JEDDAH: Around 12,000 visitors a day have been flocking to Jeddah’s Prince Majed Park to sample the myriad of attractions on offer as part of the city’s festival season of activities.
And according to event organizers, thousands of international tourists have been among those attending this year’s Jeddah Season carnival of fun.
Entertainment in the park zone includes live shows, a recreational area for children, shopping booths, a horror house experience, and weekly cultural nights.
Sultan Al-Masaari, a project manager with events organizer Ajwaa Alsaudia, the company overseeing the zone’s activities, told Arab News that 84,000 square meters of the 120,000-square-meter park was being utilized to accommodate the large crowds.
“The number of visitors varies from day to day, but the daily average is nearly 12,000. However, the number can go to as high as 20,000 on some weekends,” he said.
He pointed out that the park’s entertainment was being provided free of charge and had been particularly aimed toward families.
“We target all community members, expats, and Saudis alike. As for the expat communities, we have chosen five nationalities to stage their shows and performances. Performers from Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka present their traditional performances on a weekly basis,” Al-Masaari added.
He noted that many of the varied musical and entertainment shows had been packed to capacity.
However, some visitors were unhappy about food and drink prices in the park.
Ali Al-Ghamdi, a retired government employee, said: “Despite everything here being amazing, and we appreciate the organizers’ decision to impose no entrance fees, food prices are high. I came here with my wife and three children and have spent more than SR200 ($53) on snacks and drinks.”
Al-Masaari said: “There are different snack outlets that sell food for low, average, and expensive prices. Some water bottles are sold here for SR2, some other selling points sell them for SR10.
“Every food outlet has its own pricing. We are trying to provide the best quality and services, and it is a season, in the end.”
On Friday, comedian Shakeel Siddiqui was among Pakistani stars entertaining park visitors.
Pakistani festival goer, Rania Qazi, said: “We have been to all of the Jeddah Season events and have had a lot of fun and excitement. It is not only for adults but kids too.”
She added that the Philippine night had been particularly enjoyable, and Areeqa Kazeem, 11, from Pakistan said that the park activities had provided the opportunity to discover more about different cultures.