Crowds throng Saudi Arabia’s first jazz festival

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Bands from the US, the UK and Lebanon performed alongside local bands at the Groovz jazz festival at the Golf Club at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh. (Reuters)
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An estimated 3,000-plus visitors attended over the three days of Saudi Arabia’s first jazz festival in Riyadh. (Reuters)
Updated 24 February 2018

Crowds throng Saudi Arabia’s first jazz festival

RIYADH: Organizers of Saudi Arabia’s first jazz festival were thrilled to see an estimated 3,000-plus visitors, including huge numbers of families, turn up on Friday.
Bands from the US, the UK and Lebanon performed alongside local bands at the Groovz jazz festival at the Golf Club at the Intercontinental Hotel.
It was organized by Time Entertainment in cooperation with the General Entertainment Authority as a mega three-day entertainment with food and other arts events to celebrate jazz culture.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Raif Bukhari, manager of Mizan, explained the event was a great opportunity for the band from Al-Khobar.
He said: “We are glad to get this golden opportunity to perform with international bands.
“With the people excited about the maiden jazz event, it is really a great feeling to be associated with it. We want to thank GEA, Time Entertainment for having this beautiful event. It’s great to be part of the local music scene here with international bands. I am really happy to be part of the big change in Saudi Arabia with some good, tasteful music.”
Asked what difference the event would make, he said: “I am very positive about it. Our aspiration as a band is to grow in a sustainable way, share our music with the world and to be able to reach a large audience, indeed to perform outside the Kingdom some time soon.
“We have entered the Riyadh market. Last week we came to the German Embassy and played at the open stage with music. That was our first performance in Riyadh, and a week after we are here at the first ever Groovz Jazz festival, so I am very hopeful we can expand our base.”
Ibrahim Mohammad, another member of Mizan, told Arab News: “We started as a band in October and had no idea we would be so popular in five months. Performing here is a big chance to grow up with the presence of international bands.”
Fahd Abdulrahman, a medical intern attending the event, said it was amazing to witness the jazz festival in Riyadh. “This is happening for the first time and we are dazzled with the jazz music which rocks the whole audience.”


Qiddiya awards SR10bn in contracts to help construct Riyadh mega project

Updated 37 min 20 sec ago

Qiddiya awards SR10bn in contracts to help construct Riyadh mega project

  • The funding will be backed by the Kingdom's Public Investment Fund

RIYADH: At least SR10 billion ($2.66 billion) worth of contracts will awarded to various companies to speed up the construction of a mega entertainment and sports project in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the Qiddiya Investment Company announced on Thursday.

The funding will be backed by the Kingdom's Public Investment Fund.

The Qiddiya project includes a number of art, entertainment and sporting facilities, and is being built on a 334 square-kilometre site close to Riyadh.

Its construction forms part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program that aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.

“We’ve awarded well over 1 billion riyal in contracts so far and that figure is going to jump, maybe ten times to 10 billion riyals, which will all be construction related contracts,” Michael Reininger, chief executive told The National.