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Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - KABEER YOUSUF MUS­CAT, JAN 12

Like ev­ery year, ex­pec­ta­tions from the Mus­cat Fes­ti­val — which has just kicked off — are high. And so is the rush.

The two ma­jor fes­ti­val venues, Al Amerat Park and the Naseem Garden, which are of­fer­ing a host of cul­tural, fun and in­fo­tain­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, be­sides show­cas­ing the lo­cal gas­tro­nomic de­lights, saw a bee­line of ve­hi­cles from far-flung places as well as those from within the city. The fes­ti­val venues saw visi­tors from var­i­ous coun­tries.

“We are here (Al Amerat Park) for the first time. We are here be­cause we heard about the fes­ti­val from our friends who had vis­ited the coun­try be­fore,” said mem­bers of a four-mem­ber Italian group. They com­prised Noora and Sarah, sis­ters with Egypt-italian ori­gin, and Tom­maso and Yas­mine, who had just ar­rived from Mi­lan.

“I have al­ways been fas­ci­nated with Oman be­cause we have heard a lot from our mother. Our first visit has been mem­o­rable, thanks to the fes­ti­val, where we can see a lot of peo­ple from across the coun­try and be­yond,” said Noora and Sarah.

What makes the fes­ti­val dif­fer­ent is ev­ery­one can find some­thing that ap­peals to their senses and tastes.

The Her­itage Vil­lage, for in­stance, ap­peals to those who love arte­facts. Mer­chan­dise from dif­fer­ent parts of the world are found un­der one roof, while the food cor­ners sell­ing a va­ri­ety of stuff is sure to tickle one’s taste buds.

“Peo­ple in Oman are fond of art and cul­ture,” say Sayyid and Sarah, an Ira­nian artist cou­ple, who has a stall at the ‘hall for spe­cial events’.

In­tri­cately-wo­ven car­pets, kalei­do­scopic images made from glass and paint­ings make the ‘Hall of Art’ a treat for the con­nois­seurs of art.

“I can as­sure you all the pro­grammes at this year’s fes­ti­val are new. A lot of new artistes, troupes and ideas are be­ing im­ple­mented in this year’s edi­tion of the Mus­cat Fes­ti­val,” said a Mus­cat Fes­ti­val of­fi­cial.

“It’s truly a fam­ily fes­ti­val. Please come and ex­pe­ri­ence the warmth of Mus­cat Fes­ti­val.” The fes­ti­val will con­clude on Fe­bru­ary 9. Both venues are open to the pub­lic on week­days from 4 pm to 11 pm. On week­ends, they will be open un­til mid­night. Some days have been set aside for fam­i­lies and women.

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