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Dazzling surprises await visitors at Riyadh Season
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 07 - 10 - 2021

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia's capital city is all geared up with mammoth preparations and elaborate arrangements for the second edition of Riyadh Season, which will kick off on Oct. 20. The event, with the slogan of "Imagine More", will witness dazzling surprises in 14 entertainment zones spreading over a total area of 5.4 million square meters.
Advisor Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), posted on his Twitter account a 5-minute video detailing the incredible surprises of the season, most of which are taking place for the first time in the Kingdom.
He said there will be more than 7,500 activities, 500 electronic games, nine international studios, four theaters, the world's first and largest mobile skyloop with a capacity of more than 40 percent, more than 200 restaurants, cafes and stores, an international arena, 3-km walkway, in addition to a golf course and 12 paddle tennis courts.
The visitors can watch the thrilling experiences of fighting in five eras, riding war tanks and shooting with live ammunition at 15 interactive shooting ranges.
Another enthralling experience will be the Saudi Anime Expo, the largest convention of its kind so far staged in the Middle East, and that will bring a taste of all things Japanese, from musical performances to popular anime booths, to the region.
The season also offers a giant tree experience, an area to interact with pets and safari trips, in addition to the Riyadh Games Festival, exhibition of electronic games, exhibitions of perfumes and jewelry, exhibition of cars and many artistic and musical performances, including concerts.
"The concerts do not exceed 2 percent of the total events," Al-Sheikh said.
The video is also mentioning poetry evenings as well as a special poetry exhibition and performances of dialogue poetry.
The event will also feature seven international restaurants and three international cafes in the event. An international hotel with a capacity of 100 rooms, a luxury cinema with seven screens, and 23 stores of the finest international brands.
Al-Sheikh had previously emphasized the competitiveness of ticket prices in the events and activities of the Riyadh Season, with a difference of up to 40 percent lower while compared to the region and the rest of the world. There will be four free-entry entertainment zones among the total 14 zones.
"Many zones and theaters are dedicated to discovering and developing Saudi talents," the GEA chief noted.
He also shared on Twitter an advertisement for the Riyadh Season 2021, which will see the participation of the star-studded French club Paris Saint-Germain with its international soccer superstars -- Argentina's Lionel Messi, Brazilian Neymar and French Kylian Mbappe.
The participation of the super trio will not be limited to the promotional announcement only, but it will precede their participation in an unprecedented exhibition football match of PSG against the stars of Al-Hilal SFC and Al-Nassr FC, the two biggest football clubs in the region as part of the series of amazing events planned for the Riyadh Season.
The match will be held during the third week of January of 2022. It will be one of the top and most exciting events of the Riyadh Season.
PSG is considered the most glamorous football club in the world today with its splendid list of superstars and legacy to be the first French football club ever to play in Saudi Arabia. Al-Sheikh had announced a friendly match between the stars of Al-Hilal and Al-Nasr against PSG in a great surprise to the Saudi fans.
The Riyadh Season is expected to provide a mixture of exclusivity, suspense and modernity, turning the Saudi capital city into one of the most preferred destinations for visitors and tourists in the region and the world at large. In addition, it seeks to make the capital a tourist destination, and consolidate its position as one of the most prominent entertainment destinations in the world.
Young Saudi men and women constitute a major segment of the 16,000 staffers who have been hired to make the festival a remarkable experience and a resounding success. More than 2,300 companies operating in the entertainment sector have contributed to organizing the activities of the event, as well as to provide training to more than 100,000 people and issue 4,400 permits and licenses.

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