Yanbu Flower Festival 2017: World’s Largest Flower Carpet


The eleventh annual Yanbu Flowers and Gardens Festival opened to the public last March 14, 2017 and will be running until April 7, 2017 in the Yanbu Celebration Park or Yanbu Flower Festival Park. The event attracts thousands of visitors each year from the neighboring towns and cities.





    This is my fourth ‘spring’ here Yanbu but it is just my first time to visit the event.




    Yanbu Flower Festival Entrance is Free


    There is no admission fee but be prepared to spend some if you’re a food tripper as there are many food kiosks in the food court area, which I was told is way bigger than last year’s. There are also lots of stores inside (I wanted to get myself a shark balloon) but I liked the ‘garden’ shops the most. They even sell or have in display some banana plants (which we found funny).

    Open Hours

    The park is open at around 4:30 pm to 11:00 pm, according to a friend of a friend who’s a contractor for the event. Shops inside are closed during prayer times, i.e. around 4:00 pm, 06:40 pm, and 7:50 pm.

    Whenever there is an event like this, even as huuuge as this, information will always be very hard to get. We don’t even know what time it opens in the morning (or if it does at all). Nevertheless, it was very interesting to see the colorful sea of flowers at night. After all, we’re used to going outside at night like the locals do.


    What’s inside the Yanbu Flower Festival


    The annual event is launched by the Royal Commission for Yanbu and participated by various companies which showcase their products mostly related to gardening and agriculture, and some have informative exhibits and interactive displays about the environment (e.g. recycling).

    As mentioned, there are shops inside, too – foods, accessories, toys, and garden and agriculture items.

    There are recreations, too, like the go-cart that one ride should take you to a whopping I-am-not-sure-but-no-more-or-less-than 100-meter ride. Best way to spend 1 minute of your life. And money. (But we didn’t ask how much.)

    (But the best things in life are free.) The main attraction of course is the carpet of flowers that just got (regained, actually) the Guinness World Record. The carpet covers an area of 16,134 square meters and is made mostly of petunias and marigold.


    SAUDI VISION 2030

    Without a drone or being on an elevated ground, figuring what the design is ‘saying’ from ground level is next to impossible. There’s a viewing deck built for elevated viewing but we saw it close to 11 pm so we didn’t try and it seemed closed already anyway. The flowers are arranged to read, “SAUDI VISION 2030″, aka the National Transformation Program.


    Photos

    Below are the photos taken that night. I don’t have any ‘sturdy’ and tall tripod with me but I used my 8 year old flexible tripod, so pretty much any long exposure photos (and group shots) were taken from ground level, from the top of a bin, or a bench.




















    The Flower Carpet, made from marigold and petunia.













    The first ‘zero’ (0) of the ‘2030′ is a ten point star (or flower) with the Saudi emblem (palm and swords) in the middle.









    Location of the Yanbu Flower Festival Exhibit





    Thousands of visitors come from Yanbu alone, and many still come from as far as Jeddah, Madinah, and Tabuk (and who knows where else). Yanbu locals or anyone who has been living here for a little while will know where to go, but first time visitor will not have difficulty in looking for the place.


    Some additional references:

    http://yanbuflowers.com/Festival-11/
    http://vision2030.gov.sa/en
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Vision_2030

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