Prince Khaled to open Souk Okaz on Tuesday

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal

Saudi Gazette report

TAIF — On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal will open this year’s Souk Okaz festival on Tuesday.

The opening ceremony of the event, which is part of the “Taif Season” festival, will be attended by several prominent figures, including ministers, senior officials, writers, cultural figures and artists from within the Kingdom and abroad.

Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and chairman of Taif Season Committee, said that Prince Khaled Al-Faisal’s gracing of the festival emanates from his interest in poetry, culture, creativity and Arab and Islamic civilization, in addition to his efforts to establish and promote Souk Okaz festivals over the past several years.

He said that this year Souk Okaz would witness a big leap in terms of number of visitors taking part in the festival. The Souk would see more events, enriching the experience of the visitors and providing them with more information, pleasure and happiness. They will serve as a bridge between the past and at present with regard to Arab culture, heritage, industries, food and popular arts.

Al-Khatib said that most striking feature of this year’s festival is the “Arab neighborhood” pavilion, which includes 11 Arab countries, the historic market, Knights of Okaz, the arena of language and culture, music square, in addition to enriching the area dedicated to productive families, restaurants, cafes, along with the main theater that can accommodate 2,800 visitors.

Souk Okaz, which represents a unique and important tourism landmark in the Kingdom, was re-created on the same location where the ancient Souk Okaz used to be held historically. The festival was revived in 2006 by Prince Khaled.