The central city of Hue is gearing up for its biennial festival, which promises a diverse programme of performances and activities across a week of celebrations.

Held from April 7-15 this year, the festival will be the city's biggest cultural event, said vice chairman of Thua Thien-Hue Province People's Committee and head of the festival organising committee Ngo Hoa.

"This year will mark the 7th festival that the province has held every two years since 2000," said Hoa. "It has become known as one of the biggest cultural events not only for Hue , but for the whole country.

"The festival is also an opportunity to promote tourism in the province and let the world know more about the city of Hue . It's also an event to honour historical and cultural monuments of the former Royal Capital city as well its intangible heritage."

A main stage will be built in the Royal Citadel, which will host the opening ceremony that features a music and dance art performance titled Royal Citadel Night.

A series of stages will be installed outside the Royal Citadel soon for community arts performances.

According to the organising committee, a music and dance performance named Oriental Night, which was introduced in 2010, will be staged again at the Thai Hoa Palace .

The ao dai (Vietnamese traditional long dress) show will again be a major event at the festival. New shows were created to keep the festival fresh."

The city will also host the Nam Giao religious ritual, which was held during the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), on April 8 as part of the Hue Festival.

Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street along the Huong (Perfume) River bank will be reserved as a pedestrian street featuring a range of cuisine.

The city's hotels, with a capacity of 10,000 rooms, are bracing for a large number of tourist arrivals.

Thua Thien-Hue Province plans to host around 2.5 million foreign and domestic tourists this year, generating a total revenue of 2,500 billion VND (over 113 million USD) for the provincial tourism sector.

According to the festival organising committee, 36 art troupes from 22 countries have registered to take part in the festival.-VNA