Dramatic equestrian skills wow Abqaiq Safari Festival visitors

A daring horse rider showcases his equestrian skills at the Safari Festival in Abqaiq. (SPA)
Updated 02 January 2019
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Dramatic equestrian skills wow Abqaiq Safari Festival visitors

  • Riders blasted gunpowder into the air while traveling at speed and wielded swords to pick up flaming objects from the ground

JEDDAH: Daring horse riders showcased their equestrian skills with gunpowder, fire and swords to wow visitors at the Safari Festival in Abqaiq.
The event, which is being held for the third time, highlights the Kingdom’s desert heritage and attracts visitors from throughout the country as well as from overseas.
Riders blasted gunpowder into the air while traveling at speed and wielded swords to pick up flaming objects from the ground.
They also demonstrated how the horses were trained to carry out “hit and runs” and mimic camouflage.
Daifallah Al-Otaibi, who is tasked with the equestrian section at the festival, said the strong performances were characteristic of desert fighters from the past.
Faisal Al-Otaibi, the festival director, said that the organizing committee was keen the events and attractions reflected desert heritage through close attention to detail.
He said that many visitors dressed their children in traditional clothes, adding to the festival’s air of authenticity.


Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

The marketing plan of the village has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

  • “Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” Suzan Eskander said

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah will host a multicultural festival that takes visitors on a virtual tour of 50 countries.
The global village will be set up inside Atallah Happy Land Park along the city’s famous waterfront every day from 5 p.m. to midnight between Feb. 28 and March 29.
The event is one of many aiming to enhance tourism, as well as the local economy.
Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, the organizing company, told Arab News that the village is expected to attract 1 million visitors.
“Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” she said.
“There will be pavilions for participants from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries and four countries from the Americas.”
She added that folkloric dances would be performed by bands from each country.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes,” she said. “Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from different countries.”
Eskander also said paintings portraying heritage and culture in the different countries would be on display.
“In addition, we are hopeful that the children’s zone will wow young visitors,” she said. “Little guests can develop their skills in drawing and games, as well as play zones.”
Eskander said the village was timed to coincide with the city’s good weather season, adding that a marketing plan has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. Eskander expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority for their continued support and cooperation.
“They have not only provided us instructions for obtaining the festival’s license, but are still following up to ensure that everything is going smoothly,” she said.