Culture and entertainment in sync at Sharqiah Season


AL-KHOBAR — Saudi Arabia has been long known for its cultural attachment while safeguarding the country’s social ethos by strict protocols and mandates. Most recently, the Kingdom has welcomed phenomenal winds of change that would optimistically boost the country’s entertainment scene with a surge of events, performances and globally-renowned shows. In return, it is expected to set the world’s biggest oil exporter on full throttle toward a poised economic status and sustained development.

The country’s openness to promote entertainment follows a wise direction by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister, minister of defense and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs.

Today, Saudi Arabia is hosting a carefully catered selection of 100+ programs and activities with arms wide open. Recent news have relayed the launch of the “Sharqiah Season”, a one-of-a-kind experience and the first of 11 “Saudi Seasons”, which will be rolled out consecutively in the upcoming year.

Also called “Yalla Sharqiah”, the Season is being hosted across nine cities in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Unknown to many, the cities are home to national treasures and exquisite landscapes that form a crossroads of culture and entertainment.

“Sharqiah Season” unveils cultural landmarks rich in heritage and monuments, all embellished in entertainment options now accessible for locals and visitors alike.

Over a period of 17 days starting March 14, entertainment and tourism fans have been in for a treat as Saudi Arabia brings them one step closer to a realm of iconic gems and breathtaking performances.

Dubbed “Arab Tourism Capital in 2019” by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al-Ahsa boasts major pit stops and historic sceneries that have been long-hidden in the shadows. It will feature 15 eventful performances and cultural attractions that are sure to enthrall spectators.

Al-Ahsa Oasis is the largest and most famous natural oases in the world with over 3 million palm trees producing a vast daily output of some of the finest dates. Due to its lush fertile land and strategic location, the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, leading it to be nominated as one of the seven wonders of the world.

Al- Ahsa will be hosting wondrous performances as it uncovers top touristic destinations such as “Al-Shu’ba” mountain, which stands on elevated historic stones. It will be lighting up the sky with fireworks and welcoming famous skateboarders and an eye-catching show of stilt walkers. Moreover, visitors will get the chance to visit “Ibrahim Palace”, a 500-year old historic stronghold filled with art and a mix of Islamic and military architectural structures. The palace will be displaying an outdoor cinema and the motivational Ithra Forum.

Similarly, Jubail Industrial City was cited in the Guinness World Records as the largest engineering and construction project ever attempted. Jubail was initially nothing more than a coastal village that relied on fishing and pearl diving to drive the local economy. On the heels of its crowning, Jubail kept developing to become the world’s largest industrial city. It will present an amazing lineup of watersport competitions, 3D mapping shows and interactive oil and water performances on its coastal area.

Qatif is another point of interest that is expected to blend culture and entertainment. It extends from Ras Tanura and Jubail in the north to Dammam in the south, and from the Arabian Gulf in the east to King Fahd International Airport in the west. It is famous for its Tarout Castle, a historical fort that is located at the top of a hall in the center of Tarout island. It dates back to 5000 BC and was originally built during the rise of the Dilmun civilization. Rich in ancient inscriptions, it was dedicated to the worship of Mesopotamian goddesses, such as “Ashtar”, from which the name Tarout derives.

The Eastern Province holds its share of worldwide recognitions. In fact, most people in Saudi Arabia have a tendency to move to Al-Khobar, which is well known for being named the second most beautiful Arab city back in 2006. Khobar is also part of the fun with unmatched musical performances, drone racing and fireworks, next to the world-acclaimed Holi Festival of Colors. The city is unique to its mesmerizing shoreline and warm welcome from local residents.

“Sharqiah Season” is a melting pot of different cultures and entertainment facilities. It is a hybrid product of national identity, culture and heritage, covered in a layer of fun and engaging entertainment platform that is keen to position Saudi Arabia on the global map of culture, tourism and entertainment.