International stars dazzle fans at Riyadh Season concerts

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Amr Diab performs in Riyadh. (Twitter)
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The Mohammad Abdo Stage at Riyadh Boulevard, where the Riyadh Season concerts are being held (AN Photo/Hala Tashkandi)
Updated 09 November 2019

International stars dazzle fans at Riyadh Season concerts

  • Local favorite DJ Dish Dash opened the show, warming up the crowd with a riveting performance before the main acts
  • Riyadh Season, one of 11 festivals under the year-long Saudi Seasons festivals, opened on Oct. 11 and ends Dec. 15

RIYADH: As Riyadh Season progresses, the party does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. 

In a sold-out concert on Thursday evening, four acts took to the Mohammad Abdo stage to perform for Riyadh Season attendees: Saudi DJ Dish Dash, Egyptian singer Amr Diab, American rapper French Montana and Belgian DJ duo Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike.

Opening the show was a local favorite, DJ Dish Dash, who warmed up the crowd with a riveting performance before the main acts. 

Kicking off with a remix of the Saudi national anthem, Dish Dash played for about an hour before French Montana took the stage.

Montana expressed how happy he was to be back in Saudi Arabia, sending love to all his fans. He also mentioned that it would officially be his birthday at midnight, prompting the crowd to start singing “happy birthday” to him as he appeared visibly touched.

Following Montana’s performance, Diab appeared to thunderous applause. Diab was succeeded by Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, who performed well into the night, ending the show on a fantastic high note that left the entire crowd cheering.

The concert marked a triumphant return for both Diab and Montana, who also performed at the Asharqiah Music Festival in Dammam in March, as part of the Sharqiah Season celebrations. 

Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, who were recently voted as the DJs in the world by DJ Mag, made their Saudi Arabian debut at the event.

Concertgoer Faizah Almutlaq could hardly contain her excitement as Diab took the stage, telling Arab News that she found herself unable to stop cheering the moment she saw him live for the first time.

“I cannot believe he was here! I saw all of the other Saudi Seasons come and go, and I was filled with envy when I saw Diab in Dammam, knowing that I could not attend his concert. And now, he came to my city, and I finally saw him. It is a dream come true,” she said.

Mohammad Alsadhan, a long-time fan of French Montana, was delighted to see the rapper in Saudi for the second time after seeing him at the Asharqiah Music Festival.

“Both concerts were great, but the Riyadh Season concert was just elevated,” he said.



Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.