To target more youths, sporting events and live concerts by popular artistes have been added to this year's list of events for Muscat Festival , which begins at Amerat Park and Naseem Gardens on January 23.
With the inclusion of sports events such as Muscat Marathon, 24 hour endurance race (go-karts), motorcycle race, Middle East Rally Championship, boat races, beach soccer, and freestyle dancing shows, some action will shift to the Oman Automobile Association premises and the Seeb beach.
Weekends will see live concerts by Majed Al Mohandes  and Carman Suleiman  at the City Amphitheatre. However, there will be no food festival or fashion week this time. “We will be organising the fashion week next year as we want to be better prepared. It will be tentatively held in January 2015,” said Saif Suba al Rashidi, director general, Directorate of Information and External Relations, Muscat Municipality.
Rashidi added that to involve the youth, more sports activities have been added. “Care has been taken to involve participants from different generations, which is unique as it is difficult to find the same kind of involvement from youth in handicraft and culture in other countries of the region.”
The Omani Heritage Village and the international pavilion will be the main attractions at Amerat Park. Artisans from 32 countries will showcase their crafts at the pavilion while artistes from over 13 countries will showcase their national traditional and folk arts.
Every day of the festival will see shows presenting Oman’s culture using multimedia and hi-tech audio-visual techniques. These will be accompanied by laser shows and fireworks.
Activities at Naseem Gardens include an international consumer exhibition, an arena for variety, dance and magic shows and an amusement centre. Muscat Municipality is expecting the turnout to cross last year's 1.6mn.