AD DIRIYAH: The Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA) organized a launch event on Sunday for the month-long Ad Diriyah Season, which begins on Nov. 21.
The season will include world-class sporting, entertainment, musical and cultural events hosted in Ad Diriyah.
The launch event was held under the patronage of GSA Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.
“Hearts will beat faster, pulses will race, rivals will battle each other, and thousands will be entertained in the cradle of modern Saudi civilization, Ad Diriyah, where our nation began,” he said.
“Today, a year after organizing Formula E, our ambitions have become bigger, as have our dreams.”
The Formula E racing championship of electric cars will return for this year’s Ad Diriyah Season.
There will be back-to-back races on Nov. 22 and 23, with Porsche and Mercedes competing for the first time.
“Clash on the Dunes,” the first world heavyweight boxing title fight in the Kingdom, will be held on Dec. 7.
The current unified world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua, the 2012 Olympics gold medalist, will go head-to-head in a revenge clash of epic proportions.
The first professional tennis tournament to be staged in Saudi Arabia will be held on Dec. 12-14.
Through a knockout tournament, three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland will battle it out against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, Belgium’s David Goffin and Italy’s Fabio Fogini. Four more competitors will be announced at a later time.
The Ad Diriyah Equestrian Festival will see the world’s best equestrian athletes compete in two weekends of elite sportsmanship. The tournaments will be held on Dec. 12-14 and 19-21.
Saudi and international contestants will compete as they collect points to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
For the first time in Saudi Arabia, women will be able to participate in the equestrian race. “We participate in Europe all the time. This time we’re doing it in our country, on home ground, in international show-jumping,” said Saudi equestrian Sara Baban.
Ad Diriyah Season will also include concerts, cultural festivities, and food and retail experiences.
The names of singers who will perform have not yet been revealed, but music fans should reserve Nov. 22-23 and Dec. 6, 13 and 14 in their diaries for concerts.
“Where else in the world can you find this epic blend of the past, the present and the future?” said Prince Abdul Aziz.
“Last year, we opened the door to international travelers through our sporting visa program. Now the Kingdom has launched general tourist visas, so our arms are open and our welcome has never been warmer. Come witness history in the making.”