15 things to look forward to in Saudi Arabia this February

Plenty of exciting sports events, a jazz festival and more…

Can you believe February is rolling around real soon? And hey, it’s also the shortest month so let’s make the most of it by doing the things on this list. From golf tournaments and horse racing to arts festivals in AlUla and Riyadh, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 15 things to look forward to in Saudi Arabia this February.

February 1: It’s the last dance of football greatness

Football fans, get excited. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are set to face off one last time on Thursday February 1 in Riyadh. The two football icons have been neck-and-neck for numerous records and awards, clashing a total of 36 times over their storied careers, with their first meeting in 2008. The second match of the Riyadh Season Cup will witness a clash between Al-Nassr and Inter Miami.

Al-Nassr vs Inter Miami, Feb 1, 9pm, Kingdom Arena, Riyadh. Tickets start from SAR375 and can be purchased here. @riyadhseason

Until February 2: Step into the Metaverse of Magic at Ithra

Metaverse of Magic

A fan of magic and theatre? Addicted to your mobile phone? Then look no further than the Metaverse of Magic. Featuring the world’s most renowned illusionists, this groundbreaking theatrical experience combines mind-bending illusions, breathtaking stagecraft, and cutting-edge technology that will leave you in awe. Using your smartphone to interact with the show, you’ll embark on a quest to uncover the secrets of four masters of illusion and attempt to gain access to the mysterious Inner Realm. As you progress, you’ll earn points and rewards, ultimately unlocking the secrets of magic, both past and future. The show runs until Friday February 2 at the Ithra Theatre in Dhahran.

Metaverse of Magic, Until Feb 2, 7pm to 9pm, Ithra. The ticket price starts from SAR128 and can be purchased here. Suitable for 10 years and above. @ithra

February 2 & 3: The world’s first-ever electric powerboat racing championship debuts in Jeddah


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Here’s introducing the UIM E1 World Championship, the world’s first-ever all-electric powerboat racing championship. The first event for the inaugural season will make its electrifying debut in Jeddah on Friday February 2 and Saturday February 3, and will feature a full weekend of events for fans and attendees. Onsite, fans can enjoy the first-ever Acceleration Festival, E1’s dedicated village for attendees with a wide variety of entertainment options and experiences. The best part is tickets for the E1 Jeddah GP are free.

E1 Jeddah GP, Feb 2 & 3, 11am onwards, Jeddah Corniche, Obhur. Book your free tickets here. @mosgovsa

February 7 to 9: Welcome to the first edition of Riyadh International Jazz Festival

Music enthusiasts will get their first taste of a jazz festival in Riyadh as the first edition of Riyadh International Jazz Festival opens on Wednesday February 7 in Diriyah. The three-day festival is funded by the Kingdom’s Music Commission. International artists such as Chaka Khan (otherwise known as the Queen of funk), London-based Kokoroko, The Cat Empire and Grammy-nominated artist Masego will take the stage, alongside with emerging artists from Saudi and the Arab world. Among them are Fulana, a young female artist who grew up in the Kingdom and uses jazz as a way to open a conversation around the emotions of life in the Middle East; Bahrain-based fusion band Majaz, and the up-and-coming Saudi band Garwasha. Stay tuned for more details.

From February 9: Art knows no bounds at AlUla Arts Festival

Desert X AlUla

Returning for the third successive year from Friday February 9 to Saturday March 2, AlUla Arts Festival presents a world-class programme featuring flagship events, immersive exhibitions, and creative initiatives for a city-wide celebration of all things art. Be sure to check out the free Desert X AlUla, the first site-responsive exhibition in Saudi Arabia, Wadi AlFann, a new cultural destination for contemporary art, and ‘More Than Meets the Eye’ Exhibition, , where visitors will explore modern and contemporary artworks by Saudi artists.

AlUla Arts Festival, AlUla, Feb 8 to Mar 2, AlUla. @alulamoments

February 9: Get ready to Groove on the Grass

Get ready for the much-awaited return of Groove On The Grass to Saudi Arabia. Taking place at Al Amaaria Village in Riyadh, the music and arts festival will be the perfect place to enjoy the cool weather, jam out to great music, and hang out with the gang. Headliners for this edition have yet to be announced, so stay tuned to What’s On Saudi Arabia for the latest updates.

Groove on the Grass, Feb 8 & 9, 5pm onwards, Al Amaaria Village, Riyadh. Tickets start from SAR250 and can be purchased here. @grooveonthegrass.ksa

February 9: James Blunt is set to make his AlUla debut


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The acclaimed singer-songwriter will be performing at the stunning Maraya on Friday February 9. The top musician has had a stellar 17-year career that has spawned over 23 million album sales. Those who managed to get tickets to his one-night-only performance will be treated to his breakthrough hits like “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover”, as well as songs from his brilliant new album “Who We Used To Be”.

James Blunt in AlUla, Maraya AlUla, doors open at 6.30pm, show starts at 8.30pm. @alulamoments

February 9: A candlelight concert in tribute to Ludovico Einaudi

If you’re looking for a relaxing night out, or a memorable experience to share with friends, this Candlelight tribute to Italian artist and composer Ludovico Einaudi in Riyadh will illuminate your evening. A talented pianist will take to the keys, and you’ll hear 60 minutes of legendary classical Einaudi compositions. The selection of Einaudi’s works will include “Primavera”, “Gravity”, “Una Mattina”, “Golden Butterflies”, and many more. Famous for his ability to instantly create emotional reaction, you won’t be able to resist this dreamy and moving piano performance surrounded by hundreds of candles.

Candlelight: A Tribute to Ludovico Einaudi, Feb 9, 6pm & 8pm, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Riyadh. Tickets start from SAR150 and can be purchased here.

February 10: Take part in the Riyadh Marathon

Runners of all backgrounds are welcome to take part in the Riyadh Marathon. Participants can look forward to four races: the main 42-kilometre event for those aged 20 and above, a 21-kilometre half-marathon for those over the age of 18, a 10-kilometre race for those aged 17 and above, and the four-kilometre fun run, suitable for all ages. There will also be an exciting “Marathon Village,” where you and the fam can enjoy various fun activities, and an area dedicated to restaurants. Visitors can immerse themselves in the carnival-like atmosphere, complete with fun food, music, fitness activities, and more.

Riyadh Marathon, Feb 10, 5am onwards. The price starts from SAR59 and you can register for the event here. @saudi_sfa

February 15 to 18: Catch some of the biggest names in women’s golf at Riyadh Golf Club

The fifth edition of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund (PIF) will take place at Riyadh Golf Club from Thursday February 15 to Sunday February 18. Seize the chance to catch the likes of the Korda sisters, Lexi Thompson, Georgia Hall, Chiara Noja and Charley Hull in action. Besides the on-course action, spectators can expect a wide array of F&B options and entertainment offerings. Whether you’re a golf fan or are simply looking for a fun weekend out, there’s definitely something for everyone at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF. More details will be announced in due course.

Aramco Saudi Ladies International, Feb 15 to 18, Riyadh Golf Club, Al Aarid, Riyadh 13352. @aramcoladiesint

From February 20: Dive into the world of contemporary art

Art lovers, rejoice. The drive to promote the cultural credentials of Saudi Arabia continues with the return of the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale. Entitled “After Rain”, it will feature 92 artists from 43 countries, including 30 artists from the wider Gulf region. Participating Saudi artists include Asma Bahmim and Abdulrahman Al-Soliman.

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024, Feb 20 to May 24, JAX District, Diriyah, Riyadh. @biennale_sa

February 22: Celebrate Saudi Founding Day

Saudi Founding Day celebrations

Foundation Day is an official public holiday in Saudi Arabia on February 22 each year. The holiday was created in 2022 to commemorate the foundation of the First Saudi State in 1727 by Imam Muhammad bin Saud. So, expect fireworks and a host of events and cultural celebrations in cities across Saudi Arabia, and keep a look out for our round-up on things to do during the Saudi Founding Day holiday.

Throughout February: An incredible island escape to the dreamy St Regis Red Sea Resort

Get ready to embark on a Saudi staycation of next-level luxury: The St Regis Red Sea. The dreamy and exclusive island escape is one of two luxurious Marriott Resorts that unrolls along the sugary sands of Ummahat Island, nestled among a protected conservation area on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline. Accessible via boat or seaplane, the 90-key resort, of all beachfront and overwater villas, invites guests to enjoy blissful getaways where white sandy beaches, tropical gardens and a thriving underwater world await. On the culinary front, guests can dine at five restaurants, including all-day dining with a Levantine twist at Nesma, enjoy refined Japanese flavours at Gishiki 45, and tuck into fine cuts cooked to order at sleek steakhouse Tilina.

The St Regis Red Sea Resort, The Red Sea. Rates start from SAR7,000 per room per night. Marriott.com

February 23 & 24: The Saudi Cup races into Riyadh


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In the world of horse racing, The Saudi Cup is one of the most significant calendar events. The two-day international event will return to the King Abdulaziz Racecourse on Friday February 23 and Saturday February 24, with some of the world’s leading racehorses and jockeys in attendance. Details and ticketing information have not yet been announced but watch this space for more updates.

The Saudi Cup, Feb 23 & 24, King Abdulaziz Racecourse, Equestrian Club, Riyadh 13645. @thesaudicup

February 24: You can still get tickets for Russell Peters’ comedy gig in Riyadh

The Canadian comedic megastar is heading to the Kingdom, returning to Riyadh for the first time in eight years. The one-night ‘Russell Peters: Live’ show is booked for Saturday February 24 at Princess Noura University Theatre, and tickets are already on sale. They are priced at SAR395 for Silver category, SAR595 for Gold, SAR650 for Diamond, SAR695 for Balcony seats, and SAR895 for VIP. Simply jump on TicketmasterKSA.com to secure your tickets. Take it and go

Russell Peters: Live, Feb 24, 8pm, Princess Noura University Theatre, Riyadh. Book your tickets here@smileentksa

Images: Social / Supplied