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For anyone who relishes in the depths of competition, who becomes enveloped by in-field dramas, and who finds themselves caught up in all the entertainment elements of the sport, Diriyah is a gift that keeps on giving to those who come locally or from abroad. And if the particular sport being showcased doesn’t grab you, the spectacle surrounding the sport will, and fear not, there are a host of different sporting events that will come on the horizon if what’s happening now isn’t your game.
As we see the end of February on the horizon, 2023 has already caused many sports fans to walk away with new fond memories and high-octane entertainment experiences via football competitions, BMX Freestyle World Cup events, and E-Prix car racing. But as aforementioned, it isn’t only about the sports, as meet & greets, an urban festival, and musical concerts have also been showcased, appealing to those who would rather experience the serenity of the musical arts rather than the thrill of competition. As one might expect from historical Diriyah, the streets are opened up for tourists, visitors, and fans, showing off all of the local cuisines (Bujairi Terrace, in particular, boasting over 20 world-class dining experiences) and luxurious hotels and resorts placing Saudi Arabia’s best foot forward to tourists, positioned in easily accessible areas about town.
In days to come, there will be a highly anticipated boxing match between Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury which is a match that has been anticipated for quite some time now and should prove to be an exciting night. The boxing game will bring the 2022-2023 Diriyah Season (themed “The City of Earth”) to a close. Though Diriyah Season might be winding down, the city itself will continue to be available to tourists via its attractions, museums, historically significant sights, and robust infrastructure while pushing forward in local advancements toward the Kingdom’s 2030 vision of becoming the world’s largest cultural destination. In the meantime, sports fans will have to keep a keen eye open for events that will be thrown together as they develop and an ear to the ground for the re-scheduling of events for the next round of Diriyah Season spectacles.
In retrospect, the unsung heroes of the 2022-2023 iteration of Diriyah Season are those who took part in ensuring that everything flowed smoothly and efficiently, as most know- nothing can spoil a good time like the inconveniences of ill-advised planning, hap-hearted efforts, heavy traffic, and a lack of cohesive vision. Granted, with highly anticipated events comes traffic, and there’s little that can be done about it, but whatever could be done has been done, allowing attendees to come and go in the most comfortable manner possible, providing the best experience possible. This season of popular events has proven to be a most welcome injection to the local economy, providing a non-petroleum-based means to bring wealth into Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom is ever working on placing its eggs into more than one basket to ensure a more stable and diverse financial future.
Prof. Alaa Alghamdi
Saudi Scholar & Writer