Saudi Arabia has introduced the all-new Riyadh Season – the biggest cultural and entertainment programme in the Kingdom’s history.
The biggest of 11 such events, planned as part of the Saudi Seasons initiative, the 66-day Riyadh Season is already underway and will run until December 15, 2019, offering over 100 exciting activities and allowing residents and tourists the opportunity to explore, experience and embrace Saudi Arabia in a different light.
Riyadh Season builds on the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of establishing the entertainment industry as a key component of the national economy, and offers unprecedented opportunities for locals, residents, and visitors to enjoy world-class entertainment and activities across 12 themed zones spread around the city.
The event is set to welcome more than five million visitors to the Saudi capital, boosting tourism and further enhancing the Kingdom’s status as an attractive destination for travellers from around the world. With more than 40,000 hotel rooms across the city already booked, the abundant interest and influx of visitors has been supported by the recent launch of tourism visas for citizens from 51 countries, making the Kingdom more accessible than ever before.
“Riyadh Season is not just an event, it is a blockbuster initiative to truly introduce Riyadh and Saudi Arabia to the world and put the spotlight on its rich heritage, culture and diversity,” explained CEO, GEA, and head, Riyadh Season, Eng. Faisal Bafarat. “It is a movement that will have an unfathomable impact in terms of defining the history of the country and shaping its future. The hospitality, traditions, talent and opportunities in the Kingdom are second to none, and we are excited to showcase this to the world. The Season is not just an assortment of events and activities, rather the intention and efforts go far beyond – it is all about creating memorable experiences that will be fondly reminisced.”
The event will play host to concerts from leading international artists, such as BTS, underlining the scope of Saudi Arabia’s ambitions, while the inclusion of several Saudi superstars and homegrown talent will showcase the best of local culture on the global stage.
“Both visitors and residents alike can now discover Riyadh, and Saudi Arabia, in unique and innovative ways,” added Bafarat.
As the Kingdom’s entertainment sector continues to flourish, demand is steadily growing for high-quality events that meet the evolving preferences of its citizens, particularly the youth. This surge of interest is reflected in the unprecedented speed at which tickets for performances from local, regional and international artists have been purchased by music fans.
Further to this, the first Riyadh Season programme will directly result in the creation of more than 46,000 job opportunities, including full-time, seasonal, and volunteer work.
Finally, Riyadh Season offers many exciting opportunities for Saudi businesses. More than 100 local small enterprises are set to benefit from their participation at the ‘Ana Arabiah’ exhibition, representing half of the total vendors. Meanwhile, 80 new Saudi companies are taking part, providing growth opportunities that extend beyond service offerings and into strategy development. International and regional businesses working during the season are also expected to contribute to the development of indigenous talent, further enhancing the local content. In addition, the preparations for Riyadh Season have helped to boost the local real-estate sector and resulted in a general rise in economic activity throughout the capital and surrounding areas.