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The new digital and social media to discover Arabia and the Middle East. Offbeat. Innovative.

Maraya, a rift in space-time

Even if we know, having seen the place on video, nothing allows us to get a precise idea of the immense mirror brick that sits in the middle of a desert of sand and mountains of rock.

Imagined so as not to disrupt the landscape and to make the most of the wilderness, this mastodon of ice is self-sufficient. Yet the magic works just as much inside, where meet the opulence of a Piaget stand sparkling with a thousand lights and the simplicity of a Saudi-style welcome, with a date, a cardamom coffee, and a smile…

Before going to the table, we notice a crowd in front of a back door and decide to line up to discover the experience that attracts so many people. As soon as we enter, we are convinced we made the right choice. In a small, dark room, a narrow path surrounded by water runs through. All the walls are made up of mirrors, creating the unsettling impression of evolving in an infinite space. All around us, round lanterns of all colors hang from the ceiling at different heights and intervals from each other. Luminous chaos not much unlike that of the cosmos. The Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama entitled his work “the brilliance of souls”, and indeed, it is an art form that transports you to another plane, far from our physical dimension… To better immerse yourself in it, the work is to be discovered at 360°.

Yanni, musically yours

After a dinner that would make Gargantua pale with envy, it’s time to settle down comfortably in the leather seats of the auditorium to savor the accuracy of the arrangements of the inarguable Yanni. A confirmed pianist and keyboard player, he performed that evening accompanied by opera singers and a parade of instrumentalists, each more talented than the last, from drums to violin and trumpet.

The mixed crowd, made up of Saudi and international tourists, savored every note and, after a deserved standing ovation, left the auditorium on a small cloud, hailing for some “the incredible performance of a musician of international stature”, happy for others “to have been able to attend such a concert in such a place, in the heart of the desert, and only a few hours drive from home”.