By Gavin Gibbon
Muscat Festival was scheduled to start on Thursday and run through to February 15
The Muscat Festival 2020 has been cancelled due to national mourning for the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
Muscat Municipality announced the cancellation of this year’s event, which was set to get underway on Thursday and run through to February 15, as a mark of respect for the sultanate’s former ruler, who died on Friday at the age of 79.
A host of cultural, entertainment, heritage and sporting events were planned for the festival in the build up to celebrating the country’s 50th National Day in November.
Britain's Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined regional leaders in Oman on Sunday to offer their condolences to the royal family after the death of long-reigning Sultan Qaboos.
A ceremony at Muscat's Alam Palace drew figures from across political divides in the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was among those who met the new sultan, along with Tunisian President Kais Saied, Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy was also in attendance at the ceremony, which took place a day after the new royal ruler Haitham bin Tariq was selected and sworn in.