JEDDAH: In its second edition in the Kingdom’s Red Sea, the Beach Festival has returned to the heart of Jeddah, bringing back the Guinness World Records largest inflatable aqua park.
With a great location this time around and temperatures finally breaking from the searing summer heat, the beach activities kicked off on Sept. 22 at the Sand Square across from the Hilton Hotel, enabling the public to access the beach until Nov. 15.
Likened to a private beach by Beach Festival’s project coordinator Mutaz Al-Ghamdi, the event promises fun activities for everyone. “The Beach Festival is a beach event, containing a Guinness World Records winning inflatable waterpark. Families and singles can come and enjoy a full day of swimming, playing in the park and beach chairs and umbrellas,” he told Arab News.
The festival contains an abundance of food trucks and options, drinks and ice cream stalls, and an opportunity to just “chill, relax, sit back and have a good time.”
But being in the middle of a pandemic, organizers wanted to put guest safety above all else.
“This year, we took into consideration COVID-19 protocols. We prepared all beach chairs in a manner that reflects social distancing protocols,” said Al-Ghamdi. With a location capable of housing 1,000 visitors at a time, Al-Ghamdi said the festival lowered capacity limits to maintain guidelines dictated by the Ministry of Health.
Additionally, visitor temperatures are measured before entry and face masks are enforced, and can only be taken off in allocated areas.
“All the chairs and umbrellas get sanitized daily, as well as the life jackets. They’re only given to every customer after they’ve been sanitized, and after each use, they’re sanitized and then put back,” Al-Ghamdi added.
The Beach Festival is a beach event, containing a Guinness World Records winning inflatable waterpark. Families and singles can come and enjoy a full day of swimming, playing in the park and beach chairs and umbrellas
Mutaz Al-Ghamdi Beach, Festival’s project coordinator
When the event first started, the project manager admitted to receiving low numbers over the first week, but in time the unique location prompted many to notice the festival.
Promotion of the event was left to the people of Jeddah and those visiting through word of mouth. Al-Ghamdi attributed the “massive growth” to visitors’ experience and enjoyment of pop-up events.
“A lot of local social media personalities have been visiting us, they’ve been coming and checking out the place. People tell their friends and families and so on and so forth, we just grew massively that way,” he said.
The festival has gained momentum on weekdays, where tickets sell for SR75 ($20), but is busier on weekends, with tickets for Thursday, Friday and Saturday selling for SR115.
Public relations specialist and mother of two Hasnaa Khalid is excited to take her kids to the festival before the event ends.
“Seeing how the weather is cooling down as of late and the kids are getting a bit antsy since they’re stuck at home for days because of school work, the pop-up beach is a great idea,” she told Arab News.
Khalid said her two daughters are avid swimmers and beachgoers, but what she is most interested in is the inflatable waterpark.
“You don’t see that everyday. I’ve seen so many posts and it looks like a lot of fun, some of my friend’s kids visited last year’s park in north Jeddah and raved about it,” she said.