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Residents awestruck as Riyadh dazzles with light art Citywide public art illuminations, guided walks, drive-in movies, music and workshops captivate Riyadh citizens
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 03 - 2021

Riyadh has dazzled since last Thursday evening when the 33 public light art installations were ignited to illuminate the night sky across the city, and the exhibition Light Upon Light: Light Art since the 1960s was switched on, residents have also flocked to take part in the multitude of events happening as part of the Noor Riyadh festival.
Over the first week of the festival more than 120,000 residents have attended the Noor Riyadh festival, while nearly 200,000 visitors have accessed the Noor Riyadh website to check out the schedule and descriptions of nearly 300 public and online events, and to download the app which provides detailed information and ticketing details to manage crowds under strict regulations to protect the health and safety of visitors.
Noor Riyadh's program of activities has been scheduled to maximize participation and community engagement through creative, personal, and immersive experiences. During the first weekend, the public has flocked to enjoy drive-in movies and to take part in creative talks with Saudi and global experts, join walking tours, and participate in creative workshops. Which thanks to technology, are not limited to residents of Riyadh. Those in other cities or countries can enjoy a vast menu of online workshops, talks, images, and videos to not miss Noor Riyadh.
While residents have been captivated by the transformation of the city, Saudi and world-renowned international artists are also enjoying the energy of the festival.
Saudi physician turned conceptual artist, Ahmed Mater, who has created two artworks as part of the citywide installations program and the Light Upon Light exhibition, said: "The 'Under One Sky' theme of Noor Riyadh speaks of universality and equality, bringing the world together to share ideas and experiences. The art scene in Saudi Arabia is young, energetic, and full of hope which is reflected in the authenticity and energy displayed throughout the festival."
The public light installations will remain illuminated for 8 more days through to April 3, while the exhibition and a wide range of events and activities continue until early June. Most events are ticketed to manage numbers with booking on a first-come, first-served basis available through the website. Close to 25,000 tickets have been issued in a week, with this and growing interest, it is expected for Noor Riyadh to spark the creative expression of Riyadh as never seen before. — SG


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