Curtains raised on Brunei December Fest

Azlan Othman

The Brunei December Festival (BDF) 2021 kicked off yesterday, organised by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) through the Brunei Tourism Board.

BDF will feature events organised by the public and private sectors, foreign missions in Brunei Darussalam, and local event management companies, said Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong at a press conference yesterday.

The BDF aims to encourage the populace to enjoy having vacations in the country while promoting the Sultanate as a tourism attraction. It also serves to provide activities for citizens to engage in during the month-long school holiday.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, most events and activities for this year’s BDF will be held virtually, while physical events must follow strict guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the Ministry of Health.

A total of 48 event organisers are participating in the Brunei December Festival (BDF), which will run until December 31.

The Tourism Development Department under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) held a virtual to mark its opening yesterday.

Among the 42 virtual events to be expected are Virtual Hockey Clinic, 5th Brunei Film Blitz, The Tiny Lit Fest, Comic Discussion, Virtual Cooking Class, Online Shopping, E-Sports Competition and Coding Conquest Hackaton.

Eight physical events will be organised including a Jawi Writing Workshop and Calligraphy Expo at Centre for Islamic Art Studies and Calligraphy of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Costume Run, and OneCity Expo 2021.

AKIF Event Management Strategy and Marketing Manager said event managers have the opportunity to organise creative events due to the unique nature of this year’s BDF, incorporating the public’s interest especially in conjunction with the month-long December school holiday.

For physical events, event organisers and the public are reminded to always adhere to SOPs and COVID-19 Transition Phase Guidelines by ensuring only visitors with green and yellow BruHealth codes allowed entry, ensure participants are fully vaccinated, conduct body temperature check, ensure correct use of face mask, providing disinfectants or hand sanitisers, and practise social distancing of at least 1.5 metres.

For events held indoors, organisers must ensure adequate ventilation and capacity not exceeding 50 per cent or over 200 people at one time.

The Tourism Development Department will be constantly monitoring and will make inspections to event premises to ensure guidelines and SOPs are complied with.