Getting up close and personal with ferocious dinosaurs, fireworks shows and a glimpse into the historic crafts of Oman. All this can only mean one thing – the Muscat Festival is back for 2016 and the gates are open for business.
Hoping to build on the one million visitors that passed through its doors last year, the theme of this year’s festival is “Live Oman” and it will feature a number of educational, cultural and sporting programmes at different locations over the next month. There is also an international flavour to this year’s Muscat Festival, with traditional folk acts from India, the Philippines, Lebanon and beyond.
As in previous years, Amerat Park and Naseem Park will play host to the bulk of the action with a wide variety of live performances, but events have also been organised for additional venues, including a tattoo display of the Royal Guard of Oman and a water sports experience courtesy of Oman sail. Fun Zone in Qurum is being turned into a Snow Village using the ice rink – complete with “snow” showers.
Visitors to Amerat Park will be transported back millions of years to when dinosaurs roamed the land, with the opportunity to get face to face with 15 species in the Middle East’s largest Dinosaur Village. This location also includes the popular Heritage Village, at which you can watch traditional artisans at work, carefully crafting everything from fishing nets to jewellery. It’s like a window through time and a fascinating insight into the country’s past.
Naseem Park hosts several exhibits that are new for 2016, including the Jungle Village, which offers replicas of some of nature’s most formidable creatures, including a gorilla and a polar bear, and the Illuminated Village, best viewed when the sun goes down for a dramatic effect.
Moses, an Indian expat, has been living in Oman for almost a year, but the visit to Amerat Park with his wife and child on Saturday was his first experience of the Muscat Festival.
“I think it is a good idea because it offers a get together for everyone. Families and friends can all meet here and enjoy the weekend,” he says.
“I’m looking forward to taking a look around and will probably schedule in a visit to Naseem Park for next weekend.”
Aman on the other hand is visiting Muscat Festival for the third consecutive year and says that it has improved each time.
Old favourites such as the Muscat Marathon and the Tour of Oman, which brings some of the biggest names in cycling to the Sultanate, are also making a welcome return, so make sure you don’t miss out on what promises to be another great year for the Muscat Festival – you’ve got until February 13 to pay a visit.