Buraidah’s long history as a crossroad for trade caravans, has resulted in a rich gastronomy and agriculture heritage, and shaped the city’s culture. Its economy is currently being revitalized through gastronomic endeavors, advancing the creative and cultural industries. Though boasting a natural predilection for oasis crops, Buraidah’s agriculturalists have had significant success with cereals, and provide a diverse range of ingredients utilized in the preparation of innovative local dishes. This has resulted in the creation of traditional markets and festivals to celebrate and showcase local dishes, and associated elements of intangible cultural heritage. Throughout the year, Buraidah hosts a number of gastronomic festivals and events, including, the Dates Festival, one of the longest running festivals in the city and the Klija and Traditional Food Festival, featuring Klija, the iconic traditional delicacy. The city has over 2,000 businesses operating in the culinary arts field, a large proportion of which are home-based businesses generating USD 426 million per year. Buraidah is currently making strides in shaping the development of the city’s gastronomy industry, including USD 2.1 million committed to developing professional culinary skills at all levels, and overseeing a USD 3.9 million investment to build state-of-the-art test kitchens, commissary kitchens, and food halls, aimed at strengthening accessibility and participation in the field of culinary culture.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, the following steps will be important:
- Collaborating with the Culinary Arts Commission to achieve the objectives of the Network and develop hubs to promote innovation;
- Promoting policies and measures for sustainable development;
- Sharing the city’s culinary traditions with other member cities through various collaborations, conferences, and exchange programmes so as to deliver sustainable outcomes for its communities;
- Continuing to provide education and training opportunities for those in the gastronomic sector, with the aim of creating culinary excellence within the region; and
- Advocating for creative industries with adequate strategies in place to ensure culture and creativity as a focal point of the city’s future plans.