As the Muscat Festival gets together crowds from various wilayats and the wider world, Alvin Thomas and Shaquel al Balushi meet some interesting people and soak themselves in incredible sights, sounds and smells
Let’s Celebrate Together’: That’s the theme of this year’s Muscat Festival. And with Al Amerat Park and Naseem Gardens teeming with a slew of cultural and fun activities designed to keep everyone enthralled, the visitors are all coming together to chime in that the organisers have hit the spot.
Making a comeback this year is our favourite frankincense makers from Salalah who are showcasing a wide array of scents from the Dhofar region.
“The Muscat Festival is like home to us now,” said Yasir al Mahri who sells different types of bahur sandal and ouds.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to make money but, above all, we like to show the people of Muscat the long history of perfume making that’s linked to us and that’s why we always come here,” he added.
Moving on, we stumbled upon an Omani man and his camel. We could not speak to the busy camel herder, but several visitors were taking the opportunity to enjoy a ride atop the camel.
Adreas, a Filipino expat, who rode the camel remarked: “I love the Muscat Festival because it’s one of those places where you can experience things that you normally cannot.
“I work in the hospitality industry and can rarely make time to go out. But I just had to visit it and I can say I’m surprised by some of the activities going on here. I can finally tick riding a camel off my to-do list.”
The ‘Heritage Village’ is another area that is flocked by customers. But some of them are greeted with the sight of some of Oman’s long-lost arts such as pottery, net making
These craftsmen and women show the people how the crafts are made, and also take the occasion to sell their handmade goods and articles.
Doll maker Salma takes pride in showing us some of her latest works. She has been visiting the festival for years, and said she was incredibly proud of the interest that she has been able to garner through her work.
“I remember coming to my first Muscat Festival years ago. Now, it’s like tradition; I’m always ready to come here and start preparing from November itself. That’s the beauty of the Muscat Festival – everything is organised and planned.”