More than 3,000 synchronized drones and colorful fireworks spectacularly marked the start of the much-awaited Riyadh Season 2022 on Friday.
The third edition of the festival was launched by the Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Turki bin Abdul al-Sheikh
Thanking Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support in his opening remark, al-Sheikh introduced the opening of the latest attraction to a large audience.
Saudi folklore took center stage, supported by select Cirque du Soleil performers.
A group of gymnasts, high wire acts, stunt motorcyclists, fire-jetting and swinging rope performers all awed the audience present for one of the biggest events in Saudi Arabia.
The event also featured synchronized light-up drones that depicted the Saudi leadership, the Kingdom’s flag and the Riyadh Season logo in the sky.
What to expect?
Various zones within the festival will host activities and events, concerts, local and international exhibitions, theatrical performances, WWE Championships, football tournaments, interactive experiences from global cultures, restaurants and cafes, among other experiences, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
This year’s season will include a variety of zones - some that have been present in previous editions but have now been expanded - and others that are new.
The multi-cultural Boulevard World is one of those.
“Imagine that you’re visiting the US, France, Britain, Greece, India, China, Spain, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, and Italy all at the same time. Their markets, cuisines, and arts will all be here,” al-Sheikh said describing Boulevard World in a video shared before the launch.
It will also include the biggest artificial lake in the world, submarines, a combat field area, and a village for superheroes.
Sky Riyadh is another new addition to Riyadh Season 2022.
The new zone will include different locations that will give visitors a chance to enjoy the view of Riyadh city from high above, including the skyscraper that al-Sheikh made the announcement from.
With the World Cup kicking off next month, the Riyadh Season will include the Fan Festival zone at Mrsool Park that will accommodate 20,000 fans for each game and will include exhibitions on late football star Diego Maradona and another exhibition on the Newcastle Club, al-Sheikh said.
With inputs from Al Arabiya English’s Ghinwa Obeid