RIYADH: In perfect timing with the annual Janadriyah Festival, a heritage village showcasing the Tabuk region and its culture was inaugurated by King Salman last week.
The newly constructed area, which was supervised by Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan, contains comprehensive information on the region and its people, as well as folklore events and cultural music.
Arab News met with Mohammad Saeed, head of a Tabuk delegation, who expressed excitement at the inclusion of his hometown in this year’s festival edition.
“The village includes a makeshift coastal and agricultural desert space,” he said. “We have about 24 local handicraft specialists on set, which includes three makeshift houses. The first symbolizes the region’s desert environment and includes a desert museum, as well as an Arab-style living room called a ‘majlis.’ The second contains a selection of renowned local restaurants and paintings depicting the coastline, while the third represents traditional bedrooms.”
More than 300 people from across the region, as well as several local companies, have visited the Tabuk exhibition thus far. The village took three months to construct.
The Tabuk region is home to coastlines that span five regions, including the province of Taima, and castles that tell tales of the past.
“All the materials used in building the village and its houses were brought in from Tabuk,” said Saeed.
The festival has for the first time included a simulation of the historic well of Hadaj, the second most famous well after Zamzam in Makkah.
Hadaj is a landmark in the Tabuk region and is found at the center of Taima.
Almost 12 meters deep and 65 meters wide, it is one of the largest in the Arabian Peninsula and dates back to the 6th century BC.
The well is covered with polished stones and can accommodate about 100 camels at a time during the summer months. Water is transferred from the well through 31 stone-based channels.
The well’s distinct characteristics have been featured in famous poems over the years.
Handicrafts and regional heritage
A total of 45 people took part in producing handicraft art, including embroidery and carpentry, at the festival.
Abdul Aziz Hassan Halawani, a professional caulker, showcased his work at the village. Halawani oversees all the stages of the boat-building process, from determining their size to installing wooden slabs inside them.
Halwani has taken part in several local and international competitions and has won several awards, including one for his distinct craftsmanship.
A heritage dance group, meanwhile, showed visitors what Tabuk weddings were about.