Lasting for a month from around the end of January, Muscat Festival is a highlight of the capital’s year, featuring nightly fireworks, a ‘living’ replica of an Omani village with sweet-making and craft displays, exhibitions from regional countries, and events such as laser shows and traditional dancing. A seasonal website (accessible only during the festival) showcases the main features.
The festival is organised around several main venues – one usually in the suburbs of Al Amerat and the other in Naseem Gardens, along the Muscat–Barka Hwy near Seeb. There is also a funfair, international pavilions selling crafts, bargain clothing and bedding, and a range of items from cheap imports from China to inlaid furniture from Pakistan. International dance troupes perform on the open-air stages and fashion shows take place nightly; other acts, such as high-wire acrobatics, occupy the periphery. Traditional sweets (particularly halwa, a glutinous confection made with date juice, rose water and cardamom) are made on site. In addition, many shops in Muscat offer grand draws and discounts. Check the English-language newspapers and Muscat FM radio for the festival program.