Islamic World

Saudi Arabia celebrated the annual Souk Okaz festival

Saudi Arabia celebrated the annual Souk Okaz festival

Riyadh: Three men walking through a dusty town mounted on horse, dressed in a colourful ancient robes. A slave boy flips in the air, showing off his agility to a prospective buyer, while the other men dispute over the price of Camels.

According to the report published in Al-Arabiya, these scenes from Ancient Saudi Arabia, put on show this summer at the annual Souk Okaz festival outside the city of Taif. The visitors to the mountain site are treated to plays, handcrafts-production demonstrations and classical Arabic poetry jams, just like the events that had taken place here hundreds of years ago.hundred years ago.

The ten-day festival, recreated at the same place where the ancient open-air market was held, is a part an effort to regain the celebration of the kingdom’s often-neglected cultural heritage. The arrival of oil wealth, development plans in Saudi Arabia have prioritized modern cities and shopping malls, but the Government to seek new sources of revenue authorities are rediscovering the entertainment and tourism values of the the country’s rich cultural heritage.

50,000 visitors visit per day to this annual event and bacame prime destination for tourists from the Gulf Arab region. It aims to offer a glimpse of the past while reflecting the modernity of today. This place is historically symbolic as it intellectuals and poets used to gather and exchange ideas and knowledge.

After it was revived in 2006 by Prince Khaled during his first tenure as emir of Mecca, this year the annual Souk Okaz festival is the 10th edition.