Dhafar cultural festival [Archives:2004/769/Community]

September 2 2004
Culture minister, governor of Ibb and group of officials visiting Dhafar museum
Culture minister, governor of Ibb and group of officials visiting Dhafar museum
By Salah Saleh Ahmed
YT staff, Taiz

Events of the second weeklong tourist festival got underway on Saturday 21/08/04 in the Dhofar area. The activities were organized by the Ibb Governorate in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture & Tourism, in order to promote awareness for local history, and promote tourism in what has been earmarked to become the tourist capital of Yemen.
The head of the ministry, Khaled al-Rowaishan, emphasized the importance that these festivals have acquired, bringing attention, as they do, to the area concerned and encouraging internal and external tourism. He added that he hoped that the rest of the governorates would adopt the same steps taken in Ibb. In a declaration to Yemen Times, al-Rowaishan said “Dhofar town is a historical location and contains ancient sites and objects of interest. The festival itself is an excellent one and we are enthusiastic about its prospects”. He went on to announce the Ministry's intention to enlarge and develop Dhofar Museum next month, and extended his felicitations to the council.
Mr. Amin al-Warafi, the general secretary to the local council in the Governorate, drew attention to the fact that the sum total of the investment applications during this year has exceeded $30m, which success can be attributed to the festival. A Qatarian businessman Abdullah al-Jaber is one such interested party, who has disclosed his intention to establish a tourist resort at a value of $15m next year.
The festival committee proceeded to deliver two speeches, the second of which, from Miss Najeebah al-Ma'mari, the general secretary of the Local council in the al-Naderah District, dealt with the goals of the festival, its importance, and the role women play in its success. The audience was then entertained by traditional dances, performed alongside the folksongs and chants of bands from al-Naderah, Ba'dan, al-Suddah, al-A'smas, and Yerim districts.
The Minister of Culture & Tourism, accompanied by a number of Parliament members, in addition to a number of the governors, made a visit during the day, to the Dhofar museum, and inaugurated the exhibits which included various arts and crafts, ancient jewels and traditional clothing. On Sunday, the culture center hall played host to a conference entitled “Sites and Opportunities for Tourism Investment in the Ibb Governorate” during which Mr. Amin al-Warafi, the General Secretary of the local council, underlined the importance of tourism in the Ibb region. Meanwhile, Mr. Abdo Mehdi, the General Manager of the General Authority for Tourism Development handled the constituents and sites of the tourism areas, the elements of tourism produce and the sites selected for prospective development.