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12 brilliant things to do in Riyadh this weekend: February 8 to 10

Get the scoop on all the fun things to do this weekend…

Can’t decide what to do with your days off? While it’s never a bad idea to secure a booking at one of the best restaurants in the capital, spend an evening in one of the latest music festivals, or even explore an immersive exhibition, we’re always on the lookout for new, exciting pop-ups, openings and events.

Here are 12 brilliant things to do in Riyadh this weekend.

Thursday February 8

Enjoying afternoon tea at Café Elle


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Where will you find us most Thursday afternoons in our dreams? Tucking into a fabulous afternoon tea at Café Elle in Via Riyadh. Here, the food arrives on a cake stand that sits savoury treats alongside pretty desserts. The scones are the highlight, though – buttery soft, and the perfect vessel for the clotted cream.

Café Elle, Afternoon Tea daily 4pm to 8pm, Via Riyadh, Al Hada, Riyadh 12912. @cafeelle.sa

Sway with the rhythm at Riyadh International Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival Feb 8

Put on your tap shoes, apply the grease paint, and get those jazz hands ready – the inaugural Riyadh International Jazz Festival grooves into town until Friday February 9. The richly varied line-up for Thursday evening includes ‘Queen of Funk’ Chaka Khan, the British jazz ensemble Kokoroko, and Bahraini band Majaz. The festival is an exciting new fixture in the Kingdom’s rich cultural calendar, bringing jazz and world music to the Mayadeen Theatre in Diriyah.

Riyadh International Jazz Festival, Feb 7 to 9, 6pm to 11pm, Mayadeen Theatre, Diriyah, Riyadh. Tickets start from SAR120 and can be purchased here. @diriyahseason

Catch the final match of the Riyadh Season Cup

Football fans, it’s the third and final match of the Riyadh Season Cup, between two of the biggest teams in Saudi Arabia, both holding numerous championships and titles. Al-Nassr will go head-to-head against Al-Hilal in a highly anticipated derby of the Riyadh Season. Get ready to witness a special match from the Riyadh Season.

Riyadh Season Cup: Al-Hilal vs Al-Nassr, Feb 8, 9pm, Kingdom Arena. Tickets can be purchased here. @riyadhseason

Party it up with the Beasts on the roof


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Ever wanted to dance under the stars with the city’s skyline as your backdrop? Then, you’re in for a treat. Get ready for an epic musical night with MDLBeast at KAFD’s hottest rooftop experience. Soak in Riyadh’s best views and hottest vibes with a slate of house-infused underground dancefloor music Mari.Te, Daddy Bisht, Majid, and Ronin as they light up the sky.

FOWG: Rooftop Experience in Riyadh, Feb 8, 9pm to 1am, 4.04 KAFD, Al Aqiq, Riyadh 13519. The ticket price starts from SAR249 and can be purchased here. @mdlbeast

Rave in the ruins of an abandoned hospital


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ERGA takes place every weekend in the now-defunct Irqah Hospital and is an audio-visual spectacular where the music takes you on a mental sonic trip across various sounds and styles. Featuring two separate dance floors known as The Ward and The ER, its location is the most dystopian one ever seen. So, step into the dancefloor and pump up the volume for ERGA’s sick curators, Catz’NDogz , Talal JK, Thirty3ree, Varoo and Vinyl Mode.

ERGA, Feb 8, 9pm to 2am, Irqah Hospital, Riyadh 12586. The ticket price starts from SAR149 and can be purchased here. @mdlbeast

Friday February 9

Welcome Chinese New Year 2024 with a glorious brunch gathering

CNY Brunch

Usher in a bountiful Year of the Dragon with a lavish feast at Levantine Restaurant in DoubleTree by Hilton Riyadh Financial District hotel. Indulge in delicacies like roasted duck with plum sauce, sweet and sour fish, butter prawn, and Hainanese chicken rice, as well as delightful sweet treats like black sesame and red bean glutinous rice balls in ginger sugar syrup.

Chinese New Year Reunion Brunch, Feb 9, 1pm to 5pm, DoubleTree by Hilton Riyadh Financial District, Unit 3369, 3606 Northern Ring Rd, Al Ghadir, Riyadh 13311. SAR250 per person. Tel: 058 002 9885. @dtriyadhfd

Visit the ‘Imagine Picasso’ exhibition

The ‘Imagine Picasso’ Exhibition goes beyond the traditional art exhibition format, offering a unique exploration into Pablo Picasso’s creativity, as a pivotal artist of the 20th century. By employing the latest advanced display techniques and technologies, the exhibition seeks to revive more than 200 of Picasso’s creations, giving attendees a distinctive, rich artistic experience, and allowing them to learn about Picasso’s world from a new creative perspective.

Imagine Picasso Exhibition, until Mar 3, Weekdays 4pm to midnight & Weekends 2pm to midnight, Laysen Valley, Riyadh. Tickets can be purchased here. SAR50 for kids & SAR100 for adults. @laysenvalley

Groove on the Grass returns to Riyadh

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 feature Giorgia Angiuli and Konstantin Sibold, along with all-time regional faves Dish Dash, BKR, Narkbeat, Deian, JOJ and Talal JK.

Groove on the Grass, Feb 9, 5pm to 3am, Al Amaaria Village, Riyadh. Tickets start from SAR335 and can be purchased here. @grooveonthegrass.ksa

Enjoy the last night of Riyadh International Jazz Festival

Jazz Fest Feb 9

Expecting to set the stage ablaze on the last night of Riyadh International Jazz Festival will be Masego, three-time Grammy-nominated Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote, and Saudi jazz-fusion band Garwasha, who fuse Western and Eastern music, combining popular music forms with the Arab music of their heritage.

Riyadh International Jazz Festival, Feb 7 to 9, 6pm to 11pm, Mayadeen Theatre, Diriyah, Riyadh. Tickets start from SAR120 and can be purchased here. @diriyahseason

Saturday February 10

Who’s ready for the Riyadh Marathon?

All the best to all the runners who will be taking part in the Riyadh Marathon this Saturday February 10. There will be 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, Riyadh Marathon Village, Al Malqa, 3147 Al Imam Saud Ibn Faysal Rd, 8340, Riyadh 13516. @saudi_sfa

Brunching the Turkish way


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For just SAR200, you can feast on unlimited baskets of hot freshly baked Sourdough, accompanied by lavash, simit and a spread of Turkish cheeses, and a selection of breakfast condiments, like butter, Kars honeycomb and Kaymak, marinated olives, and more, followed by your choice of pide flatbread. The brunch is finished off with a warm orange almond Revani, a Turkish-style orange cake made with ground almonds, and a fresh fruit platter. All dishes are served to table, accompanied by fresh orange juice, coffee or tea served in an ornate traditional Turkish teapot.

Rüya Riyadh’s Authentic Turkish Brunch, every Sat, noon to 4pm, Rüya, Prince Muhammad Ibn Abdul Al Aziz, As Sulimaniyah, Riyadh 12243. SARSAR200 per person, inclusive of tea, coffee and orange juice. Tel: 9200 10692. @ruya_riyadh

Boulevard City celebrates Arabian Leopard Day

Take part in a special parade, “Catwalk” by Catmosphere, celebrating the first-ever International Arabian Leopard Day. The parade is an awareness-raising walk for Big Cat conservation and a show of support for the Arabian Leopard. Visitors can also look forward to engaging activities like face painting, sculpture painting, and roaming acts.

Arabian Leopard Day, Feb 10, 6pm, Boulevard City. @blvdruhcity