His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), has recently announced the launch of the “Souk Okaz” award for handicrafts, in Riyadh. Emphasizing the importance of the award, HRH Prince Sultan said, “This award comes in accordance with the government’s efforts to support artisans and encourage them to continue to perform their activities.” In this respect, HRH referred to the efforts of SCTA and its partners in providing the required support to artisans through rehabilitation and training programs involving them in tourism events and organizing exclusive handicraft markets in historic sites and in shopping centers.
The launch of the award was announced at a press conference on the margin of the Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM) 2010, which ended its events successfully in Riyadh on Thursday, April 1, 2010. HRH disclosed that, the Supreme Committee of Souk Okaz Award in Taif under the chairmanship of HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Amir of Makka, has agreed to set aside an award in the name of “Souk Okaz” for handicrafts. The award is earmarked be given to artisans within the Souk Okaz heritage events this year.
The president of SCTA, stated: “SCTA is giving great attention to the sector of traditional industries and handicrafts. We hope to witness an issuance of a national program similar of Al Janadriah festival under the slogan “Bari” (skilled). The program was submitted to the government, and it is under study by the Majlis Al Shora and aims to promote handicrafts and traditional industries in the kingdom in an organized and institutional mechanism. The program was prepared in collaboration with eight ministries.”