Want to fly on a balloon? Come to Ain Sahalnoot today

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Hot air balloon carnival opened in Salalah’s Sahalnoot area amid a celebration on Saturday. The balloons will start flying from Sunday and will be in operation till August 25. With this the Salalah Tourism Festival (STF) got a new entertainment avenue and an extended venue for the festival. The station for the hot air balloon is surrounded by scenic green mountains and famous tourist spot Ain Sahalnoot, which is some six kilometres far from the main city.
The new entertainment facility is likely to attract many visitors and to cater to their needs Dhofar Municipality has done all necessary arrangements in terms of setting up restaurants, rest rooms and many other entertainment facilities for children and adults.
The balloon carnival opened under the auspices of Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamoud al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar in presence of Shaikh Khalid bin Omar al Marhoon, Minister of Civil Service, and Salim bin Aufit al Shanfari, Chairman of Dhofar Municipality. A large number of government officials, public and private sector representatives were also present.
Aufit al Shanfari, who is also the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the STF, said the launch of the balloon carnival was part of the committee’s efforts to bring new entertainment to keep the people engaged during their visit in Salalah.
He also assured that the new entertainment facility would generate many new jobs for the local people as it has been developed on 110,000 square metres area and the balloon operators are expecting around 650,000 to one million visitors.
Sabeen and Hemity are the main operators of the balloon carnival, which according to their management would be a unique example of private-public partnership.
According to Sabeen Group Chairman Khalid al Nabhani, the carnival has 15 hot air balloons and the riders will be taken up to 100 metres giving them an opportunity to feel something new in terms of entertainment.
“An event of this magnitude is taking place for the first time in the GCC countries and we are taking all possible measures to make a foolproof and safe hot air balloon ride for the visitors,” he said. The Observer is the media partner of the event.

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