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Saudi’s Taif season tourism festival creates 15,000 jobs, say organisers

Saudi’s Taif season tourism festival creates 15,000 jobs, say organisers

The 30-day festival runs throughout August and features more than 70 events

Saudi inaugural tourism festival Taif Season, which began on Thursday, August 1, has helped create around 15,000 jobs in the market, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).

The 30-day event is helping create seasonal jobs and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and young people in the region, the SCTH said.

The festival aims to project Taif as an ‘Arab summer resort’, positioning it as an international centre for tourism.

It features more than 70 events in four main areas: Souk Okaz, Ward Village, the Crown Prince’s Camel Festival, and the Al-Baid Masters, which includes mountain hiking in Al Hada and Al Shafa.

It will also highlight Taif’s cultural and historic status as well as its pleasant weather.

Souk Okaz, one of the most important markets in Arab history, disappeared before being revived 13 years ago. This year, it is presented in a new format, with an expanded area, including a range of new activations. Events include the Okaz international poetry market competition.

There will also be events running alongside Taif Season throughout August, including shopping and cinema festivals in Taif’s main malls, and tours of historic landmarks and mosques.

The launch of Taif Season is in line with Saudi’s Vision 2030 which aims to diversify the national economy and transform the tourism and hospitality sector.

The strategy also aims to increase SME contribution to GDP to 35 per cent by 2030 (from 22 per cent), and help create employment opportunities for the national workforce.

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