SALALAH, Oman – The Salalah Tourism Festival 2012 will begin on June 21 with a ceremony reflecting the message to preserve the Sultanate’s cultural heritage, said HE Sheikh Salim Bin Aufait Al Shanfari, Chairman of Dhofar Municipality and Chairman of Salalah Tourism Festival 2012 organising committee.
This year’s festival, which ends on July 18, will focus on children’s skills and hobbies. The festival will be titled ‘Omani Child Forum’ and themed ‘Safe Childhood and Promising Future’.
HE Sayyid Mohammed Bin Sultan Bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar and General Supervisor of the festival, will cut the ribbon at the main gate of the Municipal Recreational Centre to mark the opening of the event.
Focusing on childhood has become a pressing necessity, Al Shanfari said. Individuals and society have the responsibility to help a child imbibe the culture and develop his abilities.
The festival will have new activities this year, including shows for children, besides heritage and cultural activities, concerts, plays and exhibitions for people of all ages and tastes. It will give visitors to Salalah an opportunity to witness the Sultanate’s heritage, nature and the pleasant weather of Dhofar governorate.
Al Shanfari said the event is a forum for heritage, culture, art, music and sports and seeks to highlight Omani civilisation and its cultural heritage, besides supporting and promoting distinguished persons in various fields.
“Special focus is on contributing towards tourism across the Sultanate in general and Salalah in particular, and creating an economic, tourist, cultural and entertaining atmosphere in Salalah,” he said.
The three concerts will add to the glamour of this year’s fair. “Many singers from the Sultanate and outside will take part in these events. Other attractions include recreational and sports events and consumer exhibitions,” Shanfari said.
As usual, the festival will host cultural lectures of the dialogue of the intellectual centres of the Gulf at the
theatre of the Directorate-General of Heritage and Culture in the Governorate of Dhofar, besides seminars on rain, which is an important source of groundwater in the Al Najd area in Dhofar.
Scientists, sheikhs and thinkers will address these gatherings. The festival will feature circus, ‘hid-den object’ games, children’s carnival, Korean drums, free-jump show from Serbia, fire show from Ukraine and a 40-km endurance race.
Media institutions will cover the event, providing radio and television programmes on the events. The Sultanate of Oman Television will telecast an interactive TV programme, Atir Al Mawasim, and a Lubanah programme in cooperation with the main committee of the Salalah Tourism Festival, featuring visitors at the Municipality Recreation Centre.
The festival will also include sports events, including championship for open shooting, Arabian football players festival, championship for Dhofar football clubs with participation of the Sultan’s Armed Forces team for the first time, the eighth running race, the Dhofar running race and snooker and bowling championship.
Dhofar Municipality is responsible for handling services in the wilayats. It aims to provide a healthy and entertaining environment for citizens and to improve the overall quality, beauty, cleanliness, public health and maintenance of city roads in accordance with health safety and environmental measures.
The road being constructed by the municipality in collaboration with the Supreme Committee for Town Planning includes the latest technical specifications, as it will play a key role in enriching tourism in the governorate.
The lighting of the 60km stretch will cover all internal roads and residential neighbourhoods in Salalah. A series of services and developmental projects are being implemented by Dhofar Municipality across the wilayats of the governorate to develop infrastructure and boost all service sectors, Al Shanfari added.
Meanwhile, the Wilayat of Dhalkout in Dhofar governorate received light to moderate rain early on Sunday. The wilayat, because of its geographical location, receives continuous rainfall compared to other wilayats in the governorate.