Soon in Riyadh for the First Time, Wasla Music Festival Featuring Arab Alternative Artists from Across the Region


The festival will take place on the 4th and 5th of March 2022.

  • The festival will feature iconic indie music stars like Cairokee, Hamza Namira, Souad Massi, and Aziz Marak
  • The festival will feature over 20 bands from Saudi Arabia’s rising talents

Tickets are now available through:


Supported by the General Entertainment Authority, Wasla Music Festival, the region’s leading Arab alternative music and arts festival is coming to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after 3 years of success in Dubai. The first Wasla festival in Saudi will feature Arab and Saudi alternative and indie talents including headlining acts that have dominated the MENA music scene over the last decade.

The festival will feature Egyptian rock legends Cairokee, Indie Pop/ Folklore sensation Hamza Namira, the world-famous Algerian Singer-Songwriter Souad Massi, and the renowned Jordanian rock/ jazz (Razz) singer Aziz Maraka all in Saudi for the first time.

With more than 15 bands playing live music each day, the festival will feature hard rock, alternative and indie rock, indie pop, jazz, soul, funk, electro-pop, and fusion mostly in Arabic but some in English. Most of the acts this year are Saudi-based bands with the brightest voices from the Saudi underground music scene including Al Farabi, Hajaj, Statues of Sinking Men, and Fulana.

The festival will be held outdoors in a grass-covered valley on a farm outside Riyadh and it will include a barbecue brunch, different F&B offerings, workshops, kids activities, and local designer art and fashion installations and boutiques that all reflect Saudi and Arab cultures from different Arab nationalities.


About the artists:

The festival will feature diverse indie headliners that have made it to the top of regional music charts for years. The legendary Egyptian rock band Cairokee is participating in Wasla for the third time, after two extraordinary performances that took place in Dubai during 2018 & 2019. Cairokee’s unique and eccentric Arabic rock music earned them huge popularity in Saudi and the region, as well as millions of fans and more than half a billion views on YouTube. This will be the first time Cairokee will perform in KSA. 

Also on the lineup is Hamza Namira, an artist who reshaped the Arabic pop and folklore scene, to develop new and innovative genres. He is an Egyptian (born in Saudi Arabia) singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist with many albums and songs that have hundreds of millions of views on YouTube like (Fadhi Showya, Ehlam Maya, Esmaani, and Hatyeer Men Tani). Hamza Namira is known for his distinguished style, tackling many realistic and relevant issues in our society, which are clearly reflected in his lyrics. 

From Alegria, the festival is proud to present one of the leading artists in Arabic indie and alternative music, Souad Massi. She is a singer-songwriter known for blending traditional tribal music that represents her Algerian upbringing with different styles like rock, country, Portuguese Fado, and many other styles. She started her singing career in the mid-90s, performing in both Arabic and French. Souad is known for her hit album “Raoui”, which was a huge success and was received positively by critics from all around the world. She will be performing in Saudi Arabia for the very first time at Wasla Music Festival. 


In addition, the Wasla crowd gets their first chance in Saudi Arabia to see Jordanian singer-songwriter Aziz Maraka, known for creating his own unique music genre called “Razz”, which combines both genres of Rock and Jazz. Amongst his most famous songs are (Meen Allek) a ballad that made it to the hearts of millions of fans and the song (Wa’aef) which had an emotional impact on fans for its lyrics that call on people to take a stand against bullying. Maraka has performed at sold-out venues across the region.

Building on the commitment of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority and Wasla Music Festival to support local Saudi talents, the festival will be hosting over 20 Saudi artists and bands like Al-Farabi, Abdulrahman Hajaj, Fulana, and Statues of Sinking Men. The festival will also feature 14 female artists, most of them Saudi.

About hosting Wasla Festival in Saudi Arabia for the first time, Omar Ayat, Co-Founder and Music Director at Wasla commented, “This is the first Wasla in Saudi Arabia and we are proud of our diverse lineup this year. We have 4 regional headliners coming for the first time to Saudi and over 20 Saudi bands that we have scouted over the past 2 years, that cover mostly Arabic and some English pop, rock, jazz, and fusion.  45% of these talents are women and most of them are Saudi”.

Amr Ramadan, Co-founder, and CEO of Wasla said, “For our first festival in Saudi, we are focusing on creating what we call the Wasla experience. There is much more talent on offer than just music. I hope people arrive early in the day to enjoy the weather and our spectacular venue which is a green-covered area in the middle of a desert valley on a farm outside Riyadh.  We have a program for the whole family and we invite our fans to check out our lineup of FNB offerings, workshops, kids activities, and local designer art and fashion boutiques that will start from 3 pm”.

As the Chairman of the Board of Wasla Entertainment, Mr. Ahmed Halwani commented “We invested in Wasla to bring it to Saudi from Dubai as part of an ecosystem we are building for the Saudi Alternative and Indie music scene. We moved our headquarters from Dubai to Riyadh for a reason: the amount of talent in our country is incredible and diverse and we believe that the next big thing in the Arab music world will come from right here. This Riyadh edition is a step in the right direction to achieve our vision of making Wasla the biggest Arab Alternative music festival in the region. We are already planning the next shows in Jeddah, Dubai, and Egypt”.  

Wasla Music Festival will host a total of 32 bands from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Bahrain, and Austria. Tickets will be on sale starting Monday, February 7th at Ticket prices will range from 200 to 700 (VAT included).


Sony Middle East & Africa Launches The New King of Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras – Alpha 7R IV

World’s first 61.0 MP Back-illuminated Full-frame Image Sensor Sony A7RIV combines highest resolution with high-speed performance, in a lightweight compact body.

  • World’s first 35mm full-frame 61.0 MP back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with latest-generation BIONZ X™ image processor
  • 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights

Sony Middle East and Africa unveiled the latest addition to its acclaimed Alpha™ 7R series full-frame mirrorless camera line-up; the extremely versatile, powerful Alpha 7R IV (model ILCE-7RM4) at an event in Marriott Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Sony’s highest resolution full-frame camera ever, the new Alpha 7R IV delivers stunning image quality with high resolution and wide dynamic range while maintaining outstanding focusing performance, high-speed continuous shooting and much, much more.

“We are continuing to drive innovation, break boundaries and redefine the expectations of digital camera performance,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa. “The new Alpha 7R IV combines medium format level image quality with high-speed shooting, extremely fast focusing and a long list of upgrades to design, connectivity and usability. This will allow professional photographers, videographers and all other types of creators in the Middle East to capture content in ways that were simply not possible before.”murat-gebeceli-head-of-digital-imaging-sony-mea

Alpha 7R IV with SEL2470GM

A New Level of Image Quality

The new Alpha 7R IV features a newly developed 35mm full-frame back illuminated CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 61.0 MP2, the world’s first1 of its kind. The new sensor’s back-illuminated structure and effective noise reduction techniques combine to deliver extremely low-noise, high sensitivity performance ensuring the absolute maximum image quality.  The camera also boasts an impressive 15-stop3 dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights, and utilises algorithms from many of the latest Alpha™ cameras to maintain outstanding colour reproduction.

This new full-frame model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a shutter speed advantage of 5.5-steps. Additionally, the shutter unit assembly has been carefully re-designed to reduce even the slightest movement that may cause blur.

The Alpha 7R IV also includes Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder in any camera, a 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED Tru-finder EVF. About 1.6x the resolution of the EVF in the Alpha 7R III, this new viewfinder provides an extremely accurate, true-to-life depiction of the scene being framed. The display quality can be set to ‘Standard’ or ‘High’ mode, and to either 60 fps or 120 fps refresh rate to best match the subject and shooting conditions.

Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in 1 or 0.5-pixel increments to capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 963.2 million pixels worth of data then composited into a 240.8 million pixels (19008 x 12672 pixels) image using the “Imaging Edge™” desktop application. Ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life photography subject, this enhanced mode produces photographs with a level of detail and colour accuracy that is simply stunning.  murat-gebeceli-head-of-digital-imaging-sony-mea-with-newly-launched-sony-alpha-a7riv

Shooting and Focusing Speed

The innovative new Alpha 7R IV full-frame mirrorless camera can shoot full resolution images at up to 10 fps4 with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to approximately 7 seconds5 in full-frame, full-resolution mode (JPEG / RAW), and approx. 3x seconds in APS-C crop mode delivering 26.2MP2 images.  These high-speed options ensure that fast moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail.

The upgraded focusing system of the Alpha 7R IV is comprised of 567 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 74% of the image area.  There are also 425 contrast AF points that add extra precision and reliability for low light and other situations that are best served by contrast AF. The higher AF sensor density and refined tracking algorithms of the new camera produce a notable improvement in tracking performance, allowing complex subject motion and sudden subject movements to be reliably tracked with greater precision than ever.

The Alpha 7R IV also supports Real-time Eye AF, which employs artificial intelligence to detect and process eye location data in real-time, stay locked onto the subject’s eye with extreme precision. This is available for both animal and human subjects, with an option to select either animal or human Eye AF mode depending on the shooting situation. Additionally, the Real-time Tracking7 feature is available which utilises a newly developed subject recognition algorithm to ensure the ultimate subject tracking and persistence of the focusing system.  There is also an anti-flicker shooting mode, which automatically detects the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting in a shooting environment to minimise any impact on the final image.  a7riv_fe85f14gm_right-mid

Enhanced Connectivity for Professional Workflow

Sony’s new Alpha 7R IV full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of advanced connectivity features designed to enhance professional workflow.  The new model includes wireless LAN functionality to support the conventional 2.4 GHz band as well as a high-speed 5 GHz band for faster, more stable data transfer.  Wireless PC remote connectivity (wireless tethering shooting)8 is also available on the new Alpha 7R IV, a first for Sony cameras.  Requested by many working professionals, this will allow for much more freedom in studio and location shoots, where the photographer can move around freely without restriction.

In addition to high-speed Wi-Fi® and wireless PC connectivity8, the new full-frame camera is equipped with a SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.2 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ connector that supports extremely fast wired data transmission, with almost doubled data transfer speed achieved in combination with Imaging Edge software compared to the Alpha 7R III. It also supports FTP data transfer with background transfer capability, allowing photographers to send images to a specified FTP remote server while they are still shooting or reviewing images.

To support an efficient, high-speed connected professional workflow, Sony has announced version 2.0 of “Imaging Edge” desktop applications (‘Remote’/’Viewer’/’Edit’)12. The ’Remote’ application allows users to control cameras and monitor live shooting on their PC screen; the ‘Viewer‘ application is used to quickly preview, rate and select photos from large libraries and the ’Edit‘ application can develop RAW data into high-quality photos for delivery.

To maximise convenience in image transfer, when utilising the latest version of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile™ application, the camera can now transfer images to a connected smartphone even if the power is set to OFF.

High-resolution 4K and Professional Filmmaking Features

In addition to its impressive still image capabilities, the new Alpha 7R IV performs exceptionally well as a serious filmmaking tool, offering 4K (3840×2160 pixels) video recording and full pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm mode9. This ensures high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 are also available to maximize colour grading flexibility, with S-Log 3 offering a total of 14-stops of dynamic range. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is also available on the Alpha 7R IV to support an Instant HDR workflow.

For video autofocus, the versatile new full-frame camera utilises a refined Fast Hybrid AF system that achieves faster, smoother, more stable autofocus during video shooting – even if an object temporarily moves in front of the intended subject. The camera also includes Touch Tracking functionality during movie shooting, allowing the user to simply touch the screen on their intended subject for instant acquisition.

The new Alpha 7R IV debuts Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting6, a first in any of Sony’s cameras. When activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content itself as opposed to what is in focus or not in focus. The Touch Tracking functionality will also automatically initiate Eye AF when a human subject is selected.

Another notable video feature is the addition of a digital audio interface to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe), allowing direct connection of the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit for clear, low-noise and high-quality audio recording.  Interval shooting for creating time-lapse videos is available, as well as full HD recording at up to 120 fps, Slow and Quick Motion functions and much more.

Enhanced Build, Design and Customisability

The new Alpha 7R IV has several upgrades to its design and usability, with many adjustments being implemented directly based of the voice of Sony’s professional community.

To maximise durability, the new Alpha 7R IV features upgraded dust and moisture resistance, with additional sealing provided at all body seams, the battery compartment cover and media slots. The camera is built with an extremely lightweight and durable magnesium alloy, and has an upgraded six screw, extra-firm mount.

Additional enhancements to the body design include an improved grip for greater comfort and a surer hold within the hand; an increase in the diameter and feedback for the ‘AF-ON’ button; a new multi-selector joystick design for improvised control; an exposure compensation dial lock button and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial.  A strong request from many professional users, the new camera also includes two UHS-II compatible media slots, allowing for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds.

For added convenience, camera setting registration is expanded. Now, almost all camera settings can be saved to and read from an inserted memory card. Up to 10 combinations can be saved to any individual card and loaded into any camera body of the same type.

Despite its 1.5x pixel count, the battery life has also been improved – with a CIPA measurement of up to 670 still images per charge using LCD monitor, or 530 images with EVF). For even more uninterrupted operating time, the new optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip holds two NP-FZ100 batteries, and the optional Multi Battery Adaptor (NPA-MQZ1K) can hold up to four Z batteries.  The body can also be powered via the USB connector.

New Accessories

Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new Alpha 7R IV camera, including:

VG-C4EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as the Alpha 7R IV camera, including upgraded dust and moisture resistance19, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body.

ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone – Eight high-performance mic capsules and advanced digital signal processing provide three selectable directivity patterns in one compact microphone of approx. 99.3mm (4 inches) in length with Super-directional pick up; when connected to the Alpha 7R IV via its Multi Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible quality is achieved without noise or degradation.

XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit – Two XLR/TRS combo connectors and one 3.5mm stereo mini jack for microphone and line input, with extensive control that helps facilitate the post processing workflow; connected to the Alpha 7R IV via its Multi Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible audio quality is achieved without noise or degradation;  supplied extension cable for Audio provides extra flexibility for camera attachment with rig, cage or bracket.

SF-M series TOUGH
Ultra-Tough UHS-II SD card with ultra-fast speed up to 277MB/s (read) is ideal for shooting in extreme conditions and streamlines the post-shooting workflow; supplied with file recovery software (supports both macOS and Windows).

Fast USB for PC hub with UHS-II SD/microSD reader, supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 100W USB Power Delivery (USB PD), contributes to efficient workflow by ultra-fast, stable backup to PC or SSD.

The new Alpha 7R IV Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera is available in Saudi Arabia at a price of SAR 14,999/-.

For full product details, please visit:
A product video on the new Alpha 7R IV can be viewed here.

A product video on the new ECM-B1M can be viewed here.