AlOula’s tea and coffee festival draws huge crowd


Saudi Gazette report

The two-day 7th fundraising “Tea and coffee around the world” festival at Hotel Park Hyatt here drew a huge crowd.

The Feb. 19-20 festival consisted of a variety of activities, cultural exhibitions, foods, traditions and, most importantly, tea and coffee. Seventeen countries with their consulates and over 60 stalls participated in this year’s festival. The participating countries showed the audience how the tea and coffee was being served in their countries.

All the proceeds of the event will support the children of AlOula organization.

AlOula CEO Dania Almaeena said: “This is the seventh year of the festival and we do it to bring with different consulates, communities, cultures, and traditions together for a good cause and we see how each tea and coffee is prepared in different cultures.

“Tea and coffee around the world” aims to present the traditions and cultures for serving tea and coffee, that has been known to be the second highly consumed beverage after water; this popularity has given light to tea and coffee parties to display the artisanal ways of serving tea and coffee, and it has become a key component in social gatherings in the Middle East.

“In addition to introducing the diverse methods and traditions of serving tea and coffee, we seek to support the programs of AlOula through this fundraising festival, which pays attention to the children of low income families located at the south of Jeddah, and all proceeds of this festival have been allocated to these children”.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, she said “I myself am a big fan of Kadak Tea”. Kadak in Hindi means strong. Kadak tea is made with black loose tea leaves, crushed cardamom (sometimes with cardamom flavored evaporated milk instead), saffron and sugar. The key ingredient for the color and taste of Kadak Tea is actually made with evaporated milk. Kadak Chai brings the perfect aroma in it.

Noor Rahman Sheikh, consul general of India, said: “We are very happy at India’s participation in the event. Indian tea and coffee is famous around the world and since Saudis like tea and coffee a lot, they can look for the Indian tea and coffee. With the variety of tea and coffee available in India, they’ll enjoy every sip of it.”

A festival participant and owner of Taif-based Kingdom of Green Tea, Dr. Musa Loqman Al-Seeni, said: “We are participating in this festival for the first time. We have more than 1,000 varieties of green tea with us. We also have other types of teas available with us. All our products are organic and free from chemicals and preservatives. We are in tea industry for more than 30 years. Our tea products are also used as medicines for cholesterol, sugar and other major diseases.

Hala Zainy, owner Hala Soaps, and Manal Fawzy, beauty and skin treatment expert at Hala soaps, said they have handmade organic soaps that are free of chemicals and preservatives.

They are prepared from plant products. We provide soaps for all skin types. We recommend our customers the soaps suitable for their skins. We have soaps for the treatment of fats, hand and foot diseases and different skin problems such as acne, eczema, anti-aging, bacterial, viral and fungal diseases.

We also have specials soaps prepared for babies and their problems such as diaper rash, droll rash and many other problems. We also have shampoos which are organic and free of chemicals and preservatives. We have special shampoos prepared by coffee for the treatment of hair fall, dry and oily scalp, and broken hair and also for cleaning dandruff. We are in this industry for the last 2 years. Our soaps are prepared here in Saudi Arabia with all the natural oils with the consultation of herbal experts.

Ayad from Hanan for Spices, Perfumes and Ornaments, said they have 18 carat gold and diamond rings, chains. “We also have perfumes prepared with oud. We have 4 types of oud perfumes, oud with saffron, oud with cardamom, oud with flowers and original oud sticks. We sell our products online through Instagram.

Hadeel Al-Abdul Wahab from Oliver and Co. said their firm is located in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai and many other places. “We are basically a French company, we are interested in different types of olives and their products and pasta and things used in cooking.

Hatim Al-Obaidi, marketing manager for Lulu Hypermarkets (Western Region) said: I feel proud to be associated in this festival with the Indian consulate. My feeling with India has become so close that I have become half traditional Indian. We have many Indian products available in our hypermarkets. Indians are very creative, and they know how to achieve the essence of success.”

Hani Al-Ghazi from Pluto for Perfume Creators said: “We have perfumes from France as well as local markets. I am excited to be part of this festival. We started our business with six types of perfumes and today we have more than 16 types of perfumes. We sell our products online. It’s for the first time we are displaying our products in an exhibition to the customers.

Leen Al-Rouh, nutritionist at Healthy weight loss center said that have an excellent program to fight obesity. “We sell our products which have high protein, low carbs, and which help in weight loss. They give you the right amount of protein needed by your body. We have a variety of more than sixty products which are both sweet and savory. We also have main meals like pasta, rice, pizzas, soups, chocolate bars, oreos, chips and also snacks which help in weight loss.

In spite of very cold weather, huge crowd of Saudi women of all age groups as well as people from different nationalities attend the event. The entertainment show presented by the different countries in front of King Fahd Fountain was an additional attraction.