Taif’s rose farms bloom into global fragrance production hub

The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)
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The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)
Taif’s rose farms bloom into global fragrance production hub
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The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)
Taif’s rose farms bloom into global fragrance production hub
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The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)
Taif’s rose farms bloom into global fragrance production hub
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The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)
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Updated 22 April 2024
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Taif’s rose farms bloom into global fragrance production hub

The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)
  • Flowers ‘represent our region’s heritage and competitive advantage’

RIYADH: Taif’s mountainous and famed rose farms have become a major fragrance production hub, producing over 550 million flowers annually and driving an economic engine worth millions.

Spanning 270 hectares, some 910 rose farms nurture around 1.14 million bushes across areas like Al-Hada, Al-Shifa, Wadi Muharram, Al-Wahat, and Al-Wahit, the Saudi Press Agency reported.




The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)

From March through to April, a kaleidoscope of petals unfurls across terraced fields, supplying over 70 factories and laboratories dedicated to extracting and producing over 80 sought-after derivatives that enjoy widespread popularity in the SR64 million ($17 million) domestic market.

The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous governorate into a global rose capital which has even set a Guinness World Record with a basket of 84,450 roses.

NUMBER

550m

Some 910 rose farms in Taif nurture around 1.14 million bushes, resulting in production of over 550 million flowers annually.

“These roses represent our region’s heritage and competitive advantage,” said Majid Al-Khalif, director general of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture’s branch in the Makkah region, underscoring the ministry’s dedication to showcasing the agricultural prowess of each region through festivals and events.




The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)

“These initiatives not only promote local products but also foster knowledge exchange among farmers.”

Al-Khalif acknowledges the pivotal role played by collaborative efforts with local authorities in ensuring the success of these events, particularly the Rose Festival, which draws significant tourist interest.




The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)

Visitors are treated to a firsthand experience of the rose distillation process, seminars, workshops, and other activities tailored to enthusiasts of Taif’s roses.

Hani bin Abdulrahman Al-Qadi, director of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture’s office in the Taif region, shed light on the significance of the Rose Festival, which features the participation of more than 60 farms and the families who run them, showcasing their products over five days of festivities.




The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)

Al-Qadi said that the Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program, also known as Reef, was a key initiative aimed at bolstering the rose farming sector. The program focuses on enhancing the productivity of vital agricultural crops, aiming for a balanced rural development strategy. It also seeks to diversify agricultural production across rural areas while ensuring optimal and sustainable use of natural agricultural and water resources.

A dedicated unit for Taif’s roses has been established within the ministry’s office in Taif. Additionally, the adoption of tissue culture propagation for seedlings and the formation of a cooperative association to advance Taif’s rose cultivation are part of Reef’s objectives.




The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)

The ministry is actively involved in guiding and educating rose farmers on modern techniques to increase their productivity, Al-Qadi explained. Last year, a select group of rose farmers was sent to Bulgaria under a joint cooperation effort between Saudi Arabia and Bulgaria.

This initiative, organized by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, aimed at facilitating knowledge exchange, enhancing farmers’ skills, and promoting development in rose cultivation, distillation, and various applications in medicine and cosmetics.




The fragrant crops have elevated the mountainous Taif region into a global rose capital. (SPA)

The ministry’s office in Taif is actively engaged in providing crucial support services to local farmers, aimed at enhancing their productivity in rose farming. These services encompass agricultural guidance, initiatives to rehabilitate agricultural terraces, and rainwater harvesting schemes, tailored specifically to benefit Taif’s rose growers.

Farmers receive expert guidance on adopting best agricultural practices, with dedicated pest control teams responding promptly to requests for pesticide spraying to safeguard crops from potential threats.

The ministry also spearheads the construction of essential water infrastructure, including tanks and barriers, while also facilitating the establishment of irrigation networks to boost agricultural activities.

Emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices, the ministry encourages small-scale rose farmers to embrace and implement best agricultural methods, providing them with valuable insights into leveraging advanced technologies and optimizing rose production techniques, including essential oil extraction as part of a value chain development approach.

 


Saudi Arabia’s envoy opens ‘Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved’ exhibition in US

Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington.
Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington.
Updated 6 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s envoy opens ‘Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved’ exhibition in US

Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington.
  • The work by Saudi Arabia artist Ahmad Angawi was presented by the Saudi Embassy and the International Finance Corporation
  • Al-Mangour is a traditional Hijazi craft that consists of wooden latticework forming a mesh-like screen

RIYADH: Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington on Wednesday.

The work by Saudi Arabia artist Ahmad Angawi was presented by the Saudi Embassy and the International Finance Corporation.

The exhibition, held at the IFC’s headquarters, showcases the beauty of Al-Mangour, the traditional Hijazi craft that consists of wooden latticework forming a mesh-like screen.

The craft reflects the spiritual relationship between humans through a story of two halves that form one unit — the “loved and beloved.”

The exhibition included musical performances and traditional cuisine.

In her speech, Princess Reema stressed the importance of traditional arts in strengthening cultural identity and solidifying national heritage, and building bridges with other nations.

She lauded Angawi for preserving and developing the traditions of the Hijaz region.

Among those in attendance were the IFC’s Director Makhtar Diop, officials, diplomats and artists.


Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan

Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan
Updated 3 min 15 sec ago
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Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan

Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Japan, Ghazi Faisal Binzagr, on Thursday presented his diplomatic credentials to Emperor Naruhito during a reception at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The envoy, who took up his post in January, conveyed to the emperor the greetings and appreciation of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and their best wishes to the government of Japan and its people for their continued progress and prosperity, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.


MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer

 MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer
Updated 11 min 54 sec ago
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MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer

 MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer
  • Ahmad AlAmmary talks about MDLBEAST vision, his own musical background for 6th season of ‘The Mayman Show’

Riyadh: MDLBEAST is building a tribe for the region’s music lovers through its initiatives such as the Soundstorm festival, the platform’s Chief Creative Officer Ahmad AlAmmary, also known as DJ Baloo, said. The Saudi veteran DJ and producer with over 20 years of experience under his belt sat down with Arab News’ “The Mayman Show” for the launch of its sixth season, talking about MDLBEAST’s ambitions and his own background.

His role taps into his ability to find solutions on many levels, he shared.

 

 

“It’s been my role since the onset of this whole project. My background sits between design thinking, brand development, and brand strategy, and music,” the COO said, adding that the role feels like a perfect fit for him.

“Creatively, you know, every day is its own day. There’s no system for creativity. Its context is whatever comes your way, whatever problem you’re solving — that’s where your creativity sits,” he said.

AlAmmary said it was MDLBEAST’s goal to become involved in all facets of the creative music industry since its launch in 2019.

 

 

“From the onset, the big splash was Soundstorm, but we had every intention of launching our record labels, our music conferences, and XP Music Future,” he said.

The platform launched around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which provided an opportunity for it to focus on entertaining.

“So, whether or not you (could) go to an event, we were still around there to … provide the music and to provide the entertainment,” AlAmmary said.

After pandemic restrictions eased, it allowed him and the team to stay on the path they paved. MDLBEAST started with flagship live events and some record labels.

 

 

“We had … launched MDLBEAST Records, Qabo, Wattar, Maestro-Lab and, most recently, Mahoul Records. Each of these labels, for example, serves … a niche. Above and beyond, our conference is a really unique experience that gathers people from around the region. We have a day and night experience. During the day, it’s all about learning and networking, connecting, and collaborating. And at night, that turns into a regional music showcase,” AlAmmary said.

MDLBEAST highlights up-and-coming brands that are leading the underground scene of Saudi music across a variety of genres, the COO said.

“It’s just been, you know, a lot of fun … but also a lot of … work. We’re turning around projects left and right,” he said, adding that the platform is now “diving into venues” with the launch of Beast House, for example, “Riyadh’s first music and creative members club,” according to the MDLBEAST website.

 

 

“We developed these smaller pop-up events, with more intimate settings,” AlAmmary said, explaining that the events take place in spaces that have been abandoned, giving MDLBEAST space to flex its creative muscles.

“We can take over and create an experience that is very unique,” he said. “We saw that with Tahlia in Jeddah and Irqah in Riyadh, the abandoned hospital … We’re looking at all of these different spaces and projects as … fun experiences that we can create for our people and platforms for musicians to shine.”

Speaking about his own background, AlAmmary says he owes his creative attributes to his very musical family.

 

 

“My eldest brother, Khalid, actually, he was kind of like the cultural center of our family. Everything from film to music, design, art, you know, we always had a deep interest in the arts because of his influence. Especially with me and house music — that’s where I learned it. I learned it from Khalid,” he said.

The DJ and producer developed an interest in music at an early age.

“By the time I was 17, I already had a collection of music,” he said. “Years later, you know, I started to get things like a residency in Bahrain … I would just travel to Beirut and the gigs would appear.”

 


3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi

3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi
Updated 18 min 45 sec ago
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3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi

3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi
  • VOX Cinemas will host 21 European films over the one-week event
  • The line-up features movies that have won awards including Oscars and the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival

RIYADH: The third European Film Festival begins next week, taking place in both Riyadh and Jeddah for the first time.
The event, which will run from May 29 to June 6, is being launched by the European Union Delegation to the Kingdom in conjunction with the embassies of EU member states and Arabia Pictures.
It will be hosted at VOX Cinemas Century Corner in Riyadh and the newly opened VOX Cinemas Jeddah Park in Jeddah.
This year the festival is bigger than ever, with 21 European films from countries including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
The line-up features movies that have won awards including Oscars and the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.
EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Christophe Farnaud said: “I am glad that the European Film Festival has become a landmark event on the Kingdom’s cultural calendar. The festival has been expanding year by year and this time around we are not only showcasing more movies, but also bringing the festival to Jeddah. I hope that this will allow even more Saudi film enthusiasts to attend the festival’s many film screenings and side events.”
Ahmed Teama, CEO of Arabia Pictures, expressed his pleasure at extending the collaboration with the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia for a third consecutive year.
He lauded the festival as one of the most significant cinematic events in the Kingdom, highlighting its unique appeal to a devoted audience of international cinema enthusiasts.
Aimed at facilitating cultural exchange and promoting European cinema, the festival will also foster contacts between European and Saudi filmmakers.
Among the guests will be Oscar-winning Austrian film director Stefan Ruzowitzky, who will give a special masterclass.
Also attending will be director Kyriakos Tofaridis and screenwriter/director Mijke de Jong as well as Robert Higgins and Patrick McGivney, from Cyprus, the Netherlands and Ireland respectively, who will meet the audiences and run an open conversation with filmmakers and film enthusiasts.
All side-events are free of charge and will take place at VOX Cinemas Century Corner in Riyadh.
Cinema enthusiast Meshal Al-Mutairi told Arab News: “I have seen movies during previous EU film fests and like their movie selection.”
For more information about the festival program or to buy tickets, visit https://arabiapictures.sa/EuroFest or https://ksa.voxcinemas.com


Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts

Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts
Updated 18 min 26 sec ago
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Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts

Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday received his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg in Riyadh, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

At the beginning of the meeting, Prince Faisal welcomed Schallenberg and his accompanying delegation, wishing them a pleasant stay.

The two sides reviewed ties between the Kingdom and Austria, and ways to support and enhance relations, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues.

Prince Faisal also received the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Taye Atske Selassie for talks on developing bilateral ties and joint cooperation, the foreign ministry said.