Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah made a surprise tour on Friday to inspect the security and traffic arrangements for the 2015 Hala February Festival.
The morning tour was followed by the launch of the Festival's opening shows.
The Minister inspected the closed area of the carnival between the location of the Kuwaiti Society of Engineers and the British Embassy.
Traffic was monitored in the area as of 8 a.m. today and will go on until midnight. The Minister also inspected alternative roads aiming to streamline traffic.
During his tour, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid met with senior security officials and policemen of different ranks, urging them to do their best so that Kuwaitis and expats can enjoy the occasion.
Festival attendants enjoy not only shopping, but also music concerts, poetry recitals and cultural seminars, besides other activities.
Several citizens and expats told KUNA how Hala February boosts the market, especially domestic tourism, with various activities over a whole month, marking in the meantime Kuwait's National and Liberation Days.
The Festival offers fantastic chances for shopping, as huge sales are offered by numerous stores, which should reflect well on the economy, they all agreed.
No doubt the Festival will contribute a lot to tourism in Kuwait, said Nadin Osama, who has been here for 11 years, urging the media to give the occasion more momentum through "distinguished campaigns." In addition to the usual activities and events of Hala February, there is need to think of fresh ideas to gain the Festival more reputation in the region, as a tourist and recreational occasion for all ages, Osama told KUNA. It usually coincides with the mid-year school vacation.
Citizen Youssef Abdulla stressed the role by the Interior Ministry, which must facilitate visit visas during Festival days. He urged the Ministry of Information to provide and enhance coverage of the events. Travel agencies and hotels have a significant role to play, he said.
Hala February is a promotion season which positively contributes to the national economy, Abdulla said.
Since the Festival started 15 years ago, I have been, together with my family, keen on attending its activities, especially the inauguration ceremony with its terrific shows, Kuwaiti Moustafa Al-Tamimi told KUNA.
According to Al-Tamimi, the Festival has been developing over the years, citing the choice by the organizer committee of the Kuwait Towers area for the take off.
He urged all state institutions to include the Festival on their development plans, as a major support to the national economy and tourism.
Mohammad Assem, who has been in Kuwait for 20 years, said promotion offers for the Festival have already started. He himself has received several e-mails from local and foreign firms in Kuwait with great offers, sales up to 75 percent.
Young Kuwaiti Fahd Al-Mutairi, said he and members of his families have always been eager to attend the opening ceremony of the Festival. He stressed the intensive security presence which helps people enjoy safe shows and celebrations.
Hala February celebrations, 8 January - 8 February, are held under a "Humanitarian Leader."