Curtains fell over the 27th Janadriyah National Heritage and Culture Festival Friday night. The 14-day festival at Janadriyah village in the suburbs of Riyadh had pavilions for 13 administrative provinces in the Kingdom in addition to numerous stalls for private and public sector establishments. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah inaugurated the festival in which South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was the guest of honor on Feb. 8.
The public response to the festival was unprecedented. More than 9.5 million people visited the festival. The last four days were set apart for women visitors.
Expressing satisfaction at the success of the event, Minister of State and Member of the Council of Ministers Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who is also chairman of the supreme committee of the festival, said the events reflected the cultural and artistic heritage of all regions in the Kingdom.
“While our country is rapidly developing in diverse spheres in the present time, it is highly significant to organize programs that will ensure preservation of our heritage from extinction so it can serve as a guiding lantern and become a matter of pride to future generations,” the prince said in a statement quoted by the Saudi Press Agency on Friday.
The prince said visitors could see how the Kingdom earned its present symbolic and spiritual status among the world Muslim population, apart from its economic development.
“For the history and culture of the Kingdom, space and time were condensed to 14 days at Janadriyah so that anyone who is interested in the affairs of the Kingdom could view them at close quarters,” the prince said.
The prince also promised that the next edition of the festival would have more glamorous events than this year.
The prince concluded the statement with thanks to all artists, media persons and officials for making the event a huge success.
Vast preparations were made for the coverage of the event. A 700-strong team of media personnel covered the festival’s cultural activities live on TV. Saudi Television prepared a special channel called Reality TV to cover this year’s festival.
King Abdullah ordered the cancellation of two major events, a musical opera and Ardha dance, as a gesture of Saudi Arabia’s solidarity with the people of Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Tunis.