The 18th edition of the popular Muscat Festival, which got underway on January 18 with the theme ‘Let’s Celebrate Together’, will culminate with the high-voltage Tour of Oman
With the ongoing Muscat Festival becoming a permanent fixture in the annual calendars of both residents and visitors, the Naseem Garden and Al Amerat Park have turned into must-visit destinations to partake in the entertainment, enjoy the cultural fiesta, find bargain deals and get on joy rides. While novelty rides, acrobats and firework displays continue to flavour the festival, there are newer amusement options, sports activities and cultural fetes to infuse an element of freshness to this year’s proceedings.
As every new Festival outing vies to become better and more colourful, visitors are in for a whole new range of exciting opportunities; making repeat visits a must to savour all the different facets of the Festival, whether at Naseem Gardens or Amerat Park. In addition to the parks, the Festival is also alive and happening at Al Madina Theatre, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre and Oman Automobile Association.
Tour of Oman
However, with the Festival reaching the final phase, it is the high voltage ‘Tour of Oman’ that everyone is looking forward to. The Tour of Oman, which will run from February 13 to February 18, has achieved remarkable success in the past editions, attracting the attention of global sports community to the Sultanate in general and Muscat in particularly, as important destinations in the region’s sports horizon.
As the Tour of Oman website states, ‘From the very first edition of the Tour of Oman, cycling and our country seemed to fit like a hand in glove, but even its greatest enthusiasts could not have predicted such a resounding success.’
Organised by Muscat Municipality in association with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the race, which was first held in 2010, has, over the years, managed to attract some of the world’s top cyclists and cycling teams. In its forthcoming ninth edition, it will feature World No 1 rider Greg Van Avermaet of the BMC Racing Team, 2014 Tour de France winner and former Tour of Oman champion Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team and last year’s runner-up Rui Costa of UAE-Team Emirates.
Tour of Oman Route
The peloton will hit the roads of the Sultanate of Oman from 13 to 18 February, promising loads of action to bystanders as well as participants. According to the website, there will be high-speed finishes for sprinters, hilly stages for punchers and Green Mountain for climbers.
- The peloton will tackle six stages totalling 914.5 kilometres through the heart of the landscapes of the Sultanate of Oman, and will follow the below routes:
- February 13th, 1st stage: Nizwa to Sultan Qaboos University (162.5km)
- February 14th, 2nd stage: Sultan Qaboos University to Al Bustan Palace Hotel (167.5km)
- February 15th, 3rd stage: German University of Technology to Wadi Dayqah Dam (179.5km)
- February 16th, 4th stage: Yiti (Al Sifah) to Ministry of Tourism (117.5km)
- February 17th, 5th stage: Sama’il to Jabal Al Akhdhar ((152km)
- February 18th, 6th stage: Al Mouj Muscat to Muttrah Corniche (135.5km)
- The ninth Tour of Oman will be the eighth consecutive edition of the race to feature a summit finish on Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain), a 5.7 km climb with an average gradient of 10.5%.
- Nine of the eighteen seven-man teams in this year’s Tour of Oman are World Tour outfits.