Coffee beans festival turns Saudi Arabia’s Jazan region into a cultural hub

      Published on Thursday, 6 February , 2020      1102 Views     
Coffee beans festival turns Saudi Arabia’s Jazan region into a cultural hub

For the seventh year in a row, a bustling crowd of farmers and families gathered in Al-Dayer governorate,

in the eastern part of the mountainous Jazan region of Saudi Arabia, to participate in the Coffee Beans Festival, which concluded on Tuesday.

For six days, about 200 farmers — nearly three times the size of previous festivals — displayed a variety of coffee products to visitors eager to try out various coffee beans, aromas and tastes from the surrounding areas.

Although Jazan continues to be known for its most famous Khawlani coffee bean, the increase in visitors, farmers and leisure activities at this year’s festival marked a palpable shift in a region that is increasingly popular for its natural landscape, heritage and economic opportunities.

The event offered an enhanced program for visitors, in the form of a cinema playing films about the importance of coffee, a line of stalls offering home cooked dishes by women from the area, highlights from a local museum that reveal Jazan’s rich history, and numerous boutiques selling local honey, perfumes, garments and jewelry, with the latter incorporating the local coffee bean.

Hussain Hadi Al-Malki, an award-winning coffee farmer and owner of Mefraz, a local coffee brand, told Arab News that this year’s festival was significantly larger than that of 2019.

An elderly vendor beckons visitors to his booth at the Jazan Coffee Beans Festival. (AN photo by Mohammed Albaijan)

“We now have more farmers,” said Al-Malki. “Private businesses have started to invest in coffee. The number of visitors is increasing yearly.”

Al-Malki, who hails from Al-Dayer governorate, added: “Some young farmers are utilizing modern technology in displaying and promoting their coffee.

“They are also now using a special type of packing materials to preserve their products and keep its attractive smell for as long a time as possible.”

The festival featured more than five new coffee brand names, all created by young farmers from Jazan.

“This year nearly 100 women participated in the festival, around 70 percent more than previous years,” said Mohammad Jibran Al-Maliki, chairman of the tourism committee in Al-Salma.

Speaking to Arab News, Suada Al-Aleely, a vendor selling homemade food, pointed to the importance of the festival as a social gathering place for families and friends. “We don’t only sell home-produced dolma and traditional dishes like aseeda, but also meet up friends and spend a good period of time together,” she said.

Category Culture, Events | 2020/02/06 latest update at 2:44 PM
Source : Arab News | Photocredit : Google
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