Shah Rukh, Lara to perform at Muscat Festival

Monday, January 24, 2011

MUMBAI - A slew of events including a fashion show, a cycle race, extreme sailing championship and food festivals are slated for the Muscat Festival which opens in the capital of Sultanate of Oman Jan 27-Feb 24 with Bollywood names like Shah Rukh Khan and Lara Dutta participating in it, top officials said here Monday.

“While singer Sonu Niigaam and actress Lara Dutta will perform at the fest Feb 10, superstar Shah Rukh Khan will have a stage-show there Feb 17,” Salim Bin Adey Al-Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, Sultanate of Oman, told media persons here this afternoon.

Oman also plans to woo Indian filmmakers to consider the country as a shooting locale as Bollywood movies are very popular there and Shah Rukh also commands a huge fan following.

“Film tourism is a growing phenomenon worldwide. We realise the importance and the reach of the Indian film industry and plan to encourage Indian producers and studios to film in Oman,” added Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative of Sultanate of Oman.

Hoping to lure over two million visitors from India and elsewhere, the Muscat Festival will have Omans Food Festival (Feb 3-17), Muscat Fashion Week (Feb 22-24), Tour of Oman cycle race (Feb 15-20), and Extreme Sailing World Championships (Feb 20-24), besides many other events.

Oman soon expects to claim a big slice of the booming meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) business by setting up a world-class conference facility.

Spread over two-million-square-metres, the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre will boast of a 3,000 seat Convention Centre, four hotels and serviced apartments supported by a major regional retail facility, just four kilometres from Muscat Airport, informed Khalid Al Zadjali, Director of Tourism Events, Ministry of Tourism, Oman.

Targeting 12 million Indian visitors to Oman by 2020, Al Zadjali said that the country is a safe destination where the state income goes back to the people in the form of free education, free healthcare and almost no taxes to pay.

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