RIYADH: Diriyah Nights, known as Layali Diriyah, has returned to the Saudi capital, transforming heritage sites in Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom, into a captivating family-friendly oasis.
Visitors can wander through farms transformed into entertainment hubs and enjoy evenings surrounded by palm trees and twinkling lights. Live performances of poetry, music and theater alongside a variety of shops and restaurants are also available for visitors.
Layali Diriyah is part of a group of organized events in Diriyah that aim to promote the cultural and historical heritage of the city, as well as display a glimpse into the Kingdom’s future.
The two-month event is back by popular demand, and will run until March 10.
Aljazi Al-Subaei, a visitor, said that the latest Layali Diriyah has improved upon the last edition.
“I liked the expansion of the space they did here, and how they added more entertaining options. I like the show at the beginning which explains how the country started … I encouraged my friends from the UAE and Qatar to start their visit to Diriyah Season this year with Layali Diriyah.”
Azeema, a restaurant in Layali Diriyah, offers traditional Saudi dishes such as saleeg, jareesh and kubaiba. Hal Al-Keif is a coffee shop serving Saudi coffee and local sweets like hunaini.
Speaking about Layali Diriyah’s celebration of Saudi culture, Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said: “It’s about our culture, our heritage, our food, our music … the way we dress, the way we dance, the way we sing. So, we want it to be among our 22,000 Diriyah palm trees … we took all the Najdi influences, like the lighting fixtures, music and everything.”
He added: “There are all kinds of offerings here and we are very fortunate because last night there were 9,000 people.”
It’s about our culture, our heritage, our food, our music … the way we dress, the way we dance, the way we sing. So, we want it to be among our 22,000 Diriyah palm trees.
Jerry Inzerillo, Diriyah Gate Development Authority CEO
Inzerillo said that the natural landscape and Riyadh’s weather enhances the atmosphere for visitors: “People are loving it. They love being outdoors. The weather is beautiful. The park is absolutely beautiful, and this is one of many parks that we have opened and will open this year.”
In addition to live music and poetry, a short animated film is on show for visitors near the entrance, detailing the culture and history of Saudi Arabia.
Amani Al-Otaibi, a first-time visitor at Layali Diriyah, said that the experience exceeded her expectations. She praised the “overall vibes, friendly staff and the live performances,” which she said “reminded her of the old days.”
Diriyah Season welcomes regional tourists and visitors from around the world, offering an opportunity to experience the hospitality and the rich culture of the Kingdom and its people, as well as take part in cultural dialogue.
Layali Diriyah is open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, and until 3 a.m. on weekends.