Diriyah, ‘The City Of Earth’, is ready to showcase its unique heritage and tradition to the world, welcoming all.
DIRIYAH – Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has unveiled its highly-anticipated Diriyah Season 2023/24. The Season celebrates Diriyah’s living heritage with a three-month extravaganza of events and experiences starting Tuesday, December 12, 2023.
This year’s program positions Diriyah Season as the highlight of the Saudi cultural calendar and honors Diriyah’s origin story and “Hal Al Awja”, a rallying call for all Saudis to come together and celebrate their shared heritage and identity. The Season’s activities are spread across Diriyah, including the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, Bujairi Terrace, the Kingdom’s premier dining destination, and its beautiful parks and wadis.
Held under the patronage of His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Secretary General and Board Member of Diriyah Company, the Diriyah Season launch took place in the historic district of At-Turaif. Commenting on the occasion, he praised the role of culture as a lead catalyst for the Kingdom’s rapidly growing tourism sector. “Residents and visitors alike explore the Kingdom for its many and varied authentic and meaningful experiences. This is what Diriyah Season is all about. Here, in Diriyah, in the birthplace of the nation, we are connecting our own people and those from around the world to our rich heritage and culture. In the light of the news that Riyadh will host Expo 2030, we look forward to expanding Diriyah Season as a leading cultural festival and increasing opportunities to create connection and dialogue over the coming years.”
This year’s Diriyah Season starts on a musical high note, with a stand-out series of cultural concerts promising to wow lovers of live music and performance. The first cultural concert will take place on December 12th and feature Saudi music legends Rabeh Saqer and Ayed, who will perform in Mayadeen, with tickets going on sale on Sunday 10th December.
The Season also includes the “Journey to the Future” themed Escape Room to challenge participants’ escapist skills while expanding their knowledge of the Kingdom's stories of the past, culinary experiences that celebrate both traditional and contemporary cuisine, and a wide range of captivating experiences, exhibitions, and events from December through to March 2024.
A further highlight of Diriyah Season includes ‘Diriyah Nights’, which sees one of Diriyah’s heritage farms transformed into an open-air illuminated wonderland, showcasing the best of local and global contemporary art and design, cuisine, live music, dance, poetry, and theatrical performances. ‘Diriyah Doors exhibition’ invites visitors to reflect on the ideas, meaning and legacy of Diriyah and the Najd region’s brightly colored, patterned, and engraved doors, while ‘At-Turaif Retrospective’ brings together the stories and memories of Diriyah through a multimedia installation that explores and embraces the ongoing impact of the values of At-Turaif on contemporary Saudi Arabia.
Foodies are well-catered for during Diriyah Season. The Ministry of Culture’s Culinary Arts Commission presents ‘Shetana’, an outdoor evening Saudi winter food experience held daily over four weeks at the Mayadeen Theater. And, throughout the Season, Bujairi Terrace features a range of special events and activations every weekend, in addition to its existing offering of the world’s most exciting cuisines.
For lovers of speed and adrenaline, the Diriyah E-Prix championship, organized by the Ministry of Sport, returns to Diriyah Season. The event provides a striking link between the old and the new, with the state-of-the-art cars standing in stark contrast to the backdrop of the heritage site and highlighting the role of sustainability and innovation in preserving our heritage.
In his address at the launch, Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company, said Diriyah Season is expected to welcome more than a million visitors in the coming three months. “This year’s Season is a platform for diverse artistic expressions and immersive experiences. It features the breadth of cultural programming from musical and theatrical performances to gastronomy, immersive art installations and thought-provoking exhibitions. It blends the old with the new and takes us on a journey of self-discovery as we reconnect with our authentic selves. This is not just entertainment: it’s entertainment with meaning. We invite you to come, entertain your cultural curiosity, discover Diriyah and leave with a connection that will remain with you for a lifetime.”
Diriyah Season 23/24 is presented by Diriyah Company, in partnership with Diriyah Gate Development Authority.
For the full Diriyah Season program, event listings and timings, please visit diriyahseason.sa and follow @diriyahseason on social media for updates.
For all press enquiries, please contact:
Yasser Alhabsi | Mob: +966 (0)560061480
About Diriyah Season:
The 2023/24 Diriyah Season is presented by Diriyah Company, in partnership with Diriyah Gate Development Authority. It offers local, regional, and international visitors an unrivalled authentic experience that combines art, film, the culinary arts, and live performance to celebrate nearly six hundred years of Saudi history and heritage in a multi-month cultural festival with a range of themes.
As a prominent national symbol in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Diriyah has been associated with the first Saudi state and was founded in 1727 by Imam Muhammad bin Saud, who made Diriyah his initial power base, the first capital of government and a scientific and social center. Sitting at the heart of Diriyah, At-Turaif district was one of the prominent neighborhoods in Diriyah, encompassing Salwa Palace, the seat of government at that time, and the home of the royal family. In 2010, At-Turaif Historical District was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, for encompassing one of the largest mud brick districts in the world. In 2017, King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued a royal Decree for establishing Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) and forming its board of directors headed by His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The authority seeks to preserve the historical and architectural heritage of Diriyah, being the home of the imams of Al-Saud and the base of the First Saudi State. DGDA is also the regulatory and supervisory authority for the supervisory area of the Diriyah Project, which extends over an area of 194 square kilometers. In 2022, Diriyah Company, which is one of the major projects of the Public Investment Fund PIF, was established to develop and execute Diriyah project, aiming to make Diriyah a global destination that reflects the authentic Saudi heritage, and will allow visitors the opportunity to discover the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within an ancient Najdi atmosphere.
Diriyah Company also contributes to transforming Diriyah into one of the most important heritage, cultural and entertainment destinations in the world, as it works to achieve this in its capacity as the executive body of the Diriyah project. Diriyah includes a number of educational, cultural, and artistic institutions. In addition to a selection of the world’s finest international hotels and resorts, together with major international shopping titles. And the most famous restaurants and cafes from around the world.