JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – The 17th Taif Rose Festival is underway, with visitors flocking to the fragrant rose farms that are exclusive to the mountainous Al – Shafa and Al – Hada regions.
The festival attracts visitors every spring from around the country to experience the process of turning the roses into the world’s most expensive fragrant oils.
It coincides with the start of the rose – picking season, lasting from mid – March until the beginning of April.
The Taif Rose – named after its place of origin – requires a specific environment to grow and gain its distinct scent.
Its aroma permeates the city during its peak in the springtime and distinguished the rose from any other, captivating visitors from the moment they enter the city until they leave it.
At the festival, visitors will get to take part in making these fragrances and products by learning about the stages of picking, distilling, and producing the roses.
Every year, the mountain peaks of Al – Tiaf – also known as the City of Roses – are decorated with a blanket of pink hues of the same exclusive rose.
The rose bushes grow upward from the valley of Mahram or Wadi Mahram to Al – Hada, and finally the 2,500 – meter high altitudes of Al – Shafa mountain to the south of the city.
The Taif Rose is processed by cooking and distilling it, a complex process that takes about 12 hours to turn the flower into a fragrance.
Other products made and extracted from the rose are rose water and rose oil.
Thriving at high altitudes, the 30 – petal pink rose is an integral part of Al – Taif’s economy and identity as an exclusive rose perfume – producing city.
Al – Taif is considered the primary exporter of rose fragrance in the Kingdom and the Middle East, with approximately 900 rose farms producing over 300 million flowers every March through April.
Upon harvesting, the Taif Rose is distilled and processed into the world’s priciest and most indulgent rose oil. This is incorporated into the perfumes of local and international high – end brands such as Jimmy Choo and Givenchy.
The Taif Rose Festival has been held every year since 2005, and other Saudi cities are also holding flower festivals in time for spring.
Al – Jubail is organizing a 14 – day flower exhibition, with more than 105 different bodies participating, on the waterfront in Jubail Industrial City.
This annual flower show is part of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu’s aim to create an attractive social environment and to enhance the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in activating the role of tourism in the country, providing entertainment for residents and visitors of the city, while also revitalizing economic movement.