Saudi National Day celebrations to feature 27 major events in 17 cities across Kingdom

Exciting preparations are under way to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s 87th National Day. (AN photo by Imran Haider)
Updated 22 September 2017

Saudi National Day celebrations to feature 27 major events in 17 cities across Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has made extensive arrangements to celebrate its 87th National Day in a fitting manner throughout the Kingdom.
On Wednesday, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced that elaborate preparations were being made to unveil 27 diverse festivities across 17 cities within Saudi Arabia to mark the National Day.
Celebrations will begin on Thursday and run through Monday, starting from Jeddah. They will also be held in Dammam, Riyadh, Hail, Alkhobar, Jazan, Abha, Onaiza, Tabuk, Sakaka, Jubail, Yanbu, Hafr Al-Batain, Hofuf, Madinah and Najran.
During a press discussion on Wednesday at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, it was revealed that programs and events are in line with Vision 2030. Citizens and expatriates will have the opportunity to enjoy a chain of related events, which will highlight the country’s achievements through an eclectic combination of sports events, cultural shows, fireworks and concerts
To light up Saudi Arabia’s horizon with high technology, the GEA has organized laser shows and vibrant firework displays.
There will be aerobatics and animated smoke shows in the sky, all displayed in harmony alongside a variety of the country’s national music.
The Kingdom Tower in Riyadh will be lit up against the night skies with a display of fireworks and the largest HD projection on a tower in the world.
To depict the country’s culture, the GEA will be presenting an operetta “National Epic” at the King Fahd Stadium, highlighting the history of Saudi Arabia; holograms will dance on the water signifying the stories of the Kingdom’s rich culture and history.
A festival in Madinah — “A Nation’s Smile” — will combine the story of the country with a historical past and a brighter future
Eleven Saudi and Gulf music artists will entertain the audience at the Al-Johara Stadium in Jeddah. The participating artists will include Mohamed Abdo, Majed Al-Mohandes, Aseel Abu Baker, Abdulmajeed Abdullah, Tala Salamah, Abadi Al-Johar, Hussein Al-Jasmi and Abdullah Al-Rowaished.
Other events lined up during the five-day celebrations include car festivals, sports and folklore shows, bazaars, fashion shows, dancing fountains, parades, hot air balloon rides and even the Jungle Book play. Organizers will harness high-end technologies including 3D shows, LEDs and HD projections — the results promise to be magnificent.
The GEA is a government-sanctioned body based on the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program. The authority looks to develop, promote, regulate and fund a competitive entertainment infrastructure in the Kingdom, partnering with both government bodies and the private sector to achieve these ambitions.
Five days in the Saudi calendar that will make history should not be missed. The GEA said a full program of all its activities are available at www.Roznamah.sa.


LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Amadeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Amadeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Amadeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Amadeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Amadeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.