Muscat: The stage is set for the inauguration of Muscat Festival 2014 next Thursday. The month-long festival will continue till February 22, and will have the participation of more than 60 countries.
To be held at a number of sites in Muscat governorate, the festival will include a number of cultural, arts, sports, marketing and recreational activities performed by teams from sisterly and friendly countries.
An official source at the Muscat Municipality said that all preparations to host this important event have been made. The municipality has prepared and is maintaining all the sites where the festival is to be hosted.
He added that the municipality has dedicated all its resources to ensure the success of this year's Muscat Festival being held under the theme, 'Festival for Everyone'.
He added that the number of visitors this year is expected to be more than last year's 1.6 million due to moderate weather conditions. The official added that Muscat Municipality will hold a press conference today to unveil the details of Muscat Festival 2014, its sites and the countries taking part.
Naseem Garden will host the consumer exhibition, the art performances, the recreational activities, the family village, theatre performances, singing and performances, fireworks and governmental participation.
The Amerat Park will host the traditional crafts, art and cultural village performances.
Many sports activities, including a 'Tour of Oman' will be organised during this period at the Al Seeb Beach site.
On her part, Maitha bint Saif Al Mahrouqiyah, undersecretary at the Ministry of Tourism, said that the ministry hopes to attract more tourist groups during the Sultanate's tourism season.
She said in a statement to the Oman News Agency (ONA) that the Ministry of Tourism will have a stall at the festival to promote the Sultanate's rich tourism potential. It will also coordinate with the tourism agencies in the Sultanate to attract tourist groups to festival sites.
In response to a question about the availability of hotel rooms, she said that the ministry has increased the number of hotel rooms to meet the growing demand. It granted a number of licenses for hotel apartments and opened new hotels.
The number of hotel rooms available in the Sultanate now stands at 12,500, she concluded.