Oman eyes record turnout at annual Khareef festival


Oman expects a record number of visitors for the annual summer Khareef (monsoon) festival that ends on August 31, a top tourism official has said.

The event which began on July 15 focuses on programmes suited to families and children, Mohammad Al Tobi, director of Oman's domestic tourism department, said.

The festival is set in the green and hilly Dhofar governorate of which Salalah is the capital and provides a welcome relief for Gulf residents escaping the heat.

The turnout topped a record 137,000 last year and the government expects higher numbers this year, mostly tourists from the neighbouring Gulf countries, said Tobi.

The festival launched in 1996 features children's stage shows, fun fairs, dolphin shows and theatre productions.

A British pavilion highlighting education, tourism and business in the UK is part of the festival.

The British presence at the event is organised by the country's embassy in Oman along with the British Council.

Poster exhibitions and interactive displays about contemporary Britain are part of the exhibition while the British Council presented 'The Invisible Men', a two-man street theatre group.

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