Salalah Tourism Festival opens

The Salalah Tourism Festival (STF) started on Thursday with the opening of the gates of the Itin Recreation Centre, which is the main venue of the festival. The festival opened the floodgates of celebrations for all age groups. The Itin recreation Centre is showcasing an array of cultural, heritage, amusement and general entertainment shows.
The big attraction here is the Heritage Village providing visitors with a gamut of insights into Oman’s diverse cultural and traditional heritage. In addition, there will be daily competitions involving different wilayats of the Sultanate.
The STF will keep residents and visitors occupied for good one and a half months, as its date of conclusion is August 22. Apart from the main venue many entertainment events have been planned outside the main enclosure at places like Samharam Tourism Village in North Awqad, Atina Land in Itin and Hafa Souq. On the outskirts of Salalah some entertainment events have been planned at Taqah and Mirbat keeping in mind those visitors who love to stay in those areas to enjoy the impact of monsoon all through their stay.
The Itin Recreation Centre would be the hub of the Salalah Tourism Festival. On the opening day several programmes took place, fireworks being the most important from the visitors’ point of view. A large number of them were seen waiting for it, which kept the audience engaged and thrilled for about half an hour.
The gates of the festival ground opened at 5 pm. Many people were seen waiting at the gates due to their early arrival, as they chose to have a glimpse of the festival on the very first day while coming down from Itin mountain areas on way to their respective accommodations.
Among important day’s events were opening of Information Technology Authority’s (ITA) digital corner by Shaikh Salim bin Aufit al Shanfari, Chairman of Dhofar Municipality. He is also the Chairman of the STF committee.
Among the cultural programmes which opened on the first day of the STF included Omani folk arts, paintings and some cultural competitions. People got entertained with popular Omani dance Al Barra, while festival’s night programmes began at Al Murooj Theater.
Exhibitions hold an important character of the STF. Some of them, which showcased special skills during the festival, were those organised by the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances (PACDA) and an exhibition themed on sea stories of the people of Oman.
Some popular bands entertained the visitors, while Heritage Village was natural stopover for most of them. The Heritage Village nicely depicted urban environment, Bedouin life, marine life and port activities during olden days.
The STF stores surprises for the visitors every day. Among major attractions of this year’s festival are Shopping Fair, Book Fair, Omani Products Exhibition, dance performances from different countries and regions of Oman, and many more events dedicated to children.