There are numerous displays of traditional crafts, cuisine and products, many of the goods are available to purchase. It is a celebration of the original nomadic lives led by the people of the region. Most are wearing colourful costumes and performing theatrical dances. Some of these are choreographed fight sequences accompanied by musicians to entertain the crowds of visitors.
Most tourists stand out as they are the ones busily rushing around with cameras trying to capture as much of the festival as possible. It is extremely colourful and wherever a lens is pointed there is something of interest.
Displays of children playing traditional games and dancers ceremoniously marching to music before performing their complex dance moves to entertain those that have come to watch.
These pictures are of the male crowd in the main arena, the men and women sit in segregated areas. This also provides a tiny glimpse of the culture of Oman where gender segregation was once apparent in the society. Oman is one of the regions most liberal cultures, and women are now integrated into society with more rights than other countries in the Middle East. It is generally in such public and formal meeting places as the Festival that this form of segregation is still witnessed.
My camera provided a momentary distraction for some members of the crowd, nobody appeared to be bothered by me taking images. Greater resistance has been received in parts of Europe, with some purposely hiding from view in similar circumstances. Maybe this is an indication of the rising influence of social media. The ‘sharing’ of images on Facebook and other platforms is less common here but is becoming more widespread.
Muscat is a conglomeration of modern and authentic with the Grand Mosque and impressive Royal Opera House within a few minutes drive of traditional souks and older buildings. I found it fascinating, and look forward to another opportunity to explore this lovely city somemore one day.