Jeddah’s Al-Sabeel district becomes a cause of worry

Updated 11 August 2015

Jeddah’s Al-Sabeel district becomes a cause of worry

JEDDAH: There are many wonders in Al-Sabeel neighborhood in southern Jeddah, with traditional homes on the verge of collapse, and workers selling and buying away from the watchful eye of the law.
Rubbish fills alleyways as garbage collectors carry their children on their backs. Countless violations are being spoken of and hopes of relevant authorities correcting faults are awaited. Buildings are on the verge of collapse, and unlicensed stores, and overcrowded streets and narrow alleys stand in the way of civil defense in case of emergencies.
Local media visited the neighborhood and listened to old residents of the area who remained while many others chose to leave for more up-market areas in northern Jeddah. However the neighborhood clings to its originality and old traditions, where inhabitants meet to solve problems of the neighborhood and discuss their hopes for modernization and development.
Mohammad Ishaq, a specialist in fixing home air conditioning units, was busy carrying and hiding used units in a torn-down traditional three-storied house. He denied that he used the house to store electric devices, but he did admit that these devices need to be fixed and hides them their to avoid accountability by “the system” saying he doesn’t have a place to practice his trade so he chose this secret hiding place.
Ali Saeed Qasim says Al-Salbeel has hundreds of expatriates, the majority of whom are of African and Yemeni nationalities. He said some houses date back several centuries with wooden roofs which pose a threat to inhabitants and neighbors. He called on owners to repair those houses or deliver them to relevant authorities to carry out the necessary maintenance, which was the case in the historical area.
Husam Attar talked about violations that take place in Al-Sabeel neighborhood, saying this area is an original part of the town, but most people are afraid to enter it after sundown because of violators to the residency and labor laws, as well as vendors who exploit the absence of relevant authorities to promote their prohibited products. Security campaigns were recently active which brought some reassurance to inhabitants of the area.

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.


GEA president Turki Al-Sheikh gave an opening speech: “Our dearest people, in the beginning of this season, we welcome you and our guests in Riyadh.

“I want to share a story with you all; once upon a time, I was from a middle-class family. My mother and father would gather both their salaries to have us travel to see the world, and then we would stay in Riyadh for a year. These were our capabilities (at the time) and there was nothing to do in Riyadh. Who would've thought that we’d see all of this in Riyadh, and in our beloved country?

“This wouldn't have been possible without -of course Allah first- a person who has the qualities and vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

He tweeted: “Riyadh traffic police estimated we have exceeded 600K which means ten times the capacity.”

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.

The parade had a special surprise; the appearance of DJ Carnage who took to the stage dressed in complete Saudi attire and performed his successful electronic show.

The musician also took to Twitter to celebrate the night and how he had had a hand in “making history,” tweeting: “A huge thank you to @Turki_alalshikh  ..... what you did for your country last night... was so special... thank you for having me... we made history.”