Sunday, 21 October 2007
By Mohammed Al-Kinani and Adel Al-Malki
JEDDAH - The traditional village at Obhur Cove built for the recent Jeddah Festival at Eid will be expanded five times over to become the city's tourist front and cultural and recreational center.
The decision by Jeddah Municipality to enlarge the village to cover 210,000 square meters from 45,000 square meters was prompted by the overwhelming number of sightseers - approximately 600,000 - that visited the site during the Jeddah Festival. The municipality has also selected the poets to participate in "The Poet of Jeddah" contest to be held at the traditional village.
Sami Nawar, director of tourism department in Jeddah Municipality, said that apart from cultural and intellectual activities, the village will also be used for the benefit of amateur craftsmen, artists, and actors.
Maher Mutairi, a young poet, lauded the municipality for providing them with plenty of opportunities to hone their crafts.
"Such a contest takes us back to the days when Arabs held meetings for poets in places like the well-known Souk of Okaz," he said.
A film documentary that traces the history of Jeddah from 3,000 years back will also be shown in the village.
The movie will show the role Jeddah plays in the development of Islamic history and its importance as the gateway to the Two Holy Mosques and as one of the Kingdom's largest cities.
Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, Media Director at the municipality, said a report on the economic returns of the village is being prepared.