RIYADH: A German delegation comprising 18 UNESCO professors and members have visited the 10th Coffee Beans Festival in the Jazan region.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest consumers of coffee and achieving self-sufficiency in its production is a goal of Saudi Vision 2030.
The festival is a major marketing outlet for the premium Saudi coffee bean known as Khawlani, which comes from Jazan. Coffee is an important tourist attraction for the area, putting the spotlight on one of the Kingdom’s most mountainous regions and its culture and traditions.
Khawlani is one of the world’s most sought-after coffee beans. It has been cultivated in the region for more than eight centuries and is mentioned many times in old poems and songs from the region.
Members of the visiting delegation toured the festival in the Al-Dayer governorate and had the chance to see the coffee products from Jazan’s farms, in addition to the handicrafts, traditional industries and clothes on display.
They were briefed on the farms of the coffee beans in Jazan and how they are witnessing expansion with the support of Saudi Arabia's government.
They also briefed on the cultural, historical and heritage assets and values related to this ancient industry of coffee in the Kingdom.
First held in 2013, the festival includes a coffee exhibition as well as numerous local cultural, entertainment and shopping activities. Over the years, the festival has contributed to the return in local farmers’ interest in coffee cultivation.
Last year, UNESCO registered Saudi Khawlani coffee and the skills and knowledge associated with its cultivation to the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
According to statistics from the 2022 Saudi Coffee Festival, the Jazan region is home to more than 2,000 coffee farms, which have a total of 384,214 coffee trees and an annual production of over 900 tons.