TAIF: “Treasure to be discovered,” were the words used by the French ambassador to the Kingdom describing the rose oil industry in Taif, after his recent visit to the 14th Taif Rose Festival held at Al-Radf Park and organized by the Taif Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ludovic Pouille toured the old town of Taif at night with representatives from the province and the Ministry of Culture, expressing his happiness to discover the vital market on the eve of the celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr, and to drink traditional coffee in the historic neighborhood of the capital of roses.
He also discovered the traditional professions in the old city of Taif, discussing with the mayor the tourist capacity of the city and opportunities to cooperate with France.
Mesmerized by the fragrance and the pink scenery around him, the envoy walked the roses’ stairway in the festival covered in roses from both sides, describing it as a “stairway to heaven.”
Dr. Ahmed Al-Qathami, mayor of Taif Province, said that the visit of the French envoy reflects the importance and reputation of Taif roses across borders, “one of the most important tools in promoting the Kingdom’s tourism, culture and economy.”
Al-Qathami told Arab News that Taif roses have, throughout history, expressed the cultural identity of Taif city, symbolizing its beauty thanks to their odor and perfume.
“Taif roses are a source of cultural inspiration to all Saudis for whom the roses are a way of life and a cultural destination that attracted dignitaries and important figures throughout history,” he added.
He added that the visit of the French ambassador indicates the depth of friendship and love he has for Saudi Arabia. “This visit reflects his knowledge and appreciation for the efforts made to sustain the Taif rose industry, and develop its products and promote them at local and global levels.”
Al-Qathami pointed out that Taif roses were, and still are, an “honorable image” for Taif province, and all the celebrations and festivals held in the past and the accompanying exhibitions contributed in shaping its identity as a cultural hub that helped in strengthening the
ties of communication between the city and those who love and admire it.
Adel Al-Nimri, a rose factory owner in Al-Hada, Taif, said that the prominent and important figures who visit Taif and admire the great efforts “give us the impetus to continue and improve the product to reach the highest standards of
production, and export them abroad after gaining widespread fame.”
He stressed the importance of caring for the Taif rose industry and teaching people about it for future generations, adding that Taif roses are known for their purity and fragrance.