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Updated 25 January 2022

The birthplace and spiritual home of Islam, Saudi Arabia, is synonymous with pilgrimages, rich attractions and stirring symbolism. In 2019, as Saudi Arabia opened its doors to international travellers for the grand celebratory festival of the Saudi Seasons, it re-established itself from what was once a tourist’s final frontier into a hotspot.

Of the 11 Seasons, one of the most popular seasons is set in Riyadh, the showpiece of modern Saudi Arabia, aptly called the Riyadh Season (موسم الرياض). The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has announced that the much-awaited festival will be celebrated this year bringing art, theatre, food and action to the capital of Saudi.

If you, like everyone else, are dying to know more about this year’s Riyadh Season, keep reading.

What is the Riyadh Season?

© alarabiya.net

Spanning over 5 months, the Riyadh Season is primarily a city-wide celebration of the city in itself and in the larger context, Saudi Arabia and its people. It is one of the many initiatives taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to boost economic and tourist activity, with a focus on non-religious tourism.

The initiative falls in line with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030, as Saudi Arabia moves towards a progressive future. International travellers can now easily visit Saudi as the kingdom has aimed to boost tourism through the quick and simple process of procuring an e-visa.

Over 100 events, concerts and adventures are brought all over Riyadh in celebration of the entire nation under a unifying theme.

In the first season held in 2019, 12 zones were set up for the festivities and multiple events, from a BTS K-Pop concert, WWE Crown Jewel, Cirque du Soleil to Comic-Con took place in efforts to appeal to a large and diverse global audience.

When is Riyadh Season 2021?

Riyadh Season 2021 is held from 20 October 2021 to March 2022 under the slogan #Imagine_More.

What events can we expect for Riyadh Season 2?

This year’s Riyadh Season, also dubbed the Riyadh Season 2, has commenced on 20 October 2021. To compensate for the COVID-19 induced shut down of last year’s events, the Saudi Government has decided to go bigger than ever; around 20 million people are projected to attend the festival.

Riyadh Season 2 is held in an area of ​​5 million and 400,000 square meters, in 14 zones, and the season as a whole will include the establishment of an astounding 7,500 events.

© alarabiya.net

Boulevard Riyadh City will be presenting a food and family hub; other noteworthy districts include Winter Wonderland and Via Riyadh, providing a family leisure area, hotels, cinemas, retail shops and more. For more entertainment, you can head over to the desert dunes of Riyadh Oasis and the cultural hub of Khalooha.

The Avalanche located at the Boulevard Riyadh City zone has already attained two international certificates by the Guinness Book of Records. Avalanche is the tallest fun slide, holding the record of having the most lanes on a fun slide.

The apparent highlight of this year is 70 Arab concerts, in addition to 6 international concerts, along with the establishment of the WWE Crown Jewel match that took place on 21 October at Mohammed Abdu Arena. For the culinary program, there are 200 restaurants and 70 cafés participating in the event.

So far, the Riyadh Season parade has featured various shows and parade floats held at Boulevard Riyadh City, broadcasting popular music artists like David Guetta and rapper Pitbull as part of the Riyadh Season Opening Parade.

One of the biggest musical festivals in the city – Soundstorm, was held on 16 – 19 December at Jax in Riyadh’s art district. Around 732,000 people were successfully captivated by regional and international artists including Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, and Jeff Mills. The total number of attendees to the four-day rave has made Soundstorm one of the largest music festivals in the world.

Upcoming events

As December 2021 comes to a close, the following are some of Riyadh Season’s performances, shows, and experiences set to be held in January 2022.

Concerts and performances

Assala Nasri and Ayed concert

This concert will provide its audience with entertaining music by Assala Nasri and Ayed at Oasis Nights

Date and time: Wednesday, 26 January 2022. 9:30 PM
Venue: Oasis
Price: Starts from SR 500

Riyadh Season Concert Night

A musical concert by the renowned Arab artist, Abdulmajeed Abdullah, who will ignite Mohammed Abdo Arena with a collection of his most popular songs in Boulevard Riyadh City.

Date and time: Friday, 28 January 2022. 9:30 PM
Venue: Riyadh Boulevard
Price: Starts from SR 500

 

Experiences

Dinosaurs in the Wild

A unique experience where visitors are sent back to a time where dinosaurs rule the earth. Accompanied by leading experts, observe how dinosaurs lived and interacted with their surroundings millions of years ago.

Date and time: Until Thursday, 31 March 2022
Venue: World of Dinosaurs – Boulevard City
Price: SR 150 including entry to the boulevard

Winter Wonderland Ballroom

Enter a magical place where a child’s wish for adventure is realized. Be a hero on board a pirate ship or a princess in a magical palace, the possibilities are infinite.

Dates: Until 30 March 2022.
Venue: Winter Wonderland
Price: From SR 7,000

Squid Game – The experience

Experience the popular and thrilling TV show “Squid Game” at Boulevard Riyadh City.

Dates: Until 31 March 2022.
Venue: Boulevard City – Squid Game
Price: From SR 230

Riyadh Season tickets

Each year, the Riyadh Season begins in October. The target audience is wide-ranging. In addition to a home crowd, it also aims to attract up to 100,000 international visitors. It puts on a huge range of entertainment, cultural events, and investment opportunities events. Most of the events are offered free of charge while some require tickets, and are listed on the Riyadh Season website.

Add Riyadh Season tickets to the Tawakkalna app

The Tawakkalna app has launched a new feature that allows Riyadh season patrons to add their tickets to the app. The initiative has been taken by the government to offer safe and protected activities for all.

There are two ways you can add your Riyadh season tickets to the Tawakkalna App:

  • After purchasing the ticket online, click on share it with Tawakkalna App.
  • Your ticket will then show up in the ‘Events’ section of the Tawakkalna App.

Alternatively: 

  • While purchasing your tickets online you will be asked to enter a Tawakkalna passcode.
  • Go to Tawakkalna App > Passcode > Tawakkalna Passcode
  • Click on ‘Generate Passcode’
  • Enter the Passcode
  • Your ticket will then show up in the ‘Events’ section of the Tawakkalna App.

 

COVID-19 related safety measures

Visitors looking to enter Riyadh Season 2021 must do so by linking their tickets to the Tawakkalna app. All public places in Saudi Arabia require the Tawakkalna app as a prerequisite for entry.