Yanbu pulls crowds with spectacular flower show


Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The flower show organized by the Royal Commission of Yanbu has been attracting tens of thousands of visitors daily. So far, 1.5 million people have visited the industrial city to witness to the annual spectacle amid a pleasant and welcoming weather.

Saleh Abdullah Zahrani, chairman of the organizing committee of the Yanbu Flower and Gardening Festival, told Saudi Gazette that this year the festival would break all previous records in visitor turnout.

“We have already crossed the benchmark of 1.5 million visitors, which was the record set in a previous season; we have one week yet to go where we expect many more thousands of visitors,” he said.

On weekends, the festival recorded an average of 150,000 visitors daily, according to Zahrani.

He said significant numbers of expatriate families from various parts of the Kingdom have been visiting the festival.

“We observed that over 25 percent of our visitors are Indian expatriates,” said Zahrani.

He said the Royal Commission of Yanbu wanted to turn the flower show into an event that marked the entertainment calendar not only for the people of the province but also for the entire the Kingdom on a par with the prestigious Janadriyah festival.

The festival had entered the Guinness Records for staging the world’s largest flower carpet and the organizers were attempting to set a new record this year by erecting the tallest flower hill.

Commenting on this, Zahrani said, “The Royal Commission was planning to have a kind of flower hill during the festival for many years, but due to the Guinness Record rules that focused on the area of the flower carpet rather than the height, we were not able to accomplish it.”

He said for the first time this year, the Royal Commission has erected 21 flower hills in a 50,000 square meter area, which is almost twice the size of the flower carpet that won the Guinness Record.

Giving children a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of flowers was one of the main intentions behind the idea of flower hills, Zahrani said.

The 24–day festival has drawn crowds not only from Yanbu and Madinah but also from Riyadh, Dammam and other parts of the Kingdom, he said.

Every spring, the Red Sea coastal city plays host to hundreds of thousands of visitors from outside who come to enjoy the extraordinary spectacle of flowers, which is in its 12th year this year.

Hotels in the city report the highest occupancy rate during the festival period, according to industry sources.