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Riyadh Season: Saudis dress up as movie, anime characters at costume event

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Hundreds of Saudis dressed up as their favorite superheroes, movie, and anime characters and paraded around Riyadh City Boulevard last week in a two-day costume event held as part of the Riyadh Season megafestival.

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People dressed in costumes walk on a street, as they take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)
People dressed in costumes walk on a street, as they take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)

To many of the attendees, it was the first time they openly dressed up in costumes. The event took place on March 17 and 18.

Residents of Riyadh dressed in costumes pose for a picture, as they take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)
Residents of Riyadh dressed in costumes pose for a picture, as they take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)

“I was really happy with the spotlight, the turnout and the great achievement in this season. I had to participate with the best I have,” Saud al-Hazani, who won the event's best costume prize, told Reuters.

“Honestly, I came here not expecting this engagement, it’s something really professional,” Abdulkadir Abdullah, who’s costume was inspired by the mobile game ‘PUBG’, told Reuters.

People dressed in costumes walk on a street, as they take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)
People dressed in costumes walk on a street, as they take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)

The event was organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) as part of the Riyadh Season, an arts and culture festival that runs annually across the Saudi Arabian capital, featuring art shows, concerts and sports events.

A person dressed dressed in a costume walks on a street, as people take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)
A person dressed dressed in a costume walks on a street, as people take part in a two-day costume event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 17, 2022. Picture taken March 17, 2022. (Reuters)

Chairman of the GEA Turki Al al-Sheikh tweeted a video of himself at the cosplay event on Thursday sporting a Homer Simpson mask surrounded by friends who were also dressed up in costumes. He expressed his happiness on the success of the event and revealed that Riyadh Season has so far attracted over 14 million people since its launch.

The megafestival was first held in 2019, beginning in October and ending in January 2020.

On the second day of the cosplay event (March 18), Jamaican artist, music producer and rapper Sean Paul performed a concert.

The chart-topping and multi-award-winning dancehall rapper, record producer and singer is regarded as one of the genre’s most prolific artists who rose to fame in the early 2000s.

Over the course of his career, Sean Paul has collaborated with multiple award-winning artists such as Beyonce, Clean Bandit, Dua Lipa, and Fuse ODG. He has also won multiple awards including a Grammy and MTV Music Award.

With Reuters

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