“This hot-air balloon carnival is the first-of-its-kind in the GCC, and is organised by Omani companies and supported by a number of government agencies,” MoT stated. The three companies that will be organising the carnival are Hemity, Awaan and Sabeen. One of the companies involved in the project, speaking to Muscat Daily, said, “We have 15 hot-air balloons for visitors to take a ride and enjoy the view from the air. There are a lot of events besides the carnival, such as a children’s play area, international restaurants, a race track for cars, etc.
“Work started on the project about eight months ago. We have contracted a US security company to provide safety and security for everyone riding balloons.”
The official said the carnival is expected to attract more than 1mn tourists to Dhofar. The khareef season officially extends from June 21-September 21. In 2018, khareef attracted 826,376 visitors, a rise of 28.1 per cent over the 2017 season at 644,931.