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Uncovering Saudi Culture’s Roots in Souk Okaz

For 1,500 years, the Souk Okaz Festival has convened poetry contests, thrown horse shows and workshops dedicated to creating traditional textiles. The festival has grown to be a go-to annual meetup for those wishing to discover Saudi Arabia’s roots. Head there in July, on the Ta’if mountains, some 130 kilometers from Jeddah.

The Ta’if Region is situated east of Mecca and is famous for its grapes, pomegranate, figs, roses, honey, and its annual festival and marketplace, Souk Okaz.

For ten days, in this mountainous town in the middle of the desert one can embark on a discovery of the foundations of Saudi culture through shows, performances of traditional clothing, handicraft, painting and textiles. Souk Okaz is a unique chance to dive into a thousand year old culture.