Syria’s capital is hosting large-scale reconstruction projects as it prepares to host the country’s major international exhibition after a six-year hiatus.
The last edition of the Damascus International Fair was held in 2011, when foreign-backed militancy began sweeping the country to bloody and devastating effects.
Major streets and buildings are now undergoing renovation and restoration in anticipation of the August 17-26 event, which would serve as its 59th edition, footage showed on Monday.
The projects comprise widening of several main roads, and refurbishment of old buildings and landmarks, including the Damascus Sword Statue in the capital’s Umayyad Square.
The event has been traditionally used as an occasion to market the country’s products and attract foreign investment.
Its expected renewal would mark a hard-earned victory which the country’s Army and allied forces have decisively scored against foreign-backed militants in recent months.
On Sunday, Syria’s Tourism Minister Beshr Yaziji said visits to the country had jumped by 25 percent so far this year.
Yaziji said 530,000 people had visited Syria during the first half of 2017, a 25 percent increase from the same period last year.
Also attracting foreign tourists to the country are a number of shrines, held in veneration among Shia Muslims worldwide. Defense of the sites has notably heartened the Shia fighters to join the Syrian forces in their counter-terrorism operations.
Now pilgrims are flooding back to the Arab country as relative calm has returned to Damascus and the country’s second-largest city of Aleppo thanks to the joint anti-terror operations.