, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Public Authority for Consumer Protection, banks, telecom providers and non-government organisations.
A shopping corner, popular among women, has on display a range of products like perfumes, cosmetics, watches and accessories, jewellery, clothing and garments, footwear, bags, honey, spices and furniture.
Exhibitors from countries like Qatar, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Yemen and China have gathered here to share their unique cultures through art, crafts, food and artistic performances.