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The ultimate guide to Riyadh Season 2023

From a Disney Castle to Winter Wonderland, here’s where to find the fun.

Riyadh Season is back. The blockbuster festival kicks off on 28 October and continues into early 2024. This year’s ‘Big Time’ theme reflects its ambition to bring the best arts, culture and entertainment to the capital.

Riyadh Season is part of Saudi Seasons, which includes Sharqiyah Season in March and Jeddah Season in June. Riyadh Season launched in 2019 and is the largest festival of its kind in the Middle East. The events include the Riyadh Season Cup between Al Hilal and Al Nassr clubs, the Crown Jewel Wrestling Festival, and the Riyadh Tennis Season Cup. 

Now in its fourth edition, Riyadh Season takes over the whole city and 60 per cent will be new experiences. The festival welcomes A-listers, from celebrity chefs to singing sensations – BTS were at the inaugural season, after all. Plus, the new experiences include the Barbie World, which pays homage to the doll, and the Legend Museum, which celebrates soccer stars. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the zones at Riyadh Season 2023 – check back, as this will be updated regularly. 

Al Murabba

Al Murabba has had an upgrade, and gone from a temporary zone to a permanent one. If you like the finer things in life, you will love this zone. Take your pick from luxury shops and upmarket restaurants as well as cafés, which serve cuisines from across the world. So far, the restaurants include Fouquet’s, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and La Californie. 

Boulevard Hall 

Boulevard Hall is a new zone. Built within 60 days and spreading over 200,000 square meters, the area can accommodate more than 40,000 visitors. 

Boulevard Riyadh City

Boulevard City has been turned up a notch, as 60 per cent of the experiences are new. Visitors can celebrate the centenary of Disney at the iconic castle, and there are 30 interactive experiences. Plus, it includes Blippi Wonders, an educational and entertainment experience for kids; House of Hype combines the real world and virtual reality; and Cats’ n Cups is a Japanese-inspired cat café. 

Boulevard World 

More is more at Boulevard World. The OTT zone has increased in size by 40 per cent, and is the largest zone. The site brings together 1,180 stores, 120 restaurants and cafés. Look out for artistic performances, entertainment and games. Plus, you will be able to go on travel-inspired experiences to China, France, India and more. 

Riyadh Front 

Great for families, it’s all about fun at Riyadh Front. The zone brings together games, fashion and anime experiences. If you know your Spidey suit from your Batman mask, then keep this on your radar. Last year it hosted a Saudi Anime Show. Dressing up is encouraged.

Riyadh Zoo 

Animal lovers, this one’s for you. It’s time to hear Riyadh roar – well, Riyadh Zoo. The zoo returns with 25 per cent more space. The family-friendly destination has a range of animals and protected areas. 

Suwaidi Park

If you love to travel, you can do that without having to hop on board a plane. Make your way down to the new, free zone Suwaidi Park, as the zone celebrates different cultures. Spend the night here, as it hosts live music shows. 

Souk Al-Awalain

Going once, going twice. Welcome to the new and free zone, Souk Al Awalain. Visitors will have the chance to pick up one-of-a-kind items, which make for great souvenirs, at the weekly auctions and heritage markets. 

Via Riyadh 

Via Riyadh is a luxe zone – there’s The St. Regis Riyadh hotel, high-end cinemas, restaurants, cafés and boutiques. Inspired by the Salmani-style that you’ll find across the capital, the zone has a touch of the traditional in its design. 

Winter Wonderland 

It’s not often you can feel like you’re walking in a winter wonderland in Riyadh Season. London’s Winter Wonderland returns once more to the city. We expect the signature chalet-style shops, ice skating and festive lights. Plus, classic rides, from the Ferris Wheel to the carousel, and thrill-seeking rollercoasters. 

Wonder Garden

The new Wonder Garden will be a family-friendly zone, which spans half a million square meters. The area will include an amusement park and four gardens. With more than 85 games and experiences, it will be in a new location north of Riyadh. 

GO: Visit https://riyadhseason.sa for more information. 

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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