Thursday, July 18, 2024

Dhofar Province invites visitors to experience ‘longer’ autumn

The Dhofar Autumn Season 2024 in Oman promises extended opportunity for visitors to experience its global events in sports and entertainment, amidst its rich and diverse natural landscape, until September 20.

The activities and events for this year’s Dhofar Autumn Season started on June 21 and, for the first time, will continue for 90 days, said Dhofar Province, revealing the details of the season’s events through the digital interactive platform of the Information Ministry of the Sultanate of Oman (Ain platform).

Sayyid Marwan Bin Turki Al Said, Governor of Dhofar, said that the province welcomes its unique and divinely gifted autumn season every year on June 21, offering a unique tourist experience.

He emphasised that Dhofar is known for its cool weather, natural richness, exceptional events, and diverse terrain such as marine, plain, and mountainous areas, in addition to its rich cultural and historical diversity, making it an ideal tourist destination.

One Million Visitors

Last year, the governorate received nearly one million visitors, highlighting the importance of enhancing the province’s tourism role, which is an important economic driver and contributes to empowering Omani entrepreneurs, he said.

A comprehensive plan has been set to enhance and develop various tourist sites, including improving natural sights, enhancing coastal fronts, and developing water spring locations, all while considering environmental sustainability.

He emphasised that government entities and the private sector are keen on providing a unique tourist experience for all visitors by increasing event sites, diversifying their types, and providing all services and facilities.

Dr Ahmed Bin Mohsen Al-Ghassani, Mayor of Dhofar Municipality, presented the main activities of the Dhofar Autumn Season 2024, which will be distributed across several existing and new locations. This aims to provide citizens, residents, and visitors with new and exciting experiences, focusing on five main aspects: environment and public health, youth, children, culture, and arts.

The mayor noted that last year’s autumn events witnessed unprecedented turnout, with visitor numbers ranging between 400,000 to 800,000 per main site. Over 150 events were held last year, including artistic, sports, cultural, heritage, and entertainment activities. This year’s events are expected to reach 180.

The mayor also mentioned that last season, 1,733 individuals and institutions from across Oman benefited from the events, with 334 operating companies involved. This year, more sites have been allocated for small and medium enterprises, offering more than 500 additional opportunities, creating temporary job opportunities for thousands of young people.

Etten Square

Ammar Bin Oubed Ghawas, Director of Events and Awareness at Dhofar Municipality, said that young visitors will enjoy many new and diverse events in various fields such as sports and entertainment.

‘Etten Square’ will host many new games different from previous years. In addition, the theatre has been equipped with the latest technologies for global shows. Visitors will also enjoy lighting displays, laser fountain shows, and drone shows, which are the largest in terms of number and duration this year.

Throw Town

The sports events will be diverse to suit different tastes and interests. Salalah Public Park will host ‘Throw Town’ for the first time in the province, specialising in endurance and physical strength sports, held weekly.

Several sports fields and equipment will be allocated for sports events during the Dhofar Autumn Season.

The ‘Salalah International Cycling Tour’ will return more distinguished after being officially registered and approved by the International Cycling Union, featuring four stages with over 100 cyclists from different countries, enhancing sports tourism in the governorate.

Drag Race

Car enthusiasts of all ages can look forward to the ‘Oman Automobile Association’ events and competition at the ‘Celebrations Square’.

The Dhofar International ‘Drag Race’ Championship will see wide participation from the Arabic Gulf countries at Damr Beach in Mirbat. The Dhofar Autumn Traditional Shooting Competition will be the largest this year in terms of prize value and the number of local and Gulf participants.

The Director of Events and Awareness said one of the highlights is ‘Kiddy Time’ at Aouqd Public Park, that feature various international villages and cities, moving global shows, and beloved characters that children can interact and play with.

Sports events will also be held weekly for different age groups at Salalah Public Park.

The entertainment options will be complete with ‘Uptown’ in Ateen Plain, presenting various electric and inflatable games suitable for all age groups. This modern and fully serviced leisure spot offers scenic walking paths and green spaces.

In the cultural space, the ‘Awdat Al-Madhi’ (Return of the Past) village will feature many activities simulating Dhofar’s different environments, including urban, rural, Bedouin, marine, and agricultural.

Omani Wilayas

It will also provide a new cultural heritage experience by hosting Omani Wilayas from outside the province for the first time, including Sur, Nizwa, and Sohar, with plans to expand this experience in future seasons to include Wilayas from all over the sultanate.

The village will reflect the rich cultural heritage of the sultanate through arts, events, and diverse traditional markets, with live performances showcasing Omani culture.

Various cultural events will be held in the province’s different Wilayas to highlight national identity and attract tourists, introducing them to the unique Omani culture through specialised exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and theatrical performances.

Dhofar International Theater Festival

For the first time, Dhofar Province will host the Dhofar International Theater Festival, featuring theatre troupes from inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman. The festival will include six tracks for different types of theater: adult, children, popular theater, monodrama, diorama, and street theater. Each track will be a mini-festival with various participants, guests, and judging panels.

It aims to be the first in the Arab world and compete for global top rankings in terms of organization, attracting the best global performances, offering valuable awards, diverse tracks, and prestigious guests.

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