RIYADH - Janadriyah, the annual national heritage and culture festival named after the village on the northern outskirts of Riyadh, is busy celebrating the Saudi lifestyle as well as symbols of its identity, unity and integrity.
Inaugurated by King Salman on Wednesday with the traditional camel race and operetta marking the opening ceremony, the 18-day festival encourages Saudis to celebrate their heritage and to bolster cultural exchange.
This year the festival has launched a free application for smartphones, called “Janadriyah,” to guide visitors around the event and keep them updated on entertainment and cultural programs.
The app’s sections include: Learning about the festival, information on cultural activities and visits to Janadriyah, the Janadriyah newsletter, a Janadriyah festival map, information on parking, and a section for feedback (suggestions or complaints) and help contact details.
Every year the festival attracts a remarkable turnout of local and expatriate visitors, including school children and families, as well as visitors from outside the Kingdom.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) sets up a special pavilion as a tourism and heritage oasis with sections for children, visual shows, interactive screens, social media screens and tourism and heritage projects of the SCTH.
In its permanent pavilion based in Eastern Province House (Bayt Al-Sharqiyah), Saudi Aramco will also showcase an open exhibition at Janadriyah, featuring a maquette of Well No. 7, also known as the “prosperity well.” The exhibition includes a number of legacy images which convey the story of discovering and developing the world’s largest energy reserves. The well’s oil discovery dates back to 1938.
The pavilion presents documentaries as well as old and modern photographs showing how the company’s operations have progressed since the early 1940s to date. The pictures will illustrate the stages of such developments, from exploration, drilling, production, refining and training to HR development in the company.
Organizers expect millions of visitors from Saudi Arabia and abroad.
The festival is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m and the first five days, from Feb. 7 to 11, are reserved for male visitors only. Women and families will be allowed to visit from Feb. 12 to 24.
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