What to expect at the world’s first global entertainment season in Riyadh.
Imagine a world of colours, of delicious bites and shimmery nights, of non-stop entertainment and fun, of happy people, and adventure on-the-run. Now imagine a world like that in the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Seems impossible? Well, not anymore.
While the Jeddah Season was an eye opener of the country’s endeavor to be a world-renowned entertainment industry, the ambitious 2030 vision continues to embark on new opportunities. One prominent break was the new Saudi visa system that’s opened its doors to millions.
Riyadh is now taking the stage with the Riyadh Season, themed ‘IMAGINE’, inviting the world to come, explore and enjoy Saudi Arabia like never before. The three-month mega event happening between October 15th to December 15th is a collection of entertainment and food from around the world with a touch of local nuances. The event is set to take place across 12 different zones, for 70 consecutive days. With more than 100 events, the season is a spotlight of excitement not only for the locals but for millions across the region.
So, if you’re planning a getaway or a business trip to the Middle East, specifically Riyadh during these months, you’re in for a global cultural treat. What one expects to enjoy at the Riyadh Season Imagine is reflected through its 7 subthemes titled, joy, inspire, taste, explore, fantasy, speed and desert.
Here are a few highlights of the whole season to allow you to plan and enjoy a completely different avatar of this Middle Eastern city.
From action, illusion to wildlife and culinary experience, ‘Imagine’ brings you restaurants, cafes, international brands, car exhibitions, auctions and fashion shows, games galore and concerts, entwined with the rich heritage of the country and fine arts from all over the world.
The season promises breathtaking music mania, hosting 14 international star acts and renowned artists including Bruno Mars, Pitbull, John Legend, and Alicia Keys. Other big names to perform include Jennifer Lopez, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Nicki Jam, Gwen Stefani, Nicole Scherzinger, Akon, Gipsy Kings by Andre Reyes and GJ Martin Solveig.
Ever heard of Bangtan Sonyeondan? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on the best K-POP music ever? BTS is an international pop band and one of the world’s most popular South Korean bands, is the most anticipated event at the Riyadh Season Imagine.
The kingdom (yes, this is a legible way to address the country), is inviting theatrical performances and dance shows for the first time. ‘Cirque Dreams’ combines European cirque-style of performance artistry with American circus arts and Broadway theatrics.
All the way from China, the ‘Nutcracker Magic’ presents a new interpretation of the classic ballet, blending magic, acrobatics, and dance.
Apart from these, visitors can enjoy an exclusive collection of exhibitions such as the immersive ‘Marvel: Universe of Superheroes’ exhibit which will showcase original artwork, first-edition comic book covers and pages, costumes and displays from the popular Marvel movies.
With more than 31 restaurants opening their pop-ups across the city, Riyadh Imagine invites visitors to treat themselves to a gourmet culinary experiences from around the world. So, if you’re a foodie, don’t think twice, head there this weekend!
70 days, 22 events and 6 different zones, ‘Imagine’ elevates ‘joy’ to the next level. A few of these events include:
- BTS Concert
- Joy Convention & Joy Expo
- The Wizard of Oz
- The illusionist
Now if you’re a Riyadh, travel and living during the entertainment season is easy, but if you’re travelling from outside Riyadh, or even better, from out of the country then living must be arranged well in advance since the country’s hotels are overbooked already.
If you’re here for a short getaway, or a long break with family or friends, or if you’re coming on a business trip, then the Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh is a fantastic hotel apartment in the heart of the city, with the privileges to unwind in luxury
with fully serviced apartments and get into your adventure boots when you go on the outside. Hotel website bookings will give you an added 10% off from their if you join their loyalty programme ‘Ascott Star Rewards’.