Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season to host more than 7,000 events to ‘dazzle the world’

Five-month festival will cover everything from music, arts and theatre to food and sporting events

The Riyadh Season festival will celebrate the Saudi Arabian capital with a dazzling line-up of events. Photo: Twitter / @Turki_alalshikh
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Saud Arabia's Riyadh Season promises to be its biggest yet with thousands of events planned across the capital.

Details of the five-month entertainment and cultural festival, to begin on October 20 and running until March 2022, was announced on Monday by the General Entertainment Authority.

Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh said the event “will dazzle the world” with an expansive programme of 7,500 events covering everything from music, arts and theatre to food and sporting events.

Music lovers are in for a feast of concerts with 70 featuring regional artists and six performed by international acts.

When it comes to the stage, expect 18 Arabic plays to take place in addition to six by international companies.

Al-Sheikh also announced a wrestling event will be part of Riyadh Season.

While he didn't name the show, it has already been announced that the WWE wrestling spectacular Crown Jewel will be held in Riyadh's King Fahd International Stadium on Thursday, October 21.

A gaming tournament is also planned as well as two international football matches.

For the culinary programme, 200 restaurants and 70 cafes are set to take part in the festival.

The latest announcement comes after it was revealed in August that Riyadh Season will take place in an area measuring 5.4 million square meters and spread across 14 thematic zones.

Also announced in September was the Riyadh Season Cup, a football tournament featuring the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain side alongside local clubs Al Hilal and Al Nassr.

A number of celebrity players from Paris Saint-Germain feature in Riyadh Season’s promotional campaign including Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, Brazil’s Neymar and France wunderkind Kylian Mbappe.

Riyadh Season returns after its inaugural iteration in 2019 which featured concerts by K-pop stars BTS, the dance festival MDL Beast and regional acts including Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi, Lebanese pop stars Nancy Ajram and Nawal Zoghbi and Syria's Assala.

Winter at Tantora is coming

In December, the Kingdom's Al Ula region will be celebrated with Winter at Tantora, a four-month programme of events, running from Tuesday, December 21 to Sunday, March 27.

Events will span music, arts, fashion, food and wellness and include concerts, installations, ballooning, hiking and a citrus festival.

Food lovers will also have the option of enjoying hearty local and gastronomic dishes with various restaurants including Maraya Social, a rooftop restaurant by Michelin-lauded British chef Jason Atherton.

Both Riyadh Seasons and Winter at Tantora will take place with health and safety measures provided by authorities.

Updated: October 17, 2021, 1:00 PM