- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi spring flower festival in full bloom
- Date: 11th April 2013
- Summary: TAIF, SAUDI ARABIA (APRIL 09, 2013) (REUTERS ) VISITORS ARRIVING AT FLOWER FESTIVAL TWO WOMEN WALKING PAST BANNER READING IN ARABIC: 'THE NINTH TAIF FLOWER FESTIVAL' MORE OF VISITORS ARRIVING AT FLOWER FESTIVAL BANNER READING IN ARABIC: 'CARPET OF FLOWERS' SAUDI FLAG PLACED IN THE MIDDLE OF CARPET OF FLOWERS VARIOUS OF CARPET OF FLOWERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TARIQ KHAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE GENERAL AUTHORITY FOR TOURISM AND ANTIQUITIES IN TAIF, SAYING: "There are more than 750 Taif flower farms, they produce more than 290 million flowers, and make more than 20 thousand small Perfume bottles. The flower harvest season starts from 15 March to 30 April." VARIOUS OF FLOWER DISPLAYS PICTURE OF SAUDI KING ON WALL MADE OF FLOWERS VARIOUS OF CHILDREN PAINTING FLOWERS AT THE FESTIVAL VARIOUS OF MAN PLAYING WITH BALLS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AHMED AL JUA`AIDI, TOUR GUIDE, SAYING: "Taif is rich with it's geographical diversity and historical legacy and it is a beautiful district for many tourists who come from provinces and from the Mecca region as well as all the cities in the Kingdom." A FAMILY TAKING PICTURES AT THE FESTIVAL MORE OF FLOWERS FLORAL DECORATIONS WITH PICTURES OF SAUDI KING BANNER READING IN ARABIC: 'CACTUS GARDEN' VISITORS LOOKING AT CACTUS SURROUNDED BY FLOWERS VARIOUS OF CACTUS IN THE GARDEN MORE OF VISITORS AT THE FESTIVAL BANNER READING IN ARABIC: 'CONTENTS OF GREEN HOUSES' SAUDI FAMILY TOURING ONE OF THE GREENHOUSES VARIOUS OF FLOWERS AND PLANTS INSIDE GREENHOUSE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AHMED AL OBIAKAN, MEDIA SPOKESPERSON FOR THE FLOWER FESTIVAL ,SAYING: "There is no doubt that the perfumes made out of the Taif flowers are the best perfumes in the world, even when compared to world prices, they are still considered the most expensive perfumes in the world." VARIOUS OF TAIF FLOWER PERFUME STORE TAIF FLOWER PERFUMES IN BOTTLES VARIOUS OF MAN FILLING PLASTIC BAGS WITH FLOWERS TEA TRAY WITH FLOWERS MAN SERVING TEA MIXED WITH FLOWER'S WATER
- Embargoed: 26th April 2013 13:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: General,People
- Reuters ID: LVA2JYLQ4HSWTNG0H7XFL2FQ3MZ8
- Story Text: To celebrate the arrival of spring, Saudi Arabia is holding a flower festival in Taif city, near Mecca.
The event, now into its ninth year attracted hundreds of flower farmers from across the region, who are keen to display their blooms.
Many of the flowers here are used to make perfume, and according to Saudi officials more than 20 thousand small perfume bottles can be produced from one harvest.
"There are more than 750 Taif flower farms, they produce more than 290 million flowers, and make more than 20 thousand small Perfume bottles. The flower harvest season starts from 15 March to 30 April," said Tariq Khan, executive director of the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities in Taif city.
A huge floral carpet with different varieties of flowers was one of the main attractions at the event.
The city of Taif, on the slopes of the Sarawat Mountains is known for its fertile land and cooler climate. Many Saudis looking to escape the scorching Summer heat often flock to the region to holiday here.
"Taif is rich with it's geographical diversity and historical legacy and it is a beautiful district for many tourists who come from provinces and from the Mecca region as well as all the cities in the Kingdom," said Ahmed al-Jua'aidi, one of the tour guides at the festival.
It isn't only flower traders who take advantage of the fair, but families also come to see the floral displays, with a number of events also being held for children.
But one of the most important flowers here is the Taif Rose, known for its intense and deep smell. It's this flower that produces essential oils that are turned into luxury scents.
"There is no doubt that the perfumes made out of the Taif flowers are the best perfumes in the world, even when compared to world prices, they are still considered the most expensive perfumes in the world," said Ahmed al-Obiakan, the media spokesperson for the flower festival.
As well as perfumes the roses are also used to make tea and rose water, with festival attendees able to sample the locally produced products.
Saudi Arabia is one the main markets for fragrances alongside the United Arab Emirates, accounting for 827.5 million U.S. dollars and 205.8 million U.S. dollars respectively in 2010, according to Euromonitor International.
By 2014, fragrance sales are expected to grow 14.4 percent in Saudi Arabia and 16.5 percent in the UAE.
Some perfume businessmen predict even faster growth due to a higher number of international players moving into the Middle Eastern fragrance market and rising competition.
The people of the Arabian Peninsula have used oud from the agarwood tree, frankincense and myrrh since the third century B.C., as incense and to turn the area into a trading hub on the "Incense Road" between the Indian Ocean and the markets of Greece and Rome.
Arabian households have burned scented woodchips, or bakhoor, to perfume their homes and clothes for centuries, and it's a tradition that remains strong.
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