The season featured more than 70 major events, held in four key areas: Souk Okaz, the Crown Prince’s Camel Festival, the Village of Roses, and the Al-Baid Masters section, which featured mountain hiking. The season also featured numerous other events, including a shopping festival, a “marathon of colours” and many more.
The events reflected different elements of the city of Taif, with the Souk Okaz being presented with a completely new look this year – aiming to highlight the historical status and cultural depth of Taif, through a range of innovative and creative events. These included Okaz Avenue, a historical market, “Knights” of Okaz, traditional camel caravans, and the Okaz Boys’ section. The market witnessed a series of interactive theatrical performances, featuring more than 2,000 actors in a variety of traditional costumes.
This year, the market also highlighted Taif’s position as an Arab tourism resort, with the participation of 11 Arab countries for the first time in the “Arab Quarter.” Each country, led by Saudi Arabia, was represented with a pavilion that embodied its native civilization, culture, arts and produce. The quarter also hosted the main Okaz theater, which featured regular performances from stars from across the Arab world.
The Village of Roses, located in Taif’s famous Al-Radf Park, focused on the region’s abundant natural produce, and in particular the “Taif rose,” which is famous around the world. The village hosted a range of creative events, blending bright colours with beautiful dancing and music.
The village offered both entertainment and education, introducing visitors to different types of flowers and products, methods of preparation, perfume-making and more, while also offering rose-themed refreshments. The park also hosted the Adrenaline Games, circus events, and fireworks displays.
The Crown Prince’s Camel Festival, held under the Taif Season umbrella for the first time, continued to shine globally, with more than 10,000 animals featuring, and total prize money exceeding 50 million riyals. The Al-Baid Masters events focused on treks in the nearby Al-Hada and Al-Shafa mountains, with a range of supporting activities and contests.
Taif Season has had a positive impact on the local community, providing 15,000 seasonal jobs, creating investment opportunities for entrepreneurs, small-and-mediums sized businesses, and developing platforms to support productive families, artisans and micro-business owners. In addition, more than 1,500 young men and women have benefited from a series of nine training courses designed to raise service levels and enrich the visitor experience.
The season attracted more than 35 million social media interactions, with over 300 million impressions, and received significant coverage in local, Arab and international media. This positive coverage reinforces Saudi Arabia’s goal of becoming one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, with the “Saudi Seasons” an important contributor to improving quality of life and raising living standards.