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Saudi seasons, Jeddah in the lead

Photo credit : Jeddah.sa

From Blue Man Group concerts to WWE events and Shakespearean performances, the recently finished "Jeddah Season", the first of its kind, had an undeniable international dimension.

To launch the recently concluded touristic season in Jeddah, WWE held its Super ShowDown in Al-Jowhara Stadium in King Abdullah Sports City. The evening was notably the scene of the victory of Saudi wrestler Mansoor Al-Shehail, but also a good way to set the tone: the “Jeddah Season” will be festive and international or will not be.

Thus, the greatest legends of the discipline, such as Triple H or Undertaker, were present. Wrestling was not the only fighting sport represented, as the English boxer Amir Khan challenged and defeated the Australian Billy Dib, and won the WBC welterweight belt. After his performance, he promised the Saudis that he would return to the kingdom in November to face Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao.

Music in the spotlight

“Music gives a soul to our hearts and wings to our thoughts,” said Plato. Presumably, the organizers of the “Jeddah Season” were of the same opinion. The main focus was on the musical arts with numerous concerts by stars from the Arab world, such as Lebanese Nancy Ajram and Wael Kfoury, Saudi Mohammad Abdo, Egyptians Amr Diab and Angham and Khaleeji singers Ahlam and Rashed Al-Majed.

In addition to the latter, international stars were invited. Blue Man Group’s performance was highly anticipated and did not disappoint, the same goes for that of the K-Pop superstars Super Junior. Renowned DJs such as Martin Garrix or Marshmello have been acclaimed, as were 90s remnants, the Backstreet Boys. The icing on the cake will undoubtedly remain the Jeddah World Fest, which brought together a sensational line-up -50 Cent, Janet Jackson, Steve Aoki, Future, former One Direction Liam Payne, among others-, all of whom came to shake the biggest stage ever built in the region. The final bouquet, although there were actual fireworks.

Theatre was not to be outdone

Because not everything is just electronic music and a delirious crowd, the organizers have relied on the theatrical arts to thrill lovers of cultural activities. From the Arabic versions of Shakespeare’s “King Lear”, or the Peter Pan Broadway musical, to Teatro Circus and its acrobats, to the performances in the Music Hall, eclecticism was in order. Shows were also available for the youngest ones

Finally, in addition to the many street performers, there were also shows combining sound and light. Some mixed flames, lasers, and fountains, others dazzled the crowds with their pyrotechnic prowess, during fireworks fired for nearly an hour over the Red Sea.

Since the Vision 2030 plan was initiated in 2016, the kingdom has opened its doors to a myriad of cultural activities that delight locals and visitors alike, considering the reactions observed on social networks, particularly following the Jeddah World Fest which brought together more than 10,000 people. While the Jeddah Season ended after 41 days of festivities, the city does not intend to rest on its laurels and is already preparing, among other events, next year’s international film festival called the Red Sea International Film Festival.