Middle East’s Largest Music Festival Held in Saudi Arabia

Photo: Saudinesia

Riyadh, MINA – The Middle East’s biggest music festival will be held in Saudi Arabber on December 16-19 next year.

The festival is part of an initiative launched by the Spirit of Saudi Arabia project, under the tourism ministry. The project serves to highlight all tourism activities and events, which are scheduled to be held during the Saudi winter (from October 2021 to March 2022).

Reported in Al Araby on Saturday, the organizers hope this festival can attract young tourists from within the country, the Gulf and around the world. Around 200 musicians from various countries, such as the Netherlands, New York, Canada, Russia and Florida will enliven the event.

The kingdom had launched tourist visas in September 2019 with 400,000 visas issued within 6 months, before agreeing to travel suspensions, as well as closing ports and borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last October, for the first time, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia finally decided to officially open its beaches to all genders.

The Arab world’s largest economy is trying to shake off its reputation as an ultraconservative nation, with complicated administrative procedures and outdated regulations.

Since becoming the de facto leader in 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has introduced a number of broad economic and social changes. This includes allowing women to drive, reopening cinemas, and allowing mixed-gender music concerts and other entertainment options.

But simultaneously, the prince launched a crackdown on dissent and free speech, arresting female activists, clerics and journalists as well as members of the royal family.

Until 2017, Music was banned in public places, a measure imposed by the religious police, and women were only allowed to drive a year later. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)