Focal Point

The end of an era

The Al Ahkaf Cinema in Hafa Suq  in Salalah-Dhofar, nearby Al Husn Palace, where the current leader Sultan Qaboos took over power, is gone. Shops with incense and textiles and luxury goods will take over.

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After 1970, when the current Sultan Qaboos took over power, between 1973-1974 the cinema saw the light. At that time for a little baiza’s people could watch mostly Bollywood productions and sometimes Hollywood movies. During the existence of the cinema the rate went up to one Rial (about 2 Euro).

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For me the Al Ahkaf cinema was somehow a symbol of the way how the country evolved. Before 1970 the Sultanate had little to offer in terms of opportunity for its people. Because of the lack of electricity outside the capital area, the people went to bed with the sunset and woke up with the sunrise. Radio was banned and television didn’t exist.  In 1975 the whole of Oman enjoyed the speeches of Sultan Qaboos on color television.


The Sultanate of Oman has no recorded cinematic history. The country has an extensive and hi-tech cinematic infrastructure. Films from Bollywood as well as Hollywood are screened.The national TV broadcasting company is producing films and won TV film awards. There is the annual Muscat International Film Festival. The Eighth Muscat International Film Festival will kick off on March 23, 2014 and will continue until March 29.


2 thoughts on “The end of an era

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