Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season set to end in style

1 / 4
Noura Al-Abeed performs as ‘Leila.’
2 / 4
Spectators can also expect fireworks, an inflatable fortress, dancing and hundreds of original costumes. (SPA)
3 / 4
Spectators can also expect fireworks, an inflatable fortress, dancing and hundreds of original costumes. (SPA)
4 / 4
Spectators can also expect fireworks, an inflatable fortress, dancing and hundreds of original costumes. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 15 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Season set to end in style

  • Tickets can be bought from the website RiyadhSeason.com and start from SR25 ($6.70)

RIYADH: More than 10 million people flocked to Riyadh Season, which is going to end with a bang at the King Fahd Stadium on Thursday, according to event organizers.
The CEO of General Entertainment Authority, Faisal Bafarat, told the media on Tuesday that the season had achieved impressive results and numbers, including revenues and visitor numbers from inside and outside the Kingdom.
Anghela Alo, who is creative director of Riyadh Season, said: “The great numbers and successes achieved deserve to have a conclusion worthy of it, so the show ‘Leila Land of Imagination’ will be the perfect conclusion to the season. We are happy that the partners in the season are with us in this ceremony, in addition to the visitors of Riyadh Season.”
Marco Balich, from Balich Worldwide Shows, said: “We firmly believe that if we integrate global experiences with national talents, we will be able to create unique offers that will leave unforgettable memories and a legacy. This is a great time for the Saudis, and we had the privilege of being here on a joint journey toward Vision 2030.”

FASTFACT

The show has 488 performers, 293 crew members and two horses.

Noura Al-Abeed, who plays Leila in the show, was also at the press conference. The show follows her as she embarks on a journey toward the future.  Alo said: “Leila is a symbol of the new Saudi generations who live a changing reality. The future is around the corner. All she needs to know about herself is to unleash her imagination.”
The show has 488 performers, 293 crew members and two horses. Spectators can also expect fireworks, an inflatable fortress, dancing and hundreds of original costumes.
Music and video clips were also produced for the show. The stadium has a 67,000-seat capacity. Tickets can be bought from the website RiyadhSeason.com and start from SR25 ($6.70).


Home alone: Saudis and expats try to beat the holiday blues

Updated 26 May 2020

Home alone: Saudis and expats try to beat the holiday blues

  • People celebrating Eid alone or abroad find ways to stay positive

JEDDAH: For different reasons many people living in the Kingdom have found themselves alone for the holidays due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, their spirits dampened as they are forced to stay home alone, away from loved ones.

As the pandemic enters its third month in Saudi Arabia, flights have not yet resumed, strict social distancing and safety measures are still in place and curfews have been reimposed to curb the spread of the virus during the Eid holidays.

Many families are stranded in cities across the Kingdom, while Saudis studying and working abroad are either stuck or have chosen to spend summer where they are out of fear they will not be able to return and start their new semesters.

Some people were able to move in with their families and quarantine together, while others were deprived of that chance.

A number of Saudi nationals, including students, have been repatriated in the past couple of weeks while others are still waiting for their turn.

Yousef Al-Ayesh, a 21-year-old senior student at Arizona State University, has been at home since late March as a precautionary measure.

He said that Eid with his family in Jeddah was one event that everyone looked forward to all year long. Under normal circumstances the first three days of Eid would be filled with events — family dinners at night and beach excursions during the day. Although he would be sleep-deprived, he would still make the most of the little time he spent with his family due to his studies.

“With all that’s going on, it doesn’t even feel like it’s Eid,” he told Arab News. 

“It most probably would have been different if I was back in Saudi Arabia but I still wouldn’t have been able to celebrate it the same way. It’s not that bad here (in the US) now since restaurants have reopened and my friends and I have the outdoors to enjoy, have a barbecue, or just hang out. I would have felt worse if I was alone. Ramadan was already odd enough, I don’t think I would have been OK if it were the case without them.”

Although his family lives 8,000 miles away he did not feel alone as his group of friends decided to celebrate together, even without the perks of new clothes and eidiyas from aunts and uncles.

It’s an exceptional year for us and one that is teaching us a lesson on various levels, but we must adapt either way.

Fareed Abdullah Fareed

Al-Ayesh hoped to be repatriated to the Kingdom soon and spend some time with his family after his mandatory quarantine.

Fareed Abdullah Fareed, a 29-year-old expat working and living in Riyadh, said this year’s Eid was tough without his family.

Although he is used to living alone because of his job, Eid was the one occasion he looked forward to the most every year because he got to travel to Cairo and be with his family.

“My family moved from Jeddah to Cairo about four or five years ago and Eid is a significant occasion in the family, Eid Al-Fitr is significantly more special than Eid Al-Adha even,” he told Arab News. “I look forward to traveling to see them every year since moving to Riyadh but wasn’t able to with the lockdown, so we all got together on FaceTime video call and spent the whole day speaking to family members.”

Like many expats, Fareed has spent the past months at home and said it was hard for him and his family but that communication had made the ordeal slightly easier.

“It’s an exceptional year for us and one that is teaching us a lesson on various levels, but we must adapt either way,” he added.