The Abha Summer Festival 2022, under the slogan of “Above the Mountains,” will be kicked off in the Sama Abha region on Thursday. The events of the festival, which would run through until Sept. 24, will be held in six entertainment areas, on a total area spreading over 126,000 square meters.
This was announced by senior officials of the Asir Development Authority (ASDA) in a press conference held on Wednesday. The press conference was also attended by representatives of the relevant bodies such as the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, the Saudi Tourism Commission, and the Heritage Commission.
Festival Director Hatem Al-Harbi said that all the event venues are geared up to receive the visitors and that is with the support of a number of government agencies in the region. He said that the festival enjoys the support and keenness of Emir of Asir and Chairman of ASDA Prince Turki Bin Talal. The emir has given direct instructions to all government and service sectors to provide everything that would facilitate access to the sites of events with field activation of the goodwill initiative under the slogan of “Your guest is a guest of all of Asir.”
Al-Harbi said that the festival offers many entertainment programs and events across six entertainment areas such as Asir bounties; carnival and adventures; children’s area; shopping and retail areas, the Mivana area, and a village for entertainment and arts.
He said there will be more than 1,000 job opportunities for local people in the fields of organization and event management. They will be provided with the necessary expertise in the fields of tourism, entertainment and marketing. The festival is being organized in a way ensuring that the economic returns would positively reflect on all segments of the society.
He said that the festival creates an entertainment and tourist destination for the visitors, who can have access to the festival by booking tickets electronically via the Spirit of Saudi Arabia platform. There will be 3,000 car parking spaces in the courtyards of King Khalid University in Qoraiqer in addition to 2,000 parking areas opposite the festival ground, apart from 400 parking lots for the senior citizens. There will be shuttle bus services to and from the event grounds.
On his part, Eng. Yousef Al-Badr, head of the Asir National Parks Committee, who represented the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, called on the local community, visitors and vacationers to preserve vegetation cover by avoid logging and not lighting fires in places other than the designated places. “The center has launched an awareness campaign under the slogan #Sustainable Parks. It aims to follow responsible and conscious behaviors towards these natural resources and avoid actions affecting their safety and sustainability,” he said.
Eng. Abdulaziz Al Ghanem, director general of the branch of the Heritage Commission in the Asir region, said that the commission permitted receiving visitors in three heritage sites such as the Rijal Almaa village, the archaeological site of Jarash, and the Heritage House in Al-Namas. He said that there are facilities to visit more than 24 cultural heritage sites scattered in the governorates of the region.
During the press conference, the representative of the Saudi Tourism Commission made a presentation of the Saudi interactive map, during which he demonstrated the interactive map of Asir and how it contributes to guiding tourists and visitors to the region and introducing them to the sites, tourist facilities and entertainment events. Interactive maps are available through the Spirit of Saudi Arabia website and application, which provides all information about tourist destinations and attractions in Asir and the Kingdom, including images and information, as well as location map features to access locations and the ability to plan and book trips.
On his part, Dr. Nasser Al Qamishan, director general of social development at the Asir Region Development Authority, said that the 4th edition of the goodwill initiative under the slogan “Your guest is the guest of all of Asir” would continue this year also. This concept will be based on the culture of welcoming and bidding farewell to visitors of Asir and providing them with the finest services to enhance the real culture of welcome that has been part of the custom of the people of the region since ancient times.