Meet Batman and other superheroes at Saudi Arabia’s biggest costume party

Special Meet Batman and other superheroes at Saudi Arabia’s biggest costume party
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Riyadh Season has announced a costume and cosplay event in Boulevard Riyadh City and Winter Wonderland on March 17 and 18. (Supplied)
Special Meet Batman and other superheroes at Saudi Arabia’s biggest costume party
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Riyadh Season has announced a costume and cosplay event in Boulevard Riyadh City and Winter Wonderland on March 17 and 18. (Supplied)
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Updated 14 March 2022

Meet Batman and other superheroes at Saudi Arabia’s biggest costume party

Meet Batman and other superheroes at Saudi Arabia’s biggest costume party
  • General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh urged people not to miss the Kingdom’s “biggest masquerade party”
  • Turki Al-Sheikh’s tweet attracted a lot of attention from the public, with a short promotional video receiving over 1.3 million views and over 5,000 retweets

RIYADH: Riyadh Season has served up another surprise, with General Entertainment Authority chairman Turki Al-Sheikh announcing a costume and cosplay party in Boulevard Riyadh City and Winter Wonderland on March 17 and 18.

In a tweet, Al-Sheikh urged people not to miss the Kingdom’s “biggest masquerade party” and said that whoever dressed up as an anime or superhero character on March 17 or a movie or TV show character on March 18 would have free access to the boulevard and Winter Wonderland, with daily prizes for the best-dressed people including a car and PS5 consoles.

His tweet attracted a lot of attention from the public, with a short promotional video receiving over 1.3 million views and over 5,000 retweets and people discussing their costumes and what they should wear.

“When I went to buy a costume today, I noticed that the prices of costumes and cosplays had doubled in the stores, and there's only a few shops to buy costumes in Riyadh,” Aamer Al-Harbi, 28, told Arab News.

Shuaib Jameel, 29, said he was excited to go with his friends to the event and that he would dress up as Loki.

“I think that events like this make us connect to our childhood where we used to wear the costumes of superheroes like Spider-Man. I am definitely going with my friends, and we will be dressed up as Marvel characters,” Jameel told Arab News.

The owner of Fancy World costume shop, Hissah Abdullah, commented on the large number of customers who had come to the store, saying staff had to work on their day off just to deliver all of the orders. 

She said the majority of orders were for scary costumes, while children preferred to get Spider-Man and Disney princess outfits, and that customers had called her to ask about outfits that would be suitable for the boulevard event. 

She added that the event would help costume shop businesses in Riyadh by creating more demand and more jobs in this sector.

A few days ago, people could be seen in Boulevard Riyadh City and in other Riyadh locations dressed up as Batman, Iron Man, and “Squid Game” characters to promote the event, with images of them going viral on social media.

During last month’s Founding Day holiday, Boulevard Riyadh City was packed with people wearing traditional Saudi attire, and this event is expected to prove a major draw for many people as well.


Dutch DJ Martin Garrix performs at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix 

Dutch DJ Martin Garrix performs at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix 
Updated 28 January 2023

Dutch DJ Martin Garrix performs at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix 

Dutch DJ Martin Garrix performs at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix 

DUBAI: Dutch DJ Martin Garrix hit the stage on Friday at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia to perform to a packed audience. 

The “Animals” artist, who was ranked number one on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list for three consecutive years, played remixes for “Shakes,” “Summer Days” and many more. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ali Assi (@loush_official)

Fans in the Kingdom danced, cheered and held up signs to support the DJ. 

One of the posters read: “Martin on, world off.”   

Egyptian singer Mahmoud El-Esseily also met his fans at the event. “I am very happy to be here today. We will light up the stage, won’t we?” he told his fans. 

He sang some of his hits: “Helm Baeed,” “Ekhteraa” and “El-Leila.” 

Fans were also treated to a drone show and colorful fireworks. 

The event also presented local talent, including Saudi Lebanese record producer DJ Loush, whose real name is Ali Assi.  

The audience sang along with him to “Staying Alive,” “The Business” and “Do It To It.” 


ULTRA Abu Dhabi music festival releases lineup of headliners for debut edition

ULTRA Abu Dhabi music festival releases lineup of headliners for debut edition
Updated 28 January 2023

ULTRA Abu Dhabi music festival releases lineup of headliners for debut edition

ULTRA Abu Dhabi music festival releases lineup of headliners for debut edition

LONDON: The international music festival, ULTRA Worldwide, has announced the first wave of headliners set to play the inaugural edition of ULTRA Abu Dhabi on March 4-5 at Etihad Park.

“Multi-award winning and platinum-record selling artist Afrojack is no stranger to headlining ULTRA Main Stages across the world, and will be on hand to deliver yet another high-octane set,” organizers said.

“Responsible for some of the biggest hits in the world, Grammy-nominated Calvin Harris will bring the beats to Yas Island for one of his signature high-energy sets (and) Dharma Worldwide boss KSHMR will whip the crowd into a frenzy with his culture-crossing sonics,” they also said.

Gud Vibrations label co-founder NGHTMRE will appear on the Main Stage with his signature blend of electronic music and producer Skrillex, who has won eight Grammy Awards — more than any other electronic dance music artist, will bring his shapeshifting soundscapes to the festival.

ULTRA Abu Dhabi will also host ULTRA’s underground techno and house concept RESISTANCE, featuring Drumcode founder and Swedish techno titan Adam Beyer.

“Producer and EXHALE label boss Amelie Lens will return to the Middle East to deliver her mesmerising blend of techno, while British legends Sasha_John Digweed bring decades of dance floor expertise to Abu Dhabi,” they added.

Etihad Park, located on Yas Island, is the largest open-air venue in the region and one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and entertainment destinations.

“ULTRA Worldwide sets the benchmark when it comes to delivering the ultimate festival experience, combining top-tier talent, cutting-edge technology and large-scale productions,” the statement said, adding: “As the most international music festival brand boasting active events on all six inhabited continents, it’s no surprise that ULTRA Worldwide’s Middle East debut will be one of the most highly anticipated events across the UAE this year.”

The three-day festival will offer a premium general experience pass that allows access holders to dedicated entrance gates, toilets, food and beverage stands, as well as a private lounge area. It will also offer VVIP passes at both stages.


Netflix releases first trailer of Gigi Hadid, Tan France’s ‘Next in Fashion’

Netflix releases first trailer of Gigi Hadid, Tan France’s ‘Next in Fashion’
Updated 28 January 2023

Netflix releases first trailer of Gigi Hadid, Tan France’s ‘Next in Fashion’

Netflix releases first trailer of Gigi Hadid, Tan France’s ‘Next in Fashion’

DUBAI: Giant streaming service Netflix on Friday unveiled the first trailer of the second season of “Next in Fashion,” which Part-Palestinian catwalk star Gigi Hadid co-hosts alongside British TV personality Tan France. 

The new season will be released on March 3, Hadid said in her Instagram post. 

“So excited to join Tan France,” she wrote to her 77 million followers. “We had the most special and fun time with these designers and can’t wait for you to meet them!”

The first season of the fashion competition show, which premiered in January 2020, featured 18 designers who faced weekly design challenges to win a $250,000 prize and a chance to have their collection sold on Net-a-Porter.

This season will feature a group of up-and-coming talents who will compete to win $200,000, and “the chance to share their designs with the world,” the streaming service said. 

 “Hey, hey! Nobody booked you to model, dear,” France tells Hadid, who enters the room twirling as a catwalk star, in the trailer. “You’ve got an actual job to do.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

The short trailer shows separate scenes of Hadid speaking to the designers. “Are you guys ready?” she said in one clip, while in another she motivated the competitors saying: “Fashion should be fun.” 

In another scene, she was seen wearing her iconic red Versace skintight catsuit that consisted of a leather corset paired with pointed-toe knee-high boots and a voluminous, billowing red coat, which she wore to the Met Gala in 2022. 

“Tanny?” she says. “I’m gonna need some help getting down from here.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

 Hadid first announced that she will take part in the new season in February 2022. 

“Netflix is casting designers now for season 2. I know there are many designers out there that deserve a platform like this. Second-guessing yourself? Please just go for it. This is your sign and your chance. Show us your creations,” she told her followers at the time, sharing a poster that featured her and France.

Filming for the show began in April 2022, according to the model. 

Hadid took to Instagram to share her excitement over the forthcoming episodes at the time and talk about her co-host, calling the British reality television star her “brother” and saying that shooting the new show together has been “a joy of my life.”

France also lauded his “Next in Fashion” co-host and dubbed her an “amazing mom.”


French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 

French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 
Updated 26 January 2023

French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 

French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri nominated at Cesar Awards 

DUBAI: French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the 48th Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars. 

Khoudri has been nominated for her role in filmmaker Cedric Jimenez's “Novembre,” which tells the story of the terrorist attacks in Paris on the night of Nov. 13, 2015. She plays Samia, a charitable young woman who volunteers at a homeless camp. Her flat mate is bankrolling her cousin, one of the terrorists. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by lynakhoudri (@lynakhoudri)

The actress is no stranger to starring in films based on real-life incidents. In November 2022, she premiered “Nos Frangins” or “Our Brothers.” The movie tells the harrowing true story of French Algerian student Malik Oussekine who died in police custody in 1986 following several weeks of student protests against a university reform bill. Khoudri plays the role of his sister. 

Meanwhile, Louis Garrel’s “The Innocent” and Dominik Moll’s thriller “The Night of the 12th” are leading the race at the Cesar Awards, with 11 and 10 nods, respectively. 


Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  
Updated 26 January 2023

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

RIYADH: Shababik restaurant’s pop-up location in Diriyah, Riyadh, made headlines recently when Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently signed for local team Al Nassr, stopped by for dinner with Saudi Minister for Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.  

Shababik serves authentic Levantine cuisine. It launched in 2014 in Jeddah, and the pop-up will be open until Feb. 22 as part of Diriyah Nights. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

Shababik’s outdoor terrace makes it an ideal place to visit while the weather is cool (there are heaters provided to make sure it’s not too chilly). Sitting outside gives you the opportunity to take in the surrounding palm trees and urban art, and the nearby architecture, which is inspired by the traditional Najdi style. It’s a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere — although the restaurant does occasionally host live music.   

We visited earlier this month to sample a little of the Ronaldo lifestyle.  

For starters, we selected the hummus with meat. It was fresh and tasty, but lacked the all-important final touch: a drizzle of olive oil. The Fattah — a staple dish of cooked eggplant and toasted croutons — was a great way to begin the meal, and we also enjoyed the cheese roll, which was dusted in wild thyme and served grilled rather than fried, giving it that slight crunch without the grease. 

The oriental potatoes were fine, if a little lackluster. They needed more flavor to really bring the dish to life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

From the seafood menu, we selected the grilled prawns in a marinade of buttery garlic and lemon sauce with chopped cilantro. The prawns were tender and beautifully cooked, and the sauce complemented them well.   

The highlight of the meal was the lamb shank oriental rice wrapped in pita bread. The cinnamon-and-pistachio aftertaste was especially interesting and really worked to enhance the flavors of the meat. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

Throughout our visit, the staff were friendly, prompt and eager to help. 

As you might expect, given the restaurant’s recent high profile, those wishing to dine at Shababik must first reserve a table on the MyTable app and pay SR350 per person up front. 

Overall, the food was good, but it’s the Diriyah location that really makes a visit to Shababik worthwhile — giving it a vibe inspired by authentic Saudi roots.