Oman posts record turnout for summer festival
Oman received a record number of visitors for the annual summer festival in the southern region of Dhofar, the official ONA news agency reported Sunday, Septeber 9.
Akram Bin Hassan Al-Mizra, head of Dhofar's trade and industry authority, told ONA that 145,618 visitors enjoyed the two-month festival, 75,108 from Oman itself and 50,389 from neighboring United Arab Emirates, while the rest came from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. The turnout was 17,561 up on last year, Mizra said.
The annual event takes place during the rainy season in the green and hilly Dhofar governorate of which Salalah is the capital and provides a welcome relief for Gulf residents escaping the heat.
The festival launched in 1996 features children's stage shows, fun fairs, dolphin shows and theatre productions.
The sultanate of Oman is working to develop the tourism sector, while avoiding mass tourism, as a means to create jobs for its nationals and diversify sources of income from reliance on hydrocarbon revenues. — (AFP, Muscat)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)