Yalla Sharqiah season to bring culture, sports events to Eastern Province

Mike Goulian of USA maneuvers his plane during a training session for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on February 8,2019. (AFP file photo)
Updated 03 March 2019

Yalla Sharqiah season to bring culture, sports events to Eastern Province

  • The festival is part of Saudi Seasons, a tourism drive recently announced by the Saudi tourism commission
  • Dammam will host the Red Bull Air race and Formula 1 H20 for powerboats

RIYADH: The first Yalla Sharqiah season will take place March 14-30, bringing sporting and cultural events such as the Red Bull Air Race and a multimedia exhibit of Van Gogh’s artworks to the Eastern Province.
The festival is part of Saudi Seasons, a tourism drive recently announced by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), as one of the main pillars of the “The Quality of Life 2020 Program” spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, under Saudi Vision 2030.
The Sharqiah festival is the first of 11 “seasons,” beginning with the Eastern Province and continuing in different areas of Saudi Arabia, with entertainment options suited for each city. 
Under the theme of “A Season of Culture and Energy,” the Sharqiah season will include a wide variety of events and exhibitions across the region, including an “immersive rig” experience highlighting the Kingdom’s energy sector and the Van Gogh exhibition. 
Dammam will host the Red Bull Air race and Formula 1 H20 for powerboats, the Saudi Bike Show for motorbike enthusiasts, performances by Cirque Eloize and the East Coast Festival, highlighting local heritage.
Alkhobar will have a cultural village, Arabic concerts, an Egyptian opera, a Bollywood festival, the Color Run and a 3D mapping show. In Al-Ahsa , there will be an investment forum, cultural nights and an outdoor cinema. Other cities like Dhahran, Jubail, Hafar Al-Batin, Nuairyah and Khafji will offer programs that blend education and sports with entertainment and culture, including the Saudi Robotics Conference and Exhibition and the Aqua Bike Kingdom Championship.
The Sharqiah season is expected to provide 3,000 job opportunities for Saudis, combining the efforts of the SCTH, the General Entertainment Authority, the General Culture Authority, the General Sports Authority, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and Saudi Aramco’s King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

Updated 12 min 40 sec ago

Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

  • The project will see 7.5m trees planted and the creation of the world's biggest park
  • There will be 70,000 jobs created across the four major projects

RIYADH: The world’s biggest park will be created in Saudi Arabia as part of a $22.9bn project that promises to create vast open green areas in Riyadh, creating thousands of new jobs, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday

The aim of the project is to “significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities,” the report added.

The four projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art – will complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Program and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

Developed with a government investment of $23 bn, the four projects will offer opportunities worth $15bn for the private sector to invest in residential, commercial, recreational and wellness projects.

As well as creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the project will also help boost efforts to improve the city’s health and wellbeing with a commitment to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Measuring 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Park will be the world’s biggest park, with residential areas, hotels, and will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase Riyadh’s green cover with 7.5 million trees.

The massive planting project will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of Riyadh’s total area to 9.1 percent – that’s approximately 541 square kilometers, by 2030.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita.

Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2C, and will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Sports Boulevard  - a health and wellness destination in the heart of the city- will feature a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region.

Adding 3.5 million square meters of new open space across the city, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks.

Riyadh Art will be the world’s largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program.

With 1,000 artworks curated through 10 separate programs and an annual arts festival, this project will feature large-scale art works with the aim of drawing art lovers and creators from around the world.

The projects are part of Saudi Arbia’s strategy to meet their Vision 2030 goals, they are expected to provide 70,000 new job opportunities.

Construction work is due to start in the second half of 2019.