20 August 2019
On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the Governor of Makkah Region, will sponsor the Souk Okz Ceremony, as part of Taif Season. His Highness will be in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khatib, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and chairman of the Taif Season Committee, excellencies, ministers and diplomats, and leading intellectuals from inside and outside the Kingdom.
Taif Season is being held under the Saudi Seasons umbrella, organized by the SCTH, and the concert is scheduled to include a musical opera that evokes the origins of Souk Okaz 1,500 years ago, and the transformation that have happened subsequently, including the emergence of Islam, the growth of Arabic dialects, and the multiplicity of cultures and arts among Arab peoples.
His Excellency Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khatib, said that the sponsorship of His Highness Prince Khalid al-Faisal at the Okaz Market ceremony was natural, because of his interest in poetry, culture, creativity, and Arab and Islamic civilization. His Highness had also played a very important role in the launch of the revived Souk Okaz and his support and attention continued with the transfer of the market to the SCTH.
His Excellency explained that Souk Okaz has made a big leap this year, as the market doubled visitors, with events added that enrich the tourist experience. The new events help provide visitors with more information and entertainment, and bridge Arab culture, history, industries, and food and folk art, in the past and the present.
Souk Okaz this year contains an “Arab Quarter,” which represents 11 Arab countries, a historical market, the Knights of Okaz, Okaz Boys, a language and culture arena, a music arena, and the development of Okaz Avenue. In addition, the market has enriched the area dedicated to productive families, and restaurants and cafes, while the main theatre can accommodate 2,800 spectators.
Al-Khatib said Taif is worthy of the title of “Arab Resort,” as it has all the natural elements of tourism to occupy a prominent place in the tourism map in the Kingdom, and hence it was planned as one of the Saudi Seasons.
He stressed the need for continued efforts to pump more investments to turn Taif into an attractive tourist destination, pointing out that the high demand witnessed by Souk Okaz market and other events in the season is a catalyst for investors to increase support. The sons and daughters of Taif have had the most important role in Taif Season and they are a shining example for all the Kingdom’s sons and daughters, he said.
He urged those who had not yet been able to visit Taif Season to seize the opportunity and visit during the coming days.