Jeddah Season summer festival transforms city’s waterfront

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Promenaders at Jeddah Waterfront. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 June 2019

Jeddah Season summer festival transforms city’s waterfront

  • Jeddah Season aims to highlight the city as a top tourist destination, and to encourage partnerships with local businesses
  • Organizers hope to generate up to 20,000 job and volunteering opportunities for young Saudis

JEDDAH: Jeddah has transformed its iconic waterfront with festivities and activities to accommodate the many visitors attending Jeddah Season, which launched for the first time this year on June 8.
The city’s 41-day Sea and Culture festival features international shows and plays being presented for the first time in the Kingdom, along with street parades, art exhibits, 3-D art displays and water activities.
Families can take a stroll by the waterfront, set up picnics and enjoy the view. Or they can head to one of the many stations equipped with bus stops (free of charge) to check out the various activities and festivities in each area.
Events stay open past midnight due to the summer heat. Visitors flock to the waterfront around sundown to enjoy the beautiful sunset and wait for the music, street parades and performances.
Kids and parents swing and laugh with the musicians and street performers, some of them in colorful costumes on stilts passing over children’s heads accompanied by drum beats.
Nearby, the XJED festival boasts a variety of entertainment, retail kiosks, a theater, an arcade area, a small zoo, a maze, virtual reality games and more.
Local and international music bands play on stages, while a spectacular fire and fountain water show has visitors entranced by the choreography.
Visitors can take in the XJED festival in a mini London double decker bus.
The waterfront is lit with street decorations, while passers-by can enjoy pop-up restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Scalini, Nobu, Q Lounge, and Lounge by Aurum.
Jeddah Season aims to highlight the city as a top tourist destination, and to encourage partnerships with local businesses.
Organizers hope to generate up to 20,000 job and volunteering opportunities for young Saudis.
Jeddah Season is a key part of the city’s tourism strategy, which includes supporting local entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises interested in investing in tourism partnership opportunities in retail, restaurants, services and other related sectors.


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 30 min 7 sec ago

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.