Culture

Sharqiah Season Festival: A cultural celebration

November 02, 2021

Sharqiah Season Festival is a cultural festival in the Eastern Region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it features a mixture of traditional events, sporting events, and film screenings.

Hosting a variety of entertainment options suited for each city, the festival endeavors to promote opportunities for Saudi talent in the film industry while also featuring various films from the GCC region.

In addition to introducing new talents and movies, This festival is also an exceptional way to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Kingdom.

attending Sharqiah Season is definitely one of the top things to do in the Eastern Province.

How Sharqiah Season Festival came to life

How Sharqiah Season Festival came to life

Sharqiah Season is a collaborative effort by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, the General Entertainment Authority, the General Culture Authority, and the General Sports Authority. It focuses on eastern province cities such as Dammam, Dhahran, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa, and Jubail, while future seasons will focus on other regions in the Kingdom.

It was a part of an initiative called Saudi Seasons, aiming to increase tourism in Saudi Arabia and provide jobs for young Saudis.

When did the season start?

When did the season start?

The first season was held in 2019, it included a large number of events that attracted people from both inside and outside of Saudi. Sharqiah Season was the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment planned for 2019, it included more than 83 different events that took place across nine cities in the region.

 

The highlights of that festival were:

The Fifth Annual Saudi Film Festival

The Fifth Annual Saudi Film Festival

Taking place from March 21 to 26, 2019 at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran, this festival was organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Dammam, in partnership with Ithra.

It aimed to honor Saudi and Gulf cinema figures and included 10 training workshops and 10 seminars. It was a fantastic chance to promote opportunities for Saudi talent in the film industry and flicks from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman were also included among screenings.

 

Red Bull Air Race

Red Bull Air Race

Taking place in Dammam from March 21 to 23, 2019, the demo was organized along with the General Sports Authority.

Called “the most advanced aerial challenge in existence.”, the air-racing competition, was developed in 2003 and accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). 

 

In this race, pilots fly just meters from the ground and against the clock to complete an obstacle course full of twists and turns, using fast, agile, high-performance race planes.

Color Run 

Color Run 

Taking place at South Alkhobar Corniche,  participants in the 5-km dash were doused with colored powder at the end of every kilometer. Runners started dressed all in white and emerged at the end of the run covered in the colors of the General Entertainment Authority’s logo.

Concerts

Concerts

Concert fans rejoiced at the Asharqiah Music Festival, as it featured performances by major names at Dammam’s Life Park. US rapper Pitbull and Canadian DJ Deadmau5 were among the participants, as well as Egyptian vocalist Amr Diab, US-Moroccan rapper French Montana, and American singer Akon.

Lovers of regional music were not left out, with appearances by Assala Nasri and Mutrif Al-Mutrif, and Nabil Shuail and Hatem Al-Iraqi, all at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Center in Al-Qatif.

Other noteworthy festivals in Saudi Arabia

Before coronavirus the Saudi calendar used to feature several amazing festivals, hopefully, most of them will be back soon.

Janadriyah National Festival

Janadriyah National Festival

Held in Janadriyah, just outside Riyadh, this is the most renowned cultural festival in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Janadriyah lasts for two weeks each year, and people attend it from everywhere in the Kingdom, citizens, and expats both enjoy this incredible chance to celebrate the local culture and heritage. It offers a glimpse into all aspects of life in the GCC. 

If you are interested in local crafts, traditional dancing, camel races, horse races, or any aspect of the old way of life, Janadriyah is the perfect event for you.

Riyadh Season

Riyadh Season

Spanning over 2 months, Riyadh Season is a city-wide celebration of modern culture. Just like Sharqiah season, it is one of the initiatives taken by the Kingdom to boost economic and tourist activity.

The first season was held in 2019. In that season, 12 zones were set up for the festivities, and multiple events were held, one of the most memorable was the performance by Cirque du Soleil.

Buraidah Date Festival

Buraidah Date Festival

Buraidah Date Festival centers around date manufacturing, processing, and products such as molasses, dough, sugar, jam, and chocolate. 

The is the biggest date market in the world. Offering more than 30 varieties of dates. The annual three-month festival starts in August of every year.

For more activities in Saudi Arabia see also:

Things to do in Saudi Arabia