(MENAFN -Arab News) A total of 500,000 people have visited the Janadriyah festival here since it started last week, a senior official said Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Al-Zamil, commander of the security unit guarding the site, said the figure included male and female visitors. The 29th Janadriyah festival started last Wednesday.
Al-Zamil said there has been a festive atmosphere at the event with no reports of criminal activity or injuries.
The festival, which began in 1985, showcases the customs, traditions, crafts, arts, moral values and ethics of the Kingdom and the Arabian Peninsula.
Leaders of the Kingdom and other countries, writers, artists and scientists visit and participate in the festival. The activities include poetry readings, concerts, singing, exhibitions of books and documents, folk dances, decorative arts, painting, theater, and photography.
There is a particular emphasis on women's activities this year including arts and crafts.
All women including families of expatriates are allowed to visit the festival until Feb. 28 between 3:30 p.m. and midnight. The festival is open to visitors from 3:30 p.m. to midnight week days, and from 3:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. on weekends.
More than 100,000 people have so far visited the Madinah pavilion at the festival, not surprising since it stirs up nostalgia among visitors who walk down the memory lane and relive the lifestyles of an earlier era.
Going hand-in-hand with the display of cultural heritage is the development achieved in the province in the modern era under the guidance of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
''Directives of Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman stressed the need to focus on the cultural heritage of the city and the province while participating in the national heritage festival,'' general supervisor of the province's delegation to the festival Muhammad Al-Noman told Arab News, adding that the program also includes items of various governorates in the province.
The participating governorates are Yanbu, Al-Ula and Khaybar. The Culture and Arts Society of the province is also a major participant in the event. Visitors are impressed by the handicrafts and special dishes of the province, he said.
Women members of the Madinah team present special programs for families with particular stress on ancient heritage activities and history of the province.
Websites of the Madinah house have also been launched on various social media networks, he said.