Citrus Festival showcases AlUla’s rich agricultural diversity

January 14, 2022

Saudi Gazette report

ALULA — The ongoing Citrus Festival showcases AlUla’s rich agricultural diversity with a display of a variety of citrus fruits being cultivated in the region throughout the ages.

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) launched the festival at the Al-Muhakkar farm as one of the many diverse events that AlUla is offering to tourists this year. The festival, which started last Friday, would continue this weekend (Jan. 14 and 15).

The citrus festival highlights the agricultural position that Al-Ula continues to maintain for thousands of years.

Farmers are displaying a variety of their citrus fruit produces in the region. Through this festival, the RCU seeks to boost the economic growth of the province with community initiatives and development projects. The festival is being held during the period of seasonal harvest of various types of citrus fruits for which AlUla farms are well known.

Citrus farms are an essential part of life in AlUla, and they continue to produce quality crops including oranges, sweet lemons, tangerines, sugar oranges, mandarin oranges and clementines.

The citrus harvest season is a cultural and economic event that the people of AlUla celebrate annually at the local markets, and it spreads across a number of neighboring cities in AlUla Governorate, where the region’s farms contain more than 200,000 trees of various citrus fruits.

The RCU, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, attaches great importance to the agricultural sector of AlUla and aspires to support and create economic opportunities for the people of AlUla in order to enhance competitiveness among producers and provide a unique experience that tourists can explore.

Muhammad Al-Shammari, head of economic and social development at the RCU, stated that holding the citrus festival for the first time comes within the vision of AlUla, and what was celebrated by the launch of the “Journey Through Time” scheme, aimed at strengthening the preservation of agricultural cover within the formation of Al-Ula Oasis.

He said that holding the festival constitutes an important step towards establishing Al-Ula as an agricultural center for citrus in the Kingdom as well as achieving the prosperity of AlUla Oasis as a center that promotes eco-tourism through a number of interactive experiences.

Al-Shammari noted that the festival represents an opportunity for farmers of AlUla to display and sell their products within the local market, and down to the regional market.

The festival will provide a rich experience for tourists, farmers and the people of Al-Ula, through artisan market stalls where citrus fruits will be displayed, in addition to music performances, as well as training courses for chefs to prepare foods using citrus fruits as ingredients. The citrus festival is also an economic tributary of agricultural production, especially after witnessing the success of AlUla Dates Festival in two successive sessions and the enormous popularity it garnered from inside and outside the Kingdom.

Both dates and citruses are basic and popular food sources in the local and regional markets of AlUla, and they reflect the agricultural wealth of the region. These food festivals help in diversifying the sources of income for farmers, and enhancing the experience of the visit according to the objectives of the AlUla Vision, and its aspirations of creating the largest living museum in the world.

January 14, 2022
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