The temperature was cold upon getting off the car, yeah winter in Muscat….. it was the first time I visited the Muscat Festival in Al Amerat Park last night since they moved the event from Qurum. There was not much crowd at around 6:30 PM, it was a mix of locals and expatriates. Entrance Fee costs RO 0.200 or Bz 200 for adults and RO 0.100 or Bz. 100 for kids.
The first attraction we entered was the Ice Village, being curious what is being housed inside a fort like facade I decided to go in and see what type of amusement can be found beyond the walls. To my surprise, they are charging RO 1/- per adult and RO 0.500 or Bz. 500 for kids which is 5x more than the entrance fee for the whole park!
The entrance is similar to a tunnel entering a cave reaching an area which seems to be a forest setting covered or painted with white around (can’t see much as it was dim), artificial tree trunks and animals like snow bear and penguin were placed in some corners where people posed for pics. They put ice on the ground which is slippery and laid down a pathway of pebbles. Blue lighting hardly illuminates the place and artificial steam was used to create a foggy atmosphere. There was also a slide for kids in one corner. For children it would be fun but for adults especially if one has already experienced snow for real, it is not worth it.
The next place we went was the international exhibition area where some countries have their own pavilions to showcase their products. I entered Oman, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Egypt and India and was unable to see the rest due to the thick crowd inside, actually it was not much a number of people but the venue is small and narrow, not much space to move around. Some of the pavilions have very few booths and not much to see, for general public it would be interesting but for some who have been to these countries and have seen bigger exhibitions, it would not be impressive.
Luckily, we reached a place where there is a performance and we just came right in time, few minutes before the show starts. It was an acrobat show with the performers dressed as astronauts. The show somehow amused me, the performers were very good and displayed their extraordinary mastery, a kind of performance that require a lot of skill and training.
There was an area which they call Dates Market where dates are showcased in each booth, then we reached the live museum where the Omani products and culture was showcased. A display of handicrafts and demonstration by the Omani artisans who are behind these intricately woven and carved products has shown their expertise in creation with their hands can be found in one pavilion.
A giant Dhow Boat was located at the center, Oman being a seafaring nation, the dhow boat is one of the icons of their culture.
Shops were all around with Omani products display and a live showcase of ancient the water system in the early days where the donkeys were used in pulling the rope that attached to a bucket to take out the water from the well and pour into the falaj. (Hope i described it correctly but if there is any other additional information please feel free to comment.)
Below picture shows how they extract juice from the sugar cane, in short, the juice extractor in the old days!
Since nothing much happening that time in Al Amerat Park hence we drove back to Muscat.