​Al Ain’s Dar Al Zain festival perfect for families from Oman

Energy Tuesday 19/December/2017 12:22 PM
By: Times News Service
​Al Ain’s Dar Al Zain festival perfect for families from Oman

Al Ain: Residents of Oman who are looking to enjoy a memorable day with their families just across the UAE border in Al Ain would be more then welcome at the Dar Al Zain festival, which runs until 23 December.

With the Omani town of Al Buraimi less than 40 minutes’ drive from Al Ain, Dar Al Zain is a festival that is targeted at families, with children’s play areas, family gaming stations, plenty of local handicraft stores and food stalls, and even a maze that is designed to confuse and challenge the senses set up for visitors.

“It is very easy for residents of Oman to come here and enjoy Dar Al Zain festival,” said Farah Al Bakoush, events development section manager for Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism. “We ran lots of campaigns in Oman, in the cities as well as towards the borders near Al Ain city. This is in addition to promotional campaigns with travel agents and the media, in order to attract the Omani residents, because we are only a few miles away.
“We consider ourselves capable of attracting that market, because the cultures of Oman are very similar with those of that of Al Ain,” she said. “We’ve already received lots of people from Oman, which is why we have tailor-made some things for visitors from the Sultanate.”

Given that Al Ain has a large Emirati population, and is so close to Oman, Dar Al Zain was created with families in mind. This weekend, two Arab singing sensations have also been invited to perform: Yemeni singer Balqees will take to the stage on Friday, while Saudi heartthrob Majid Al Muhandis will be entertaining audiences on Saturday.
Family play areas have also been set up by companies such as Lego and Hasbro, which are known for their toys and games the world over.

“We wanted to amplify the city and make it more appreciated for children and families, so this is why Dar Al Zain was organised to entertain families,” said Al Bakoush. “There are so many things for everyone, such as teenagers, adults, children, and even the little ones. It may not have the rockstar element that you maybe find in other festivals, but we have tried to bring that here as well, by having Arab stars and pop artists, who are really loved by the GCC public.

“It took a lot of effort to come up with this idea, which began in December 2016,” she admitted. “We had to create a concept and plan on how to attract both citizens and expats across the GCC, as well as Al Ain residents. I believe we have succeeded in creating that concept, because if you look at the visitors here, you can see that many of them come from Saudi Arabia and Oman.”

The festival was planned for December, because not only is it the peak tourism season in the GCC, it is also when children enjoy their end-of-year school holidays.

“The funny thing is that kids are always attached to their families and that families always follow their children at such festivals, so we decided to amplify the site with not just entertainment for them, but things like arts, crafts, painting and doing activities with their hands that they can learn as well,” explained Al Bakoush.

“This helps them spend more time in the festival, so that people will be motivated to spend the night in Al Ain, and come back here the next day, because there are so many choices here and we also have shows every three days and stage shows on the weekend,” she added. “This basically entices children and families to come back so that they can see the other shows and activities.”