(MENAFN - Arab News) The organizers of the Jeddah summer festival 33 announced that those who violate the festival rules like charging unreasonable prices from customers will be put on a blacklist and that such violators will be barred from taking part in the event next year. Preparations for the 35-day long festival, which will be kicked off on June 6 and end on July 12, are in full swing.
Addressing a press conference at the headquarters of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) here yesterday, Mazen Batterjee, deputy chairman of JCCI, said that Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal will open the festival at the Jeddah Equestrian Club. Several prominent figures, including Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed, who is also chairman of the Tourism Development Council and the Higher Committee for the Festival, will be present on the occasion.
He said that this year's festival would feature as many as 150 activities including cultural, social, sports, and entertainment events, targeting all sections of the society as well as visitors to the city. Jeddah corniche, leading commercial centers, malls, parks, and public squares will be main venues of the event. Batterjee also highlighted the significance of the festival, ever since it launched in 1999, in further promoting the domestic tourism and attracting a large number of visitors to Jeddah, the Bride of the Red Sea. It is expected that the festival would attract around 2 million visitors from around the Kingdom and abroad and generate an income of over SR5 billion.
Batterjee said that 11 working teams are exerting efforts to make the grand festival a resounding success. "As part of the festival, there will be grand draws, of which the winners will get cars and electronic appliances, in addition to gold prizes worth a total of SR2 million. The hotel and hospitality sector will take part in the festival with a "hospitality month" during which European, Asian, American and Arabian dishes and cuisines will be offered with attractive discounts.
Spelling out the major features of this year's festival, Khaled Al-Harithy, chairman of the festival's executive committee, said that there would be a spectacular dancing fountains show in the pattern of the fountains in Dubai Summer Festival. The fountain near the Equestrian Club would cost an estimated SR2 million. There will be a display of fireworks at 11 p.m. on every Thursday at Al-Nawras Square and south Obhur, in addition to dolphin show, sports and games, comedy show, circus and programs for children. More than 8000 people are expected to attend the poetry evening, and other cultural programs.
Al-Harithy said that a huge amount of SR15 million was earmarked for publicizing the event and that was in coordination with the sponsors. "A contract has been signed with a transport company to carry tourists and visitors to various festival spots for the first time in the history of the festival. The Tourism Development Council will make available of a toll free number in order to know about the activities of the festival as well as discounts and offers at hotels," he said adding that anyone can contact on this number to inform about violations of any sectors serving the visitors. The information center at King Abdulaziz International Airport will work around the clock, he added.
Adnan Mandura, secretary general of JCCI, was also attended the press conference. Another press conference will be held on May 28 to brief the media on final preparations of the festival.