Sultanate decks up for 48th National Day

MUSCAT, Nov 12 – With preparations for the 48th National Day in full swing, the capital city of Muscat has won a festive look.
While most roads of the capital city are adorned with Omani flags and portraits of his Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) has allowed motorists to decorate cars with stickers.
The Supreme Committee for National Day Celebrations, which is supervising the celebrations, has already charted out a detailed programme that will showcase Oman’s growth and prosperity under the leadership of His Majesty.
“The celebrations this year will be in line with that of the previous three years and will be held in all the governorates with equal importance,” said a member of the committee.
Innovative lightings and other decorations have already been installed along the roads and buildings, he said. The National Day of Oman falls on November 18, which is the birthday of His Majesty.
According to the official, decorations this year are simple and meaningful. “Decorative lights have been installed on the street from Muscat to Grand Mosque and further. National flags have already been placed from the Al Bustan Roundabout to the Barka Roundabout in Muscat,” the official said.
There will also be a 30-minute fireworks display in Amerat and Al Khoudh.
In Muscat and Dhofar, the shows will be held on the National Day. According to the Muscat Municipality, preparations are in full swing for beautification of the city.
“Cleaning operations have already been launched and the process of replacing incandescent lamps with LED lights has been done,” said an official at the municipality.
The ROP has announced that motorists can decorate their vehicles with stickers till November 30 as part of the 48th National Day celebrations. “While fixing stickers, drivers should make sure that they do not block the line of vision,” the ROP said in a statement.
Stickers are not allowed on front windshield, side windowpanes or number plates.
“Drivers are not allowed to change the colour or shape of the vehicle,” the statement said. Motorists have been urged to avoid using fabrics to prevent fires, undignified and offensive graphics and slogans.
Several establishments and organisations have started decorating their buildings in national colours and many have hoisted Omani flags atop their buildings as well.
“On every National Day, as part of the celebrations, we decorate our office with flags and balloons. National Day is very special for us,” said Najeeb Kulathinkal, a businessman.
Schools, hotels and malls too have adorned themselves in the national colours for the occasion.
Meanwhile, shops doing car decorations and selling items relating to National Day are doing brisk business.
“We have good business this time of every year. We close the shop very late in the night due to rush of customers for decorating their cars,” said Abdul Malik, a shop owner in Wadi Kabir.

SAMUEL KUTTY