Jeddah Season summer festival transforms city’s waterfront

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Promenaders at Jeddah Waterfront. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 June 2019

Jeddah Season summer festival transforms city’s waterfront

  • Jeddah Season aims to highlight the city as a top tourist destination, and to encourage partnerships with local businesses
  • Organizers hope to generate up to 20,000 job and volunteering opportunities for young Saudis

JEDDAH: Jeddah has transformed its iconic waterfront with festivities and activities to accommodate the many visitors attending Jeddah Season, which launched for the first time this year on June 8.
The city’s 41-day Sea and Culture festival features international shows and plays being presented for the first time in the Kingdom, along with street parades, art exhibits, 3-D art displays and water activities.
Families can take a stroll by the waterfront, set up picnics and enjoy the view. Or they can head to one of the many stations equipped with bus stops (free of charge) to check out the various activities and festivities in each area.
Events stay open past midnight due to the summer heat. Visitors flock to the waterfront around sundown to enjoy the beautiful sunset and wait for the music, street parades and performances.
Kids and parents swing and laugh with the musicians and street performers, some of them in colorful costumes on stilts passing over children’s heads accompanied by drum beats.
Nearby, the XJED festival boasts a variety of entertainment, retail kiosks, a theater, an arcade area, a small zoo, a maze, virtual reality games and more.
Local and international music bands play on stages, while a spectacular fire and fountain water show has visitors entranced by the choreography.
Visitors can take in the XJED festival in a mini London double decker bus.
The waterfront is lit with street decorations, while passers-by can enjoy pop-up restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Scalini, Nobu, Q Lounge, and Lounge by Aurum.
Jeddah Season aims to highlight the city as a top tourist destination, and to encourage partnerships with local businesses.
Organizers hope to generate up to 20,000 job and volunteering opportunities for young Saudis.
Jeddah Season is a key part of the city’s tourism strategy, which includes supporting local entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises interested in investing in tourism partnership opportunities in retail, restaurants, services and other related sectors.


Penguins and an ice rink to be part of Riyadh’s winter show

More than 300 trailers have been shipped from all over Europe to Riyadh for the English-style winter carnival. (AN photo/Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 16 October 2019

Penguins and an ice rink to be part of Riyadh’s winter show

  • More than 250 workers are busy setting it up in one of Riyadh’s busiest areas

RIYADH: Snow parks, penguins and ice-skating rinks are common winter attractions in cities with the weather to match — but Riyadh?

Still, there’s a first time for everything, and Riyadh Season is giving the Saudi capital the opportunity to prove it with the opening on Oct. 20 of Winter Wonderland.

More than 300 trailers have been shipped from all over Europe to Riyadh for the English-style winter carnival, and more than 250 workers are busy setting it up in one of Riyadh’s busiest areas.

The site, against the stunning backdrop of the King Abdullah Financial District skyscrapers, will accommodate up to 40,000 visitors a day. “It is challenging, but it is wonderful to be here,” events director Edward Mellors told Arab News. “We are really enjoying it. It’s nice to be involved in bringing such a big project to a country like this.”

As well as the snow park, the ice rink and the penguins, attractions include a Marvel excursion, with Iron Man and other superheroes from the franchise.

“We have been sourcing these rides from all over the world, getting them together and making lots of deals, getting them on ships,” said Mellors. “I can’t think of any one challenge that has been the biggest, but with all of them put together, it has been a mountain.”