Muscat Festival is a celebration of Oman's history and present, a festival of different nationalities coming together and a cultural artistic event. Although details for 2015 have not yet been released, it is predicted that the festival will be held from 29th January until 27th February. Held in multiple venues throughout the city of Muscat, the festival consists of activities as varied as traditional dance, lectures on solar energy, Omani music, trapeze shows and fireworks displays. The Heritage Village in Amerat Park showcases traditional Omani arts and foods and features sections on Bedouin culture, agriculture and arts. In addition, perfume and incense is available to buy. The festival also coincides with the 6-stage Tour of Oman road cycling race, as well as countless other sporting activities, including the University Beach Soccer Championship, boat races, a modern triathlon and the Muscat marathon. There really is something for everyone.
The Royal Opera House in Muscat only opened in October 2011, but is already renowned throughout the region. Located nearby to the Grand Hyatt Muscat, the Opera House is built to reflect traditional Omani architecture and has a capacity of 1100 people. This was also the first venue to install Radio Marconi's interactive seat-back displays, allowing visitors to read a translation of the opera.
The opera house offers a range of ballet, musicals, concerts (Western and Arabic) and opera with competitive prices, ranging from 10 to 70 OMR for opera and just 2 OMR per adult at a family concert.
The 2014/2015 season runs from 18th September until 23rd May - we would advise buying tickets online as soon as you know your travel dates, as seats tend to sell out early.
An important event throughout the Muslim world, Ramadan will take place from around 18th June until 17th July 2015, depending on sightings of the crescent moon. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and focus on devotion and spiritual reflection. The daily fast is traditionally broken with dates and milk, but many hotels offer Iftar buffets - a time of celebration (non-Muslims are welcome to join).
If travelling to Oman during this time, it is important to dress very modestly and not to eat or drink in public (this may include drinking water inside a vehicle - ask your concierge for current advice). Hotel restaurants will generally be open during Ramadan, but will be screened off. In addition, it is common for alcohol to not be served until sundown, or only through room-service / private dining.