JEDDAH: The STC Formula 1 Saudi Grand Prix 2022's second-round returned back loaded with many exciting and attractive experiences. But one unique feel that makes this experience different in the Kingdom is the distinctiveness of this version with a lot of the Saudi cultural character.

These cultural characteristics attract citizen visitors from different regions to enhance their Saudi identity while introducing these cultural specialties of the Kingdom to foreign visitors.

The Jeddah Corniche Circuit, the fastest street circuit in the calendar of Formula 1 race, has strategically placed individual markers through which they introduce visitors to the heritage of Saudi Arabia, like the screens at the Paddock Club area where Formula 1 drivers, teams, assistants, and guests can enjoy and learn about the culture of Saudi Arabia.

The screens in the Paddock Club area show the most prominent arts of the Kingdom such as the Saudi folk dances and crafts before the start of the race, in addition to their placement of the most prominent cities and regions of the Kingdom such as AlUla, Farasan Island, Al Soudah, and that in order to promote Saudi tourism to attract visitors.

The identity of the STC Formula 1 Saudi Grand Prix 2022 in Jeddah was characterized by the Arabic calligraphy and by integrating the Arabic calligraphy with the English language. The integrated calligraphy highlighted drivers’ names, places in the media island area and the Paddock Club area. Many drawings were added to the most prominent landmarks of Jeddah in a modern way by using Neon art illustrations.

Music also had a share in attracting and educating visitors, with musicians in the Paddock Club area playing oud, qanun, and saxophone. And one of the beautiful gestures in the media island is the setting up of the Saudi tent to attract foreign media professionals to experience and enjoy the ambiance of tents.

One of the most prominent booths in the STC Formula 1 Saudi Grand Prix areas is the Year of Saudi Coffee booth of the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Culinary Arts Commission. The Ministry of Culture had announced that 2022 is to be named Year of Saudi Coffee, in addition to changing the name of Arabic coffee officially to Saudi coffee, which is considered as a major element in Saudi culture and folklore.

When we enter the Saudi Coffee booth, young Saudi men and women in Saudi cultural costumes from all regions of the Kingdom who draw, through their welcome and smiles, all the guests to visit the booth.

The Year of Saudi Coffee booth is characterized by the presence of the finest types of coffee beans and different blends and spices from all regions of the Kingdom.

Apart from the visitors being able to experience and taste the different types of coffee, they will also be introduced to the different coffee roasting and preparation methods. In addition they will treated to dates and some kind of Saudi dessert.

A Saudi representatives from the Year of Saudi Coffee booth revealed, “Though there are 14 recipes to prepare Saudi coffee from different regions of the Kingdom, here 5 recipes were selected to be presented to Formula 1 race visitors.”

An Italian man, after trying the Saudi coffee, said, "The Saudi coffee is more softer than the European coffee, I thought it would be like espresso, but it is more like tea.”

"I have to get used to it, because I am Italian and I am used to another type of coffee, and this is new for me. But this is good too because there's so many types, like the soft ones and the strong ones."

The Italian, who took several samples of Saudi coffee, said that he wanted to take it to his father to try it. The Italian could stock up on the samples as the Year of Saudi Coffee distributed free samples of several types of coffee of Saudi blends to visitors.

The distribution too was very unique and thoughtful as the samples were gifted in envelopes printed with the identity of the Year of Saudi Coffee.

Among the touches that enhanced the Kingdom’s identity, is placing the Saudi flag on the badge of media professionals, photographers and officials of the STC Formula 1 Saudi Grand Prix 2022.

All these simple touches went a long way to etch the Saudi culture in the memory of all participants in this huge event that helps build the Kingdom’s position globally.

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