February 8, 2018
From Myanmar Business Today

 

Mogok Prepares to Party for 800th Birthday


Locals hope celebrations will put the ‘Ruby Land’ on the tourist map, and planning has begun for celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the discovery of gems and subsequent founding of Mogok. It promises to be a rather auspicious occasion for the city which now produces 90 percent of the world’s rubies.
        The three-day celebration will take place in Mhone Kwin field, in central Mogok from March 29 to 31, and will include a fashion show by famous designer Mogok Pauk Pauk, and evening performances by famous native singers. The celebrations are not just for fun but to promote tourism and the gemstone trade.
        In the past there was a requirement that foreign tourists get permission from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and from the Mandalay Region Government to visit Mogok, but now they can freely go.
        “Mogok is known as the ‘ruby land’ because it’s a town which is world famous for the quality of its rubies. The gems trade in Mogok has been dated at 800 years old,” said Dr Thet Thet Khine, a native of Mogok and a member of the committee for the 800th anniversary celebrations.
        Located in a mountainous valley in the Shan plateau, 200 kilometers north of Mandalay, Mogok is renowned producing high quality rubies and other gems such as sapphires, garnet and moonstones. 90 percent of a certain type of the world's rubies come from Myanmar, but there are many other ruby sources in the world such as Sri Lanka and various places in Africa. In terms of quality, Mogok rubies are best. The red stones from there are prized for their purity and hue, and its Thailand that buys the majority of Myanmar's gems.
        “It has been almost 800 years that different ethnic groups have lived in the area peacefully,” said Dr Thet Thet Khine. Mogok’s 166,000 residents are made up of diverse mix of Burmans, Shan, Palaung, Lisu, Pa-O, Chin, Kokang, and Golkha, Karen ethnic groups, as well as Chinese, Indians and Gurkhas, many of whom work in the city’s mining and gems trading industry.
        The 800th anniversary celebrations might finally put Mogok on the tourist map and create job opportunities in the tourism sector for young people, said U Min Thura.
        “Increased foreign and local tourists would also be a boon for the local businesses tied to the mining industry,” he added.

 

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Posted by www.myanmarcelenews.com

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