Craig David is heading to Saudi Arabia to serve as the support act for Lionel Richie, when the legendary American singer appears at Winter at Tantora in February 2020.
The announcement comes as British funk and jazz group Jamiroquai, and operatic pop group Il Divo, join the bill for the three-month festival.
Winter at Tantora is held from December to March in historic Al Ula each year, after first launching in 2018, and features a host of superstar musical guests. Enrique Iglesias, Andrea Bocelli, Yanni and Omar Khairat have already been announced as part of this year's event.
“I’m very excited to be performing in Al Ula and take my music to a festival that brings together talent and voices from around the world,” David said in a statement.
Multi-national classical crossover quartet Il Divo will perform on Friday, January 17 as part of their Timeless world tour. The group became household names due to their eclectic fusion of classical music and pop songs.
Their hits include Regresa a Mi (Unbreak My Heart), The Time Of Our Lives (the official song of the 2006 Fifa World Cup), I Believe In You, a duet with Celine Dion, and Hola, which have helped the group achieve record sales of more than 30 million, 50 number one singles and six sold-out world tours.
Jamiroquai will be something of a veteran of the region when they head to Saudi on Friday, January 24. The British group performed in Dubai in February for the 2019 Emirates Airline Jazz Festival.
We expect plenty more funk, and performances of their generation-defining anthems, such as Cosmic Girl and Virtual Insanity, in Al Ula.
What is Winter at Tantora?
The Winter at Tantora season runs from Thursday, December 19, 2019 until Saturday, March 7, 2020, and celebrates "nature, heritage and art at Al Ula".
Al Ula is home to Saudi Arabia's first Unesco World Heritage Site, Hegra (also known as Madain Saleh), which is set to open to the public in October 2020.
The kingdom opened its doors to international tourists earlier this year amid much fanfare.
Tourists can now obtain a 90-day, multiple-entry visa to visit the country.
The new e-visa or visa on arrival services have been extended to 49 countries, including the UK, US, Canada and Australia. The visa costs SAR 440 (Dh431) plus VAT.
Previously, special visas were included in the ticket price for Winter at Tantora.
The festival aims to give visitors a "sneak peek of this amazing destination".
As part of the festival, attendees will also be able to witness the Al Ula Balloon Festival from Thursday, January 2 toSaturday, January 11, 2020 and the Fursan Horse Race on Saturday, February 1, 2020.
From Monday, February 13 to Wednesday, February 15, 2020, the multimedia theatrical production of Jameel Buthainah will be performed by traditional dance group, Caracalla.
Tickets and further information can be found online at experiencealula.com.
Who is coming to Winter at Tantora and when?
Friday, December 27: Egyptian composer Omar Khairat
Friday, January 3: A Celebration of Beethoven – featuring Renaud Capucon, Lit Armstrong, Edgar Moreau, Guillame Chilemme, Adrien La Marca and the Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse
Friday, January 17: Il Divo
Friday, January 24: Jamiroquai
Friday, January 31: Andrea Bocelli
Friday, February 7: Yanni
Friday, February 21: Enrique Iglesias
Friday, February 28: Lionel Richie and Craig David