Watercraft festival attracts visitors to Kurdistan’s Darbandi Rania
DARBANDI RANIA, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdish city of Rania hosted a watercraft festival aimed at introducing a touristic spot that is frequented by the locals, Darbandi Rania, some 70 kilometers southeast of Erbil.
The festival included different races organized for both men and women, including swimming and boat competitions.
It was the jet boat and jet ski competition that captured the imagination of the people who were in attendance, some colored with the flag of Kurdistan as they made their way in the Darbandi Rania waters, a short drive from the city’s center.
"It’s been a few years that we have had jet ski and jet boat,” Jabar Jawhar on board of a boat told Rudaw. “Many people turn to us. We have friends in Baghdad and have made friends in Sulaimani and Darbandikhan.”
Shajwan Behroz, already a champion of the Arab and African swimming competition, came first in the women's race. While Sabo Omar from Dukan came first in the men’s race.
There were also paragliders making their moves in the sky.
The local government says they want to bring more investment to the area that is close to the Iranian border, in particular from the local businessmen.
"Our aim in this festival is first to introduce the region and the tourist attractions in Raparin administration area, showing to people, especially to the business people of the Kurdistan Region who can come and invest in tourism here,” said Hamid Abdullah, head of the Raparin administration.
“We will make every facilitation for them should they come to invest in here,” Abdullah added.
Rania with its high mountains, waterfalls and trees has many tourist attractions including what is known as Daristan or Forest just one kilometer east of the city.
Photos by AFP/Safin Hamed