Pakistan’s biggest musical star Atif Aslam and Bollywood sensation Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will perform for their fans in Saudi Arabia on October 25, Turki Al al-Sheikh, Advisor at the Royal Court and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GEA, announced.
“For our Indian and Pakistani brothers and sisters in Riyadh “Atif Aslam” and “Rahat Fateh Ali Khan” will be waiting for you on the 25th of October,” al-Sheikh wrote in a tweet.
Aslam, a Pakistani playback singer, music composer and actor, has recorded numerous chart-topping songs and is known for his vocal belting technique. Khan is known for his Qawwali music, a devotional music of the Muslim Sufis.
The decision was well-received with hundreds of people praising al-Sheikh’s announcement on social media.
“Our Pakistani brothers deserve it,” a Twitter user wrote.
“We are Saudi and we listen to them too… They are Pakistani legends,” another wrote.
One Twitter user wrote, “Being open to other cultures is a beautiful thing.”
Their performances come as part of Riyadh Season, one of the Kingdom’s 11 festival seasons that occur throughout the year, and will run from October 11 to December 15.
The seasons aim to transform Saudi Arabia into a tourist destination, and provide the country’s residents and visitors with year-round entertainment events, in line with the country’s Vision 2030 economic reform plan.
Each season features a different theme to highlight different aspects of Saudi Arabia’s heritage and culture.
Riyadh Season kicked off on Friday with much-anticipated concert by K-pop boyband BTS, following Jeddah Season, a six-week entertainment that ran from June 8 to July 18, and al-Soudah Season, which included the Flowerman Festival.
The GEA also organized a five-day National Day Season in September to celebrate the Kingdom's 89th National Day.