Muscat – With an eye on boosting tourism in the governorates, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MTH) will be organising four festivals across four governorates in the first three months of 2023, said H E Azzan bin Qasim al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism in the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.
The undersecretary revealed the ministry’s plans for the first quarter during a press meet on Sunday, informing that “the ministry will organise the Desert Adventures Festival in Sharqiyah Sands, in the wilayat of Bidiyah in North Sharqiyah governorate, from January 29 to February 4.”
The festival will include varied activities, he added.
Giving information on other festivals, H E Busaidi said that the ministry will hold the first edition of the Omani Maritime Heritage Festival in the wilayat of Sur in South Sharqiyah, from February 3 to 19.
“The festival will highlight the role of the wilayat, in the past and present, as a commercial and historical centre.”
The festival will present a maritime heritage village, an Omani food carnival, and a simulation of the traditional sea voyages as an embodiment of the historical voyages of Omani ships.
Also, the Empty Quarter Festival will be organised in the wilayat of Thumrait in Dhofar governorate from January 25 to February 3. It will be organised in cooperation with the Office of the Governor of Dhofar, Dhofar Municipality and the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development.
The festival aims to promote Dhofar as a sustainable tourist destination, in addition to highlighting the potential of winter tourism for attracting investors.
The ministry will also organise the annual festival of the Governorate of Dakhiliyah from February 23 to March 4, in cooperation with the Office of the Governor. The festival will include several cultural, heritage, entertainment and adventure activities, and display a number of tourism experiences unique to the governorate.
“These festivals aim to stimulate local tourism, promote heritage and tourism sites, strengthen the Sultanate of Oman’s position on the tourism map, and create added value for the local community by supporting small and medium enterprises,” said H E Azzan.
Oman attracted about 3mn tourists in 2022. The number of visitors during the Khreef season in 2022 reached 813,000, compared to 767,000 in 2019 (before the pandemic).
The tourist spending during the season was about RO86mn in 2022, compared to 78mn in 2019.