The province of Riau Islands is set to host the Riau Islands Marine Festival 2017 from Oct. 13 to 21. The festival, slated to be held in several places including the capital city of Tanjung Pinang, and will feature Dangkong Dance as the opening dance in Tanjung Bali Karimun on Oct. 13.
The Tourism Ministry has also named the province the country’s gate for marine tourism. Riau Islands is listed among the top three destinations with the highest number of foreign tourist arrival with 20 percent, behind Jakarta with 30 percent and Bali with 40 percent.
Only five percent of Riau Island’s total area of 252,601 kilometers is mainland; the rest is water as it is surrounded by South China Sea, Malaka Strait and Karimata Strait. The north side of the province is adjacent to Cambodia, while the west and east sides are adjacent to Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, respectively, as well as some part of Malaysia. Riau Islands is also in close proximity to Singapore and Vietnam.
Apart from local residents, Riau Islands will also welcome yachters from Singapore and Malaysia who participate in Sail to Bintan, a part of Sail Sabang 2017 event. The group is said to stay in Tanjung Pinang and Bintan from Oct. 16 to 20. During their stay, the group will be entertained by art performances scheduler every night at the buildings of Daerah and Gonggong.
Several communities, such as Pahang mountain climbers group, Dunia Melayu Dunia Islam, Kuala Lumpur photography community and Wali band fanbase groups from Singapore and Malaysia will also participate in the event.
In a bid to promote local cuisine, the province is said to partner with Indonesian Chef Association (ICA) and Batam Tourism Polytechnic (BTP) to showcase a variety of local dishes throughout the festival. In the afternoon, the event will host Carang River Festival that aims to preserve the Malay culture. It will also showcase Gurindam 12 Festival, Culinary Festival, Drum band Festival and a decorated-boats parade at night.
On Oct. 21, Tanjung Pinang will welcome 70 lady bikers from Cycho Sport who will hold a 100-kilometer bicycle training in Dompak Island and the surrounding area. Other highlights of the festival is Tanjungpinang Dragon Boat Race that will be held from Oct. 20 to 22 and joined by local and foreign participants.
The finale of Riau Islands Marine Festival 2017 will feature Riau Islands Carnival that boasts cultural parade and decorated vehicles parade. During the carnival, festival-goers can expect to enjoy performances of Mendu Natuna, Gobang from Anambas, Mak Yong from Batam and Bintan and Dangkong Dance from Lingga and Karimun. Additionally, Indonesian pop rock band Wali is set to perform in the evening.