AN APPRECIATION ceremony was held at Setia Pahlawan Hall of Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism yesterday for those involved in the Brunei December Festival 2018, according to a press release by the Tourism Development Department at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.
The guest of honour was Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong. Also present were the permanent secretary, deputy permanent secretaries, foreign dignitaries, members of the Brunei Tourism Board, travel agents, hoteliers, strategic partners and event organisers of Brunei December Festival 2018.
The second Brunei December Festival had over 60 events compared to 40 events last year whereby His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam officially launched the festival on December 2 and went on to participate in the accompanying cycling event through the capital.
The festival offered various events – an International Food Festival, Culture and Creative Arts, Islamic Festival, Sports and Adventures and various fun-filled activities.
Some highlights of the Brunei December Festival in the past four weeks included the 1st Brunei Unexpected Kingdom Ultra Marathon organised by Begawan Athlete Enterprise which had 419 participants with 16 international runners from Hungary, France and Germany.
The Green Jewel Night Run organised for the third consecutive year by CARE organisation had over 400 participants with some international runners from the USA, New Zealand and Morocco.
The Jungle Quest organised by EnTee Event Management had 17 international participants and Asian MTB Challenge held at the Berakas Forest Reserve had 20 international participants. There were some international film shows brought in by Origin Films with the support from some of the embassies and high commissions in Brunei Darussalam.
A renowned chef Juna was brought in by the Indonesian Embassy during the Fabulous Culinary of Indonesia, Chef Arnaud Tabarec for French Savoir Faire cooking class organised by the Alliance Francaise and Singapore Food Festival organised by Royal Brunei Catering with the support of Singapore High Commission that offered Singapore’s Kampong Cuisine from Restaurant Maimunah.
Participants from ASEAN took part in the 1st ASEAN Rover Moot, Open Arm Wrestling Championship, 1st Open Brunei Double Dart Competition, Brunei Mountain Bike Temburong Chapter, Open RC Powerboat Race, as well as the Shitokai International Open Karate Do Championship.
There were also several events that have gained popularity and attracted huge crowd such as the Muslim Youth Camp, Alpha Challenge, BelaitFest, Splat Paintball Tournament. Themed Events and Expos were also among the activities organised during the school holidays such as art exhibition called Raja Julangan Kasih Rakyat by Atelier Hui Fong, Story of Lights at Jerudong Park Playground, DST Carnival and the Farmer Market Postcard from local farmers where delicious local cuisine was served by Eco Ponies Garden; and the White Sand Safari that offered a unique dining experience on white sand or popularly known as Pasir Putih in Malay.
Some events that are still ongoing until the middle of January 2019 are the Drone Race and Rise Up, Brunei Traditional Archery Festival, Brunei Martial Arts International Training Camp and the Brunei Salebration that will go on till early February 2019.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali presented certificates of appreciation to the event organisers, while Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali presented certificates of appreciation to strategic partners, as a token of appreciation for their contribution to the success of organising the Brunei December Festival 2018.
The festival was initiated by the Brunei Tourism Board in collaboration with ministries and private sectors as well as relevant stakeholders, with the objective of increasing the number of tourist arrivals to Brunei by developing an annual calendar of events to attract both local and international visitors.
The festival also involved over 400 youth from all four districts as volunteers to support the event organisers in their operations and logistics of their events and activities.