Muscat Festival suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic

Oman Monday 18/January/2021 12:14 PM
By: Times News Service
Muscat Festival suspended due to Covid-19 pandemic
File photo

Muscat: This year’s Muscat Festival will be cancelled, amidst efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus in Oman.

“Muscat Festival, which was scheduled to be held from January 16 to February 15, has been cancelled, according to the Supreme Committee directives of the country, as a precaution to limit the spread of the coronavirus and preserve the health and safety of citizens and residents of the country,” a Muscat Municipality official told Times of Oman.

This is the second consecutive time the Muscat Festival has been cancelled. The event was scrapped last year due to the death of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour.

Last year’s festival was expected to feature a number of returning favourites, and many new events, including the Baby Shark event, which was to be held at a Winter Village themed exhibit in the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The second edition of the Sufi Music Festival was also on the cards, featuring ensembles from Turkey, Oman, Egypt and Iran.

A number of other competitive sporting events are held in parallel or in the build up to the festival. On the agenda last year was the first round of the Oman International Drift Championship, the MENA Karting Championship, and the Tour of Oman, which traditionally features cyclists from across the world.

In its 2019 edition, Muscat Festival drew more than 700,000 visitors, with the number of people visiting the various cultural attractions, kiddie rides, live shows, exhibitions, and open-air markets rising significantly over the weekend, and as the festival drew to a close.

The festival is usually held at two large public parks in Muscat: Naseem Garden drew about 361,000 visitors in 2019, while Al Amerat Park saw about 311,000 people visit the attractions within. Nearly 33,000 festival goers visited the other venues at which events were being held.