MUSCAT FESTIVAL 2013 EVENTS ARE LAUNCHED AMID FAMILY GATHERINGS AND TONES OF HERITAGE AND AUTHENTICITY
BY Ibrahim bin Saeed Al-Hassani
With tones of heritage and smiles of children, Muscat Municipality launched the Muscat Festival 2013 yesterday evening in its new session amid public presence in both its locations: Al-Amerat Park and Al-Naseem Park. Many prestigious events, shows and activities were prepared by the organizing committee of the Festival.
Yesterday evening, the Festival launch witnessed family gatherings and visitors coming from various governorates of the Sultanate and brotherly and friendly countries.
Throughout its twelve sessions, the Muscat Festival was able to put a base for events with Omani Privacy and international outlook and orientation. Such prominent activities included, but not limited to, the Tour of Oman, Muscat Fashion Week, Oman Food Festival and Mountain cycling, receiving media attention and widespread praise. In addition, the Heritage Village of Oman, renewing its overlooking this year, in form and substance, has integrated with the International Festival of traditional crafts and arts, which launches on February 14th and attracts some of the best craftsmen in the world. They come to show off samples of their work which they make in front of the public and compete for Muscat International Award for Innovation and Creativity in Crafts.
The Festival was launched yesterday evening with a public start-off. The place went live through the motion of visitors and guests in an evening covered in glamour, arts and heritage, with delight of the young and pleasure of the adults. The international bands performed circus, carnival and laser shows along with fireworks in both parks. These events and activities are to carry on till the tail end of the Festival.
Aiming to promote tourism and culture in the Sultanate, the Festival is dedicated for all people of all ages and tastes. Both parks will be wide open daily at 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm throughout the Festival period with a small access fee of 100 baisas for the young and 200 baisas for adults to Al-Naseem Park, but free of charge in Al-Amerat Park.
To add up, it is hoped that this year`s Festival will represent a distinctive and powerful step since its events with their locations were accurately selected, as well as the addition of many new activities and attraction of the Arab, Islamic and international participations. Renewal in all events in terms of the contents and methods of their implementation and development of the heritage village and popular markets are to be mentioned.
This year`s Festival comes in a renewed form that carries a lot of features and milestones of the various colors that will be introduced and mixed with heritage and modern authenticity, representing an open message to all the peoples to visit this historic city. There are impressive international, heritage, cultural, recreational and sports events along with varieties of brand new activities and interesting shows with broad participation of the international and Arab countries. The Festival locations, since the very beginning, received large audiences for enjoying the events and activities.
• Notable Terminals
The Festival events include the Heritage Village and the international village of the craftsmen, bringing together the best craftsmen of the world in various crafts. The Festival includes The Fashion Week, Omani food festival, and the international Tour of Oman of bikes with its six new terminals. It also includes laser shows, fireworks, carnivals and folklore in addition to acrobatics, the World Circus shows, artistic evenings of a group of artists, free style presentations and musical concerts.
*Tourism and Promotion
Cooperation is current among all the artistic and participating stakeholders in the Festival, notably the ROP. The Festival visitors were agreed to have access to facilities and flexibility in the border points and at the airport so that both visitors and tourists, to the Sultanate in general and the Festival in particular, can find all the facilities to get through the Sultanate and enjoy the Muscat Festival diverse events and activities in all locations. It is worthy mentioning that the Muscat Festival 2013 witnesses good partaking of the private sector compared to the previous years. Also, there is response by certain businesses that have supported the Festival as gold, silver and bronze sponsors in addition to the main ones: Bank Muscat, the Ministry of Tourism, Omantel and Zubair Group. The Festival management has coordinated with some companies and hotels to provide some discounts and facilities, showing a kind of agreement on this issue, which is undoubtedly linked to supply and demand. We, in turn, are ready to make the Festival a success in all respects.
The Muscat Festival has special flavor and print in the area, Which it draws from so many ways, most notably, the Omani entity and its leniency. The Muscat Festival manages to be firmly established in all minds and is eagerly awaited by people every year. Therefore, we feel pleased with this agreement and cohesion between both: people and the Festival. People are also invited to see the events and enjoy the varied activities in all the Festival locations.
Yesterday, events of the mountain cycling in Al-Saleel region were launched as well.
*International Exhibition of Traditional Crafts and Arts
The main organizing Committee of the Muscat Festival prepared several first-hand events. They are marked by renewal and modernization. Yesterday evening, the new-to-Festival International Exhibition of Traditional Crafts and Arts was launched. It brings together more than thirty of the top international innovators and craftsmen in the International Village for Traditional Crafts and Arts to show off their artistic works and innovative techniques.
Visitors of the international village can see the most skilled craftsmen of the participating countries show off their handicraft and heritage products in addition to a popular market and a gallery containing some drawings, pictures and books. Moreover, the International Village will be wide open throughout the Festival period, so the park events will witness a forum for peoples` cultures with participation of a number of Gulf, Arab and international states in addition to diversity . This gives visitors a close opportunity to select and watch the events they like.
*The Omani Heritage and Culture Village
Inaugurating its events of the first start-off of the Festival in Al-Amerat Park, the Omani Heritage and Culture Village brings together all over its pavilions the best Omani crafts and artisans, allowing visitors the opportunity to directly see the manufacturing process of a number of traditional Omani products: Omani baskets and silverware, well-known for quality and mastery of manufacture in addition to the famous pottery products and others. The number of participating craft, artistic and musical troupes and workers in the Heritage Village is up to three thousand people.
The village gates will be open throughout the Festival period, during which a market will be included for visitors to acquire whatever they may like of the traditional Omani tools, set for sale.
The village aims to showcase the Omani traditions and culture for everyone in order to publicize it on the one hand and maintain it on the other.
*Dazzling and Laser Shows
A large stage was also equipped for dazzling shows which are distinguished this year by the participation of international bands from France, South Korea and China. The Omani students, too, prepared different drawings on these dazzling shows. A student competition was held in order to reflect their cognitive perceptions about the natural and marine environments. It is also harmonized with the dazzling shows, the musical rhythms, art melodies and water shows that provide atmosphere of joy and pleasure, in two shifts a day, at 7:30 and 9:00 pm.
Held daily from 4:00 to 11:00 pm, Al-Naseem Park hosts a number of prominent entertainment and social events which lend an atmosphere of joy and fun for both families and visitors. The daily events include the Electrical and Electronic Game Village and a shopping gallery of 440 stores from 30 countries to sell dresses, antiques, clothing and cuisine, as well as the clown shows, acrobats, the magic shows and village of the productive families. They also include daily fireworks launch at 8:00 pm, illuminating the sky of the Festival with the most admirable dazzling colors.