The General Entertainment Authority (GEA), established under the auspices of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has played a significant role in promoting the growth of the entertainment sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With the introduction of new tourism permits, this sector is expected to grow even further.
Entertainment in Saudi Arabia includes amusement parks, festivals, music concerts, and other forms of entertainment, such as Riyadh Season.
Riyadh Season aims to create over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs and enable around 2,000 local and international companies to showcase their entertainment experiences across an area of over 7,000,000 square metres. Riyadh Season is considered one of the most important things to do in Riyadh.
Riyadh Season, in its fourth edition, introduces a new concept and competition called “Treasure Hunt” which combines virtual reality and reality, offering one of the world’s largest prizes.
What is Riyadh Season?
Riyadh Season is an annual festival that started in 2019 as part of Saudi Arabia’s celebrations. It is one of the biggest festivals in Riyadh and the region as a whole. It is essentially a city-wide celebration of Riyadh and, more broadly, Saudi Arabia and its people. It is one of Saudi Arabia’s many projects aimed at enhancing economic and touristic activities, with a focus on non-religious tourism.
As Saudi Arabia strives towards a more progressive future, the program aligns with the Vision 2030 of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. International visitors can now easily enter Saudi Arabia, as the country intends to encourage tourism by making the process of obtaining an electronic visa quick and hassle-free.
The season hosts a constellation of top local and international artists, along with theater performances, entertainment shows, and numerous family activities and games.
Riyadh Season Logo
The logo for this year is represented by a circle, reflecting the concept of the year and highlighting six months of the year with vibrant colours. The circular shape, with its colours and dynamism, reflects the excitement and diversity of the exceptional experiences offered by Riyadh Season 2023 in its fourth year.
When will the 2023 Riyadh season start?
Riyadh Season 2023 will begin on October 28, 2023, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring a boxing match between two of the biggest names in the boxing world, Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou, under the slogan “The Toughest Man on Earth.” The festival will feature a wide range of other fantastic and diverse events, celebrations, and major exhibitions to attract tourists and travellers.
Riyadh Season Attractions
Riyadh Season 2023 includes 10 zones, including 3 free zones. Each zone includes a variety of interactive experiences and dazzling shows. Here are the details for each zone:
This multi-purpose zone was built in just 60 days, covering an area of over 200,000 square metres and standing 42 metres tall. It can accommodate over 40,000 people at the same time. The zone is equipped with the latest technological advancements to serve various events and experiences.
This zone was built in just 20 days, with 60% of it featuring new experiences. It is expected to become the most popular place in the area due to the addition of new attractions.
This zone has been expanded by over 40%, covering a million square meters and adding 4 new thematic areas showcasing prominent landmarks and heritage. It houses the largest popular shopping area, with 1,180 stores, 120 restaurants, and cafes. Additionally, it offers diverse art exhibitions. This zone is the largest project in Riyadh Season, targeting enthusiasts of global cultures.
It is the largest mobile entertainment city, covering half a million square meters. It is designed to cater to the entire family, regardless of age. Its location has been moved to the northern part of Riyadh for easier access. The city provides a unique entertainment experience.
This zone features a new collection of the world’s most luxurious areas and cafes, for the first time in the region. The new addition this year is that this zone will become a permanent area.
It returns for the third time this year with innovative and delightful experiences, including the Little Crazy experience and the Ladies’ Groves experience.
This zone includes the St. Regis Hotel and a wide range of luxurious international restaurants and cafes from around the world.
Free Zones in Riyadh Season
The zoo has added new animals and experiences to its offerings.
This market includes a variety of popular experiences.
The garden includes interactive cultural performances from different cultures.
Riyadh Season 2023 Events
Riyadh Season 2023, in its fourth edition, will feature numerous zones with various experiences and events. Some notable attractions include:
A revival of the Barbie brand with a dedicated experience.
Disney Castle Experience
Riyadh will host the Disney Castle for the first time this season, celebrating its anniversary. It will present a range of stunning shows inspired by famous Disney productions.
The zone will feature interactive visual content using cutting-edge global technology.
House of Hype
The world’s largest virtual reality world, featuring new and unique adventurous experiences that connect the real world with the virtual world under one roof.
The cafe opens its doors for the first time to cat lovers, featuring a diverse collection of cats from around the world.
One of the largest educational and entertainment experiences for children.
Zero Latency World
It’s an interactive 3D experience that allows visitors to interact with digital content in a realistic manner.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
The perfect experience for horror fans.
The first and largest museum dedicated to football legends, featuring 30,000 rare pieces. It is the second branch in the world after the Madrid branch. Visiting this museum is a perfect experience for football fans.
La Liga Cafe
It combines the art of cooking, football, and entertainment in a technologically advanced and innovative facility.
It’s a partnership with Mike Tyson and includes the first sports training gym aimed at developing and training boxing enthusiasts.
CR7 Museum and Experience
A modern museum centred around the life of Cristiano Ronaldo showcases all the awards he has received throughout his sporting career.
Hosts global football legends and creates exciting football experiences, in addition to hosting the 433 Global Awards.
WWE Experience and Store
Consists of a series of special experiences for fans, allowing them to enjoy meeting the game’s celebrities using technology and live an exciting experience with them inside the ring.
Joy Awards Ceremony
Riyadh season will host the most important and largest awards ceremony in the Middle East during this season, the Joy Awards.
The Boulevard World Zone also hosts various experiences, including:
Includes a variety of interactive elements that enable children to play and learn.
The Groves zone includes various entertaining experiences, such as:
Little Crazy Experience
Inspired by fairy tales.
Hawanim Groves Experience
A unique Arabian-Eastern experience.
The season includes several festivals and exhibitions, including:
- Ana Arabiya Festival, Riyadh Games Festival, Dog Festival, Car Exhibition, and Con Con Conference.
- The season will feature more than 33 theatrical performances and international music concerts with the best artists from around the world.
- The Riyadh Season Cup will bring together Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, featuring the most famous football players, and international matches will be played during the season. The season will also feature the world’s largest wrestling event, Crown Jewel, with the participation of the global wrestler John Cena. The Badminton World Cup will also be hosted during this season.
- One of the highlights of this season is the Food Trucks Festival, featuring over 100 food trucks from around the world and the most prominent global capitals, including London, New York, and Tokyo.