11 Of The Most-Talked About Moments From Saudi Arabia In 2021


It’s that time of the year when we take a look at everything major that happened in the past year and it was quite an eventful one if you ask us.

11. When The Saudi Arabian GP Took Place In Jeddah

What a night it was and what a nail-biting finish to go with it. Red flags were up, the race had to be stopped and Hamilton crashed into Max Verstappen, all sorts of things were happening but at the end of the day, it was a race that deserved not to be missed. BTW, the race is coming back to Jeddah in March next year. Woohoo!


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10. Justin Bieber’s Concert

How can we not include Justin Bieber’s concert? Yes, we know it was part of the Saudi Arabian GP that’s already on the list but Bieber merits a special mention. This one’s for all the Beliebers out there.


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9. Saudi Arabia’s Green Initiatives

Saudi Arabia is going big on renewables and has announced that it will hit net-zero in carbon emissions by 2060. That’s not it, several other “green initiatives” were announced including the plantation of 10 billion trees across the country, increasing the size of nature reserves and Saudi Aramco hitting net-zero by 2050.

8. Grand Mosque Opens To Full Capacity

One of the most noticeable signs of the kingdom beating the pandemic was the opening of the Grand Mosque in Makkah at full capacity. After over a year of restricted entry, it was opened at full capacity at a time when Saudi Arabia got the daily caseload of COVID-19 cases to less than 50 and pushed its fully vaccinated population close to the 50% mark. Both are noteworthy accomplishments in and of themselves.

7. We Finally Got A Cruise To Go On

If there’s one thing that everyone in Jeddah can’t stop talking about then it’s the cruise trip. We finally have a luxury cruise to go on and plus, it’s actually pretty affordable – you probably won’t get luxury cruises at these prices anywhere. No better way to explore the Red Sea than this.

6. When King Salman Announced Citizenship For Foreigners

This was such a major announcement that it was covered extensively in the foreign press – at least in the business ones. Saudi Arabia clearly wants to attract the best of minds and the issuance of citizenship to them is just one step in the process. We’ve already featured some who’ve received citizenship since and you can read about them here.

5. The Ongoing MDLBeast Festival

Social media is buzzing with posts on MDLBeast and it’s definitely getting boosted by the number of artists who are in town and are posting about it. The lineup is so huge that you’ll be reading it for a long while, so we’ll leave it at that. It would be safe to say that this is the biggest if not one of the biggest music festivals ever in the Middle East. Over 180,000 people attended yesterday’s concert; there are still three more days to go.


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4. When The Red Sea International Film Festival Brought In Star After Star

Joining the long list of A-listers of Arab cinema were the likes of Akshay Kumar, Farhan Akhtar, Shibani Dandekar, Ed Westwick, Hilary Swank and Naomi Campbell along with the stars of the big-budget Bollywood film “83” that had its world premiere here. Is this the biggest film festival in the Middle East yet?

3. When Everyone Spoke About Riyadh’s Transformation In 20 Years

One photo social media couldn’t get enough of was one that showed Riyadh 20 years apart. To see how quickly Riyadh has developed is mind-blowing. And, with the number of giga development projects taking place in the city, it’s on track to be even more unrecognizable in the next 10. We’re saying next 10 ‘cus that’s when Vision 2030 culminates and by that time the authorities want to see Riyadh as a truly global city butting heads with major metros of the world. Seeing, the way things are going that doesn’t seem far off now does it?

2. Riyadh’s Al-Hilal Winning The AFC Champions League A Record-Breaking Four Times

It wasn’t just the 50,000-plus Saudi supporters at the King Fahd Stadium who were dressed in blue, the whole city turned blue that night to mark Al-Hilal’s history-making victory. Riyadh’s Al-Hilal winning in Riyadh – the moment was just extra special.

1. The Spectacle That’s Called Riyadh Season

The whole country can’t stop talking about it and neither can we. Riyadh Season and all the activities it encompasses are too long to enumerate and it rightfully deserves the prime spot on our list. Riyadh is turning into quite an entertainment hub and with the way things are going, we really hope that Riyadh Season extends beyond March ‘cus there’s always things to do here nowadays.


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