Douz (Arabic: دوز) is a town in the Kebili Governorate in the south of Tunisia, known as the gateway to the Sahara. By road it is located 31 kilometres (19 mi) kilometres southwest of Blidet, 125 kilometres (78 mi) southeast of Tozeur, and 475 kilometres (295 mi) south of the Tunisian capital of Tunis. It has been called the ultimate palm oasis, because it has over 500,000 palm trees in the area, and it is a major producer of diglat noor dates. In previous times it was an important stop on the trans-Saharan caravan routes. Today, it is destination for tourists who are interested in seeing the desert, and a starting point for desert treks by camel, motorcycle, or four-wheel-drive vehicle as well as the Ouma of Dunes event organized by Nejib Belhedi.
Every year Douz hosts the International Festival of the Sahara, a four-day celebration of traditional desert culture. The festival, usually held in November or December, features traditional music and dancing, poetry readings, camel wrestling, and racing of horses and salukis. Douz is home to the Museum of the Sahara, which showcases displays on traditional nomadic desert culture of the Mrazig people who now mostly live a settled life in the town.
Ouma of Dunes
The Ouma of Dunes is a multi-day, multi-event ouma festival organized by Nejib Belhedi in the Tunisian Sahara desert. The Ouma of Dunes kick-offs the Saharan swimming circuit where children and adults can swim in natural clean open bodies of water in Tunisia.
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