RIYADH: Football is considered the No. 1 sport in the Kingdom. Saudis are not just fans of local football clubs, but admire international teams. Real Madrid has a huge fanbase in the Kingdom, and by creating an exhibition dedicated to the team, fans in Riyadh had the opportunity to have an interactive experience and learn more about the club.
The exhibition is a virtual experience of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and included the team’s trophies over the years, electronic games, accessories, signed T-shirts and much more.
The exhibition is part of Winter Wonderland, one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until December at 12 zones across the city: The Boulevard, the Front, Riyadh Car Show, Winter Wonderland, Riyadh Stadiums, the Diplomatic Quarter, Al-Muraba’a, Al-Malaz, Wadi Namar, Nabd Al-Riyadh, Riyadh Safari and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and president of Riyadh Season.
Retired Spanish professional footballer and Real Madrid ambassador Alvaro Arbeloa represented the club at the opening of the exhibition on Saturday.
“The exhibition is amazing, I really love it. You can feel our history, and it’s really important. I think it’s a great opportunity for all our fans here in Saudi Arabia to come here and visit this exhibition,” he told Arab News
Arbeloa thanked Saudi fans for always showing their support to him and the team
“I want to say thank you, thank you for the support. I can feel it every day on social media, and when I meet them here in Riyadh or if they come to Madrid.”
The managing director of TEG Live, Tim McGregor, said the company had been discussing the exhibition with the GEA since March.
You can feel our history, and it’s really important. It’s a great opportunity for all our fans here in Saudi Arabia to come here and visit this exhibition.
Alvaro Arbeloa, Former football player
“We’re very interested in Real Madrid because it’s a huge brand here with a huge number of fans, so they’re very excited about the idea that there will be an exhibition specifically about Real Madrid and their history. We started those conversations back in March and by the middle of April we were ready to go and move forward, it’s been really exciting,” he told Arab News
McGregor revealed that there will be more Real Madrid exhibitions in the Kingdom for the other Saudi Seasons.
“This tends to be the first stop of three in Saudi Arabia. We’re here to be a part of Winter Wonderland and we hope to have many thousands of people that go through the exhibition. The entire Winter Wonderland is going to be extremely popular,” he said
“There were various ideas about where the exhibition would go and how it would be delivered into Riyadh. We’re very pleased that it is a part of something like this. I know this is the first time for Riyadh to have something like this, so it made sense to us to be within a precinct where we know that every day there will be 40,000 or 50,000 people going through.”
Saudi writer and social media influencer Sultan Al-Mousa said he is proud of the development in the entertainment sector of the Kingdom.
“I, just like any other citizen, am very happy with this major leap and the growth of the entertainment sector. We used to travel to see these events, and now they are happening here and one of them is Winter Wonderland.”