Al-Balda Festival, Colorful and Interesting Events in Hadramout


President Saleh inaugurated Al-Mukalla's seventh Al-Balda festival on July 15th in Balfaqeeh Centre and Khor Al-Mukalla. The festival events where people gathered joyfully started in the afternoon and lasted until the late evening. An annual event reflecting tourism, culture and Hadramout heritage


Hadramout Governor, Salem Ahmad Al-Khanbashi, washed himself in Al-Mukalla's coastal waters as a way of starting the festival events. He said that the festival helps Yemen by encouraging tourism and activating investment opportunities as it attracts a large number of tourists. Al-Khanbashi added that the festival gave Hadramout governorate a special feeling in that it was active and different to what people were used to.

He said that the festival has become a social and economic event that people in Hadramout now expected every year. The local authorities worked in cooperation with the private sector in organizing and preparing the festival. There were some obstacles that faced the festival such as the small number of sponsors and the frequent electricity cuts after Al-Rayan power station faced problems.

Sponsoring the festival locally next year

The governor stressed that the local authorities said that next year a budget will be allocated especially for the festival to cover all its events and activities as the Ministry of Tourism did not sponsor it as one of the official annual festivals. He thanked the local authority in the governorate, the Khailat Bakshan Development Authority and TOTAL Oil Company as they worked to make the festival successful.

Unique festival

The executive foundation is Bait Al-Khebra - the 'House of Experience' - that prepared the seventh Al-Balda festival. The head of the foundation, Mohammad Bader Ba Salma, called on people to exploit the festival.

He said that the foundation did its best to promote for the festival inside and outside of Yemen amongst tourists and all people coming to Hadramout. He said that Hadramout has many outstanding monuments and is rich in cultural places.

He added that the festival will help Yemen in its economy by bringing in investment opportunities and that tourism will flourish if the festival is well promoted. Ba Salma said that the mangers of the festival are working in order to make it one of the official festivals in coming years and that the government should sponsor it.

The head of the House of Experience Foundation said that on the first night when President Saleh attended, about 400 dancers and a singer performed.

Ja'afar Salem Ba Hoaireth, the head of the technical committee, said that the first and second Al-Balda festivals were organized on limited funds. However, the former governor of Hadramout Abdulkader Ali Hilal formed a special administration for the festival in 2006 and the festival was registered...

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