Dagger display as Oman showcases ancient craft in Saudi Souq Okaz festival

Daggers were carried by Omanis for centuries as a manly symbol. (SPA)
Updated 05 July 2018
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Dagger display as Oman showcases ancient craft in Saudi Souq Okaz festival

  • The Omani dagger is a national symbol of Oman featured on its flag, alongside two swords. Daggers were carried by Omanis for centuries as a manly symbol

JEDDAH: Oman highlighted its heritage with a display of its most important ancient crafts to visitors to Souq Okaz market.

Omani artisans and folklore groups displayed the special silverware and daggers. Daggers at the market vary in price between SR1,000 and SR10,000. 

The Omani dagger is a national symbol of Oman featured on its flag, alongside two swords. Daggers were carried by Omanis for centuries as a manly symbol.

Hamyar bin Hamad Al-Omari of the Oman Craft Industry Association, listed the various types of Omani dagger such as the Suri, the Saidi, the Batani, the Sahili and the Nazwani.

“Saidi” daggers are the preserve of the Omani Royal Family, and are noted for their fine traditional engraving.

The “Suri” dagger symbolizes Sur in the eastern region. It is a small, lightweight dagger with a gold-plated handle. The lower section is made of leather and decorated with wire and silver threads and gold embroidery.

The “Nizwani” dagger, related to the province of Nizwa is carefully decorated on the silver plate that covers the bottom of the scabbard of the dagger and it is made of wood. The handle is similar to the “Saidi” dagger. It was traditionally made of ivory and covered by silver. The finest dagger makers and goldsmiths fashion these daggers, which are regarded as masterpieces.

In addition, there are “Batini” and “Sahili” daggers.

The dagger’s main parts are: The handle, the ferrule at the base, the spine, the blade and the tip. The dagger accessories are: Belt, stud, the belt buckles, rings and belt holder.

The dagger usually consists of 10 to 13 pieces that vary according to the type of dagger and the state that symbolizes it. Accessories for the Omani dagger are: The burnt, pincher and knife.

Souq Okaz is a unique tourism destination in Taif, and is considered one of the most important in the Kingdom.

This year’s edition, which will end on July 13, was opened under the patronage of King Salman, with Egypt the honorary guest.

Many tourists from around the world visit the souq, which has provided a unique historical and artistic forum gathering intellectuals and people interested in literature and culture.

The souq represents an important chapter in the history of the Arabs before Islam. It was more than a trade fair, serving as a cultural, social, economic and political gathering of Arabs.


Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

King Salman arrived in Al-Jouf on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2018
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Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

  • The king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure

JEDDAH: Projects worth several billion riyals are to be unveiled by Saudi Arabia’s king this week as he continues his tour of the country’s regions.
King Salman arrived in the province of Al-Jouf on Tuesday night where he will announce the construction of a new city, bolstering the local economy and creating thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia’s most northern region.
On Thursday, the king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 
He will lay the foundation stone for the first phase of the SR85 billion ($22 billion) city in Toriaf province — worth SR55 billion —  and is also set to inaugurate the projects and facilities of the second phase — worth SR30 billion.
In the past two months the king has visited a number of major cities, announcing projects and initiatives to develop the Kingdom inline with Vision 2030 — a broad strategic plan to diversify the economy and end dependence on oil revenues.
Before arriving in Al-Jouf, King Salman visited Tabuk, where several projects worth more than SR11 billion were launched.
He also met the team heading Amaala, the ultra-luxurious tourist destination that was unveiled in September and dubbed the “Riviera of the Middle East,” and was briefed on plans for the new attraction.
King Salman praised Amaala’s objectives to contribute to promoting economic diversification, creating investment opportunities for the private sector, and developing the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia while preserving the cultural and environmental heritage.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced yet another major project in western Saudi Arabia.
Wadi Al-Disah Development Project, which is expected to become one of the Kingdom’s most environmentally diverse tourist attractions, adds to a number of already launched ventures on western coastal regions.
PIF will establish a company to develop Wadi Al-Disah in accordance with international best practices regarding environmental conservation and sustainable development.
In addition to this week’s tour, the king has so far visited Madinah, Qassim and Hail.