Riyadh Season set to dazzle 20 million visitors

August 16, 2021

By Anas Alyusuf

Saudi Gazette

RIYADH — Geared with the huge success in 2019, Riyadh Season is coming back in the fourth quarter of 2021, by doubling down on activity and programming, with bigger, more exciting and diverse events.

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the Board of Directors of General Entertainment Authority (GEA), said in a tweet: “We will dazzle the world with Saudi hands.”

The dazzling event, the largest of its kind in the Middle East, is expected to draw as many as 20 million visitors. It coincides with the larger-scale tourism and entertainment events all over the Kingdom in the name of the Saudi Seasons.

The Saudi Seasons festival aims to serve all different segments of the society through diverse entertainment, arts and cultural activities and experiences.

The Riyadh Season contributes to achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 with boosting its entertainment and tourism sectors as one of the vital sectors to diversify sources of income.

The GEA, which oversees the entertainment sector and support its infrastructure, have had huge brainstorming sessions in the last months as part of its elaborate preparations for the upcoming entertainment seasons, especially the Riyadh Season.

The second edition of the Riyadh Season will see more diverse and larger-scale events and programs with a total of 7,500 events and activities. The Riyadh Season will be held on a total area spreading over 5,400,000 square meters, in 14 zones, alongside with 100 interactive experiences, 10 global exhibitions, 200 restaurants and 70 cafés.

In 2019, GEA announced that the number of visitors to the first edition of the Riyadh Season exceeded 10 million.

The biggest entertainment season, which took place in the Saudi capital from October 2019 till January 2020 with huge momentum, represented the social changes in the Kingdom over the last three years and the country’s opening up to the world.

The Riyadh Season 2019, which was part of a series of entertainment seasons across the cities of the Kingdom, came in the last leg of the first edition of the “Saudi Seasons.”

Officials were stunned with the huge public response and had planned for the next season but COVID-19 pandemic had thrown entertainment and tourism around the world in a loop.

The Kingdom was forced to go into a full lockdown and suspension of all activities like any other country around the world, which affected the booming entertainment sector in the country.

Seventeen months after the country started to recover from the pandemic with an accelerated vaccination campaign and strict health protocols in public spaces, Saudi Arabia is ready to start its entertainment seasons again for a society to quench its thirst for entertainment.

It is noteworthy that the Kingdom has started receiving vaccinated foreign tourists since August and allowed citizens to travel abroad from last May, in a clear indication that the health crisis is managed perfectly in the country with low rates of infections.

The first edition of the Riyadh Season had achieved unparalleled success, at all levels, whether in terms of events or the number of visitors.

The activities of the Riyadh Season were one of the Kingdom’s seasons in 2019, which were launched for the first time in February 2019, when 11 seasons were introduced, with the aim of attracting tourists to Saudi Arabia.

August 16, 2021
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