Oman Air joined organisers, officials and visitors this week in praising the outstanding success of the 13th Annual Muscat Festival, which was launched on 23rd January and concluded on Saturday 22nd February 2014. The closing ceremony included special presentations by dance groups from Thailand and Saudi Arabia, as well as from Omani artistes.
As the Official Airline of the Muscat Festival, Oman Air was proud to once again support the festival throughout its month-long run, which saw more than 1,400 artists and performers from 83 countries showcase their skills to capacity crowds.
Usama Karim Al Haremi, head of Oman Air’s Corporate Communications and Media department, commented: “It has been a pleasure for Oman Air to once again support the Muscat Festival, which shines a spotlight on the culture of the Sultanate of Oman. This year’s event included performances by musicians and dancers, international exhibitions, carnivals, water events, lasers fireworks and a wonderful food festival, which attracted huge interest.
“And, as an international airline and the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman, we were particularly pleased that this year’s Muscat Festival has played a part in boosting the national economy and generating increased international awareness of Oman and its people.
“Muscat hotels have reported 100% occupancy, the world’s TV stations have covered the Festival and Naseer Park’s Global Village hosted more than 400 shops, which sold produce from a huge range of countries. This international dimension is vital and helps to draw visitors to our nation from around the world, bringing money into the country and paving the way for further tourism.
“Furthermore, the Tour of Oman, now in its fifth year, was once again held under the aegis of the Muscat Festival and brought world-class cycling to the Sultanate, with 144 cyclists from 18 teams taking part over a course of more than 900 kilometres. This aspect of the month-long Festival alone attracted a global audience and was a superb opportunity to showcase the breath-taking beauty of Oman’s landscapes – a unique attraction for many visitors.”
This year’s Muscat Festival was further enhanced by a thrilling display at Seeb Beach by the UAE Air Force’s aerobatic team, as well as a range of sporting tournaments which included traditional boat races, student beach football competitions, traditional games, and equestrian and camel shows. In addition, the first Muscat Triathlon was held at Seeb Beach and brought together 40 participants who competed in a series of swimming, cycling and running events.
Traditional Omani culture was also highlighted, with demonstrations of traditional folklore dances, concerts by Omani singers at Naseem Park, and a Heritage Village, which was constructed at Amerat Park.
And alongside these home-grown attractions, a global dimension was introduced, which included the International Festival for Arts and crafts, which brought together artists and craftspeople from a diverse group of 45 countries – which included France, Denmark, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Thailand, Tajikistan, India and Sri Lanka, amongst many others – and performances by international bands and musical artistes. Even international businesses, such as Oman Air and fast-food specialists McDonalds, played their part.
In addition to its role as Official Airline of the Muscat Festival, Oman Air provided information and advice about its flights and global network of destinations to festival-goers throughout the event. And, whilst changeable weather may have been expected to dampen visitors’ spirits, the airline’s staff found there was no lack of enthusiasm for its award-winning products and services.
Usama Karim Al Haremi concluded: “In addition to providing a wonderful programme of wholesome entertainment for all, the Muscat Festival has enriched the social and cultural status of the country, boosted the tourism sector and enhanced the economic development of Oman.
“Furthermore, we found that there was very great interest in Oman Air’s domestic and international services, with both Omanis and overseas visitors eager to discover more about our growing list of destinations and our highly competitive prices.
“Oman Air would like to thank all involved in organising the Muscat Festival 2014, and to congratulate them on this year’s remarkable success. We look forward to building on this excellent legacy over the course of next year’s event.”
Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi
Senior Manager Of Corporate Communications & Media
Tel: +968 24519616