End the Year on a High Note at Meraki Riyadh!

The finest Mediterranean experience, with warm hospitality and cosmopolitan flare

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 26, 2022: Indulge in an authentic Greek and Mediterranean experience and end the year at Meraki, the contemporary concept offering the finest Mediterranean experience, in a stylish and authentic setting.

Reflecting the true spirit of the Cyclades, Meraki is strategically located at the heart of Riyadh in Faisaliah hotel with spectacular views of Faisaliah tower and the city, offering Riyadh guests and residents the opportunity to enjoy a premium set menu for New Year’s Eve. Seated within the main dining room, enjoy delicious sharing plates and the best seafood dishes, for a minimum spend of SAR 550 per person.shoot1-psd_0010_layer-3

Guests can also upgrade their package to include special beverages. The silver package that features a welcome mocktail, midnight toast with bubbles, priced at SAR 150 per person, the gold package includes a bottle of sparkling drink, and a midnight toast with bubbles for a minimum of 3 people, priced at SAR 180 per person. The VIP package includes a bottle of sparkling drink, plus unlimited hot and cold drinks for a minimum of 3 people, priced at SAR 230 per person.shoot1-psd_0009_layer-4

Meraki provides the best view in town to watch the firework show at Al Faisaliah Tower with a live DJ performance, a festive photo spot beside the entrance, live bar counter, and Meraki gift box with Greek traditional sweets.

Lounge Bar area access is available from 6 pm to 8 pm, featuring a live bar section with unlimited beverages, make-your-own mocktails with the help of our bartenders, and pass-around savoury canapes! Priced at SAR 150 per person.shoot1-psd_0012_layer-14

The minimum spend for VIP tables of 4 and up to 6 people with a view of the firework show is SAR 800 per person, reservations are for the chef’s selection set menu only, and “a la carte” guests for desserts & coffees cannot be accommodated during this event, access to the VIP area on the Lounge Bar is only for ticket holders, and 48 hours cancellation policy is applied to all bookings

Founded and created by the Waney brothers, the creators of La Petit Maison, Zuma, Roka, Coya and other world-class restaurants, Meraki celebrates the warmth and generosity of Greek hospitality featuring an exclusive menu with signature dishes, Mediterranean-sharing plates and the best fish dishes.meraki-res

Since bursting onto the scene in London in 2017, Meraki has led the way in innovative dining experiences and has started expanding internationally. With venues in London, Riyadh, Porto Cervo & Mykonos (CAVOTAGOO), Meraki continues to offer the finest Mediterranean ingredients with warm, generous hospitality and stylish cosmopolitan flare.


‘Escape the Ordinary’ at Shangri-La Jeddah, for Winter Experiences Filled with Luxury, Relaxation, & joy: Leaving is the Hardest Part

Shangri-La Jeddah is the perfect destination for supreme service, exquisite food, and extraordinary views.

Launched earlier this year, and winner of numerous industry accolades to date, Shangri-La Jeddah represents the vibrant face of New Jeddah. This winter, guests are invited to ‘Escape the Ordinary’ and recharge and unwind in the city with weekend breaks filled with comfort, safety, relaxation, and joy. With 203 stylish rooms and suites plus 17 luxury serviced apartments, guests can expect experiences filled with memorable dining and world-class wellness, delivered with Shangri-La’s legendary, heartfelt service and a host of personalized touches.horizon-suite-sea-view_twin

A weekend of opulence and revitalization

Shangri-La Jeddah’s Deluxe Sea View Room redefines spacious elegance, perfect for relaxing weekends away, or a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. The space is surrounded by splendid views of the endless blue of the Red Sea, enhanced with floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the space with natural light, and stylish interiors mirroring the endless blue or the sea and sandy beaches outdoors. twk_entrance

Guests will revel in the epitome of luxury, with a king size bed, double vanities fitted lavishly with Acqua di Parma amenities, marble-clad bathrooms offering large soaking tubs and rain showers, and a commodious walk-in closet all setting the scene for ultimate indulgence. Visitors will also rest easy with Shangri-La’s sublime service, with unique personalized touches yielding cherished memories during every stay.


Innovative world-class cuisine with exclusive new experiences

Dive into world-class cuisine at Shangri-La Jeddah, where traditional flavors and local influences blend with modern techniques. This winter, signature Chinese restaurant Shang Palace proudly presents an exclusive weekend Dim Sum brunch. Guests can indulge in a menu offering all you can eat dim sum, a main dish, choice of noodles, rice and dessert, accompanied with a fine selection of Chinese tea, for SAR 188 per person.horizon-suite-sea-view_living-room

Elsewhere, guests are offered an interactive experience at The Waterfront Kitchen, the perfect location for an all-day culinary voyage. The popular COPA, is in the heart of the hotel, offering specialty coffee and exquisitely crafted patisseries, and is an ideal choice for a quick break in the day. Kaia, is a vibrant new terrace lounge bringing new energy to Jeddah with its resident DJ playing uplifting electronic music and serving the finest Pacific Rim cuisine, a great choice for late night entertainment.sp_-pdr-3

Relax and Rejuvenate along the Red Sea

Guests can truly unwind during their stays by embarking on a personal journey of wellness and finding inner peace at The Wellness Club which offers fitness facilities featuring state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, a jacuzzi, a steam room and sauna that are separate for men and women and is designed to leave guests feeling their best. The club also includes The Spa where the warmth and care rooted in Asian traditions are combined with cutting-edge techniques, creating a programme of therapeutic treatments, leaving guests renewed and rejuvenated.


From Asia to Arabia: The best of Saudi contemporary art

An exceptional selection of artwork in Shangri-La Jeddah tells the story of Saudi Arabia, a country full of contrasting nature and unique heritage. This hotel is home to a variety of unique artworks that are inspired by the interior design of the hotel, following the concept ‘over the sea and under the sky’, representing the world of 40 internationally well-known Saudi artists. A huge meditative work of famous Saudi female art pioneer Lulwah Al Homoud, acclaimed for her intricate works that transform calligraphy into geometric abstraction, welcomes guests at their welcome at the reception. As guests immerse themselves in Shangri-La Jeddah, they will discover organic sculptures, diverse paintings, and elegantly painted wall hangings inspired by the region’s textile heritage. hotel-exterior-evening-shot


From Big Idea to the Big Screen Get Ready to Apply!

The Red Sea labs opens submissions to the 4th edition of the lodge, the 10 months film residency program.

The Lodge is an annual intensive creative and professional training program organized in partnership with TorinoFilmLab and sponsored by Film AlUla. Following the selection of 12 projects for mentorship by international cinema experts, the teams work with their mentors on the development and preparation of their projects, rendering them ready for next-level industry opportunities.

For a chance to be part of the RESIDENCY PROGRAM, submit your project from Thursday, December 22, 2022, to Saturday, January 21, 2023.

The Lodge welcomes teams of Saudi/Saudi Residents, Arab and African filmmakers and producers.

For more information, visit our website
For inquiries, please contact: labs@redseafilmfest.com


Ringing In The New Year with A.O.K!

Start 2023 with good food and good vibes at the exclusive A.O.K Kitchen’s New Year’s Eve event. 

A whole new way to experience New Year’s Eve at A.O.K. Kitchen Riyadh’s NYE event. Taking place on December 31st, Riyadh’s favorite all-day dining destination will play host to a feel-good dinner event that will bring together good food and great vibes with live music and vibrant décor for what is will surely  be an New Year’s Eve to remember.

The event will happily cater to all, including families, friends and couples, A.O.K. Kitchen’s NYE event will accommodate two dinner seatings: one at 7pm and the second at 9pm. Guests will be welcomed to the venue with star-lit trees, full balloon ceilings and a live band; the perfect setting to kickstart new beginnings. Immersive props and interactive activations throughout the restaurant will thoughtfully add to the sentiment of the exciting occasion.

An a-okay time with A.O.K to welcome in the new year!


Winter at Tantora is back with nights filled with music with the mystical voices of Arabia’s Megastars

Live from the festival, concerts will be broadcasted on MBC channels and the AlUla Moments’s YouTube channel. 

Saudi National Band take to the balconies and rooftops of the Incense Road of AlJadidah for a series of remarkable performances. Winter at Tantora will come alive to the sounds of the region’s best loved musicians, with megastar Majid Al Mohandis, local’s favorite Mohammed Abdo, and the superstar beloved Arabic singer Assala Nasri, all performing intimate concerts at the stunning setting of AlUla.

The so called ‘Prince of Arabia songs’ and loved Saudi artist Majid Al Mohandis, will be in Maraya performing  live on Friday 23rd of December as well as the Jazan-born Mohammed Abdo who is known for having one of the most beautiful voices within the Arab music industry, is going to be hosted at Maraya on Friday December 30th, where he will perform live to give you a remarkable traditional experience.


The Syrian superstar, Assala Nasri, will use powerful vocals to offer a unique live performance at the Maraya concert hall on January 13th.

With multiple concerts happening, fans will be able to musically with their idols during each concert within the heart of the spectacular setting, in the stunning destination among the majestic landscapes of Ashar Valley in AlUla.


Al Mohandis, who came to fame with hit songs ‘Ala Modek’ and ‘Waheshni Moot’, said: “I am a huge believer in the power of music and the role it plays in spreading culture. Performing at Winter at Tantora in AlUla is an opportunity to add to Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning musical and cultural scene and an opportunity I relish being a part of.” He added: “As I filmed my clip –Wahish AlDenya- between the majestic surroundings of Hegra, AlUla has been always close to my heart and I am thrilled to perform again at Maraya to my beloved audience.”

Abdo, whose popularity through songs such as ‘Al Amakin’ and ‘Ashofak Kil Youmand’ makes him a favorite across the generations, said: “Performing in my homeland is always an immense privilege and being given the opportunity to sing live at Winter at Tantora in AlUla – where historic truly meets contemporary – seems particularly apt and special. I look forward to seeing all of my fans soon and giving them a concert that they will never forget.”

Nasri, who will serenade the AlUla audience with fan favorites including ‘Bent Akaber’, ‘Shamekh’ and ‘Aktar’, said: “The concept of Winter at Tantora is a wonderful one. Being part of the festival and performing in front of my fans at such an incredible location is something special.”

Do not hesitate if you can not get your ticket on time, as mentioned, the concerts will be broadcasted live on MBC TV channel and the AlUla Moments YouTube channel.

Music will also be in the air on Thursday, December 22nd and Friday, December 23nd at Winter at Tantora, with a collaboration between the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Ministry of Culture, the Saudi Music Commission.


The collaboration will see members of the Saudi National Band take to the balconies and rooftops of the Incense Road of AlJadidah for a series of spontaneous performances inspired from Saudi music between the 1970s and 1990s.

The ‘Shorfat AlJadidah’ musical shows

Within a set that allowing the performers to ‘speak’ to each other through music in a unique and playful way –The ‘Shorfat AlJadidah’ musical shows runs from 9pm to 10pm on December 22nd, and 11pm to midnight on December 23rd.

Winter at Tantora will be ongoing from December 22, 2022 to January 21, 2023 with the intimate concerts with the world-renowned musicians. Winter at Tantora will be handing everyone to true and lively experience  in AlUla by hosting a series of events involving heritage, gastronomy and many more.

For more information, make sure to follow AlUla moments and Experience AlUla 


Culture and heritage in the spotlight this weekend as Tantora Celebration launches new Winter at Tantora season at AlUla

Tantora’s celebration, a three-day celebration will include loads of entertainment including music, dance, traditional produce, hot-air ballooning, trail walks, fashion, and farming. 

The awaited Tantora Celebration is a three-day long experiential event that is seeking a connection between the visitors to enrich their experience with the rich culture and heritage of  AlUla’s area.  The event is taking place this weekend, kicking off the annual Winter at Tantora music and cultural festival.

The Tantora Celebration takes root in this generations-old cultural event, where AlUla’s winter planting season is initiated by the shadow cast by a sundial in the Old Town. The epicenters of this year’s celebration of memory, character, and community, will run from December 22 to 24.


You will live a selection of exciting experiences including traditional and cultural performances, multimedia immersion, and the harvest of local produce curated to share the stories, sights, sounds, and tastes inspired by this seasonal highlight. The celebration will be at an epic scale engaging over 200 performers, and a live orchestra performing a blend of local and regional musical scores.

Decorating the roads will be local produce made of dates, citrus and coffee will be placed, and as part of celebrations to mark 2022 as the Saudi Year of Coffee, visitors will be able to enjoy the beautiful and mesmerizing AlUla hospitality with local coffee and dates, and giveaway bags.

More in store with Winter at Tantora

AlUla’s visitors will be overwhelmed with entertainment by a wide selection of activities available over the weekend as part of the fourth edition of Winter at Tantora.

A private concert with Arabic superstar Majid Al Mohandis will be held on December 23, part of a high-profile series of concerts featuring Mohamed Abdo on December 30, and Assala Nasri on January 13 has already sold out, that’s not it, other celebrities are yet to be confirmed.

It’s not over! With the collaboration with the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Ministry of Culture, music will still be on the air on December 22 and 23. Members of the Saudi National Band take to the balconies and rooftops of the Incense Road of AlJadidah for a series of spontaneous performances that are inspired by the Saudi Music between the 70s and 90s, in a one-off setting that will allow the performers to ‘speak’ to each other through music in a unique and playful way. “Short AlJadidah” music performance shows will run from 9 pm to 10 pm on December 22 and 11 pm to 12 am on December 23.


Visitors will be able to take to the skies and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the unique landscape of AlUla through hot air ballooning experiences in a 15-minute tethered balloon experience or a 45-minute untethered balloon experience, depending on the weather. Tethered hot air balloon experience is also offered in the neighboring oasis of Khaybar.

For those who prefer to stay on ground level, local rawis (storytellers) are also on hand to offer insights into the deep history and resources of the area on two-hour guided tours of the heritage oasis trails of AlUla which offer the chance to enjoy a peaceful stroll in a picture-perfect location lined by mudbrick houses, ancient city walls, and lush farms.

AlUla is also the place for a spot of retail therapy this weekend. The Ashar Valley Fashion is set to host a series of luxury retail pop-ups featuring top brands including Samer Halimeh, Assouline, Michael Cinco, Azza Fahmy, Vianney Halter, and The Terrace by L’opera also sculpture Anchar Basbous. Set against the stunning landscapes of the Ashar Valley, these pop-ups promise a sensory and memorable shopping experience with exclusive items and designs inspired by AlUla. The hourly experience will run from 4 pm to 11 pm starting Friday, December 23, and runs until March 23.

AlUla’s dining scene is heating up with the arrival of new restaurants and big-name brands, including Mamzel, which has made its way from Marbella in Spain to the canyons of AlUla, and Awna restaurant, which is set against the carvings of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra. In addition to these, there are many cool local spots emerging in the AlUla Oasis and trendy cafes popping up in AlJadidah. With a range of options from casual eateries to fine-dining restaurants, foodies will be spoilt for choice in AlUla.


Eco-gardening is also in the spotlight with interactive three-hour micro-ecosystem free workshops on Friday and Saturday, focusing on vegetable gardening, plant nurseries, and composting. The sessions offer an immersive learning experience with the chance to walk around the gardens and observe the diverse animals traditionally found on farms including turkeys, chickens, peacocks, sheep, and goats. The experience runs until the end of March 2023.

Show timings for the Tantora Celebration are from 6-7 pm, 8-9 pm, and 9.30-10.30 pm from December 22-24, with tickets priced at SAR 80 for adults and SAR 20 for children.

Book your tickets at Experience AlUla’s website.
For more, make sure to follow Experience AlUla’s Instagram and AlUla moments’ Instagram


The Swimmers: The journey towards the bliss

As Sia said “I put my armor on, show you how strong I am. I’m unstoppable”. 

Genres: Drama/Sport
Director: Sally El Hosaini
Writers: Sally El Hosaini and Jack Thorne 
Starring: Natalie Issa, Manal Issa, Matthias Schweighöfer, Kinda Alloush, Ahmed Malek, Ali Suliman


From the war zone in Syria to the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Olympics. How is that for a big change? The Swimmers takes us on an inspirational journey with the two young sisters, Sara and Yusra Mardini as they embark on a trip of escaping war-torn Syria with their cousin, Nizar.

The new hit movie by Netflix is directed by Sally El Hosaini creating a harrowing depiction of the true events that the sisters went through as refugees only to become two influential personalities, Yusra by becoming a professional swimmer and Sara by becoming a humanitarian aid worker.


Usually movies have a common principal goal which is: win the olympics. However in Swimmers, the principal goal is to: escape the warzone alive. That’s what happened, when Yusra and Sara escaped the country, and with the cherry on top, Yusra won the first Refugee Olympic Team.

On a mission to reach Berlin, Germany, in 2015 the two sisters undergo a challenge when crossing from Turkey to the Lebos, a Greek island. Being professionally trained by their father, they both jumped in the heart of the Mediterranean sea and swam for three and a half hours to help the jammed boat complete the trip.

The most heart wrenching scene throughout the movie was when they arrived in Lesbos and the camera pulled back to display a vast torrent of refugees’ life jackets filling the entire frame. In an interview, Yusra Mardini confirmed that this was the exact scene they saw as soon as they arrived on the island of Greece.


The story behind portrayal through Sia’s songs

The director Sally asked Yusra to list down the songs that hype her up and motivate her before competitions. The list was filled with the songs of Sia including Titanium and unstoppable. 


Movie vs. Reality 

How accurate is the movie?

For the most part, the story stays true to what happened in real life with the Mardini family, but there are some differences between the film and the reality that was lived.

  • Yusra explains how the scene was shot in the exact spot the actual incident happened within one day to perfect the scene. “When you see people throwing up on the boat, they were actually throwing up on the boat” mentioned Yusra on her tiktok account. 
  • Most of the refugee characters were fictionalized in the film however, they did meet 30 people who were escaping the horrors along with them. “The point of the fiction is to show what is happening with refugees,” said Yusra.
  • The journey of the sisters was accompanied by two cousins, however in the film it is depicted by Nizar alone which was represented by a combination of both cousins. 


Where is the Mardini family now?

Yusra lives in Berlin and goes to the University of Southern California as a Film and Television Production Major. She is still swimming and is qualified for the Syrian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but opted to swim on the refugee team, which she joined again for the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Sara was a fan of swimming but she quit right after arriving in Germany due to a shoulder injury. She was then arrested in Lesbos for refugee activism where she was charged for ‘spying and smuggling’ and was then placed in jail for three months. It is possible for her to face 25 years in prison and is currently awaiting a court session in January. 


Their family followed them a year later, and currently resides in Berlin. The dad, Ezzat Mardini, still works as a swimming coach, their mother, Mervat Mardini, is now working as a physical therapist, and their younger sister is only 15 years old and still completing her studies. 

Just like Yusra mentioned, they were accompanied by two cousins but the closest one to them was Nizar who currently still resides in Berlin and is studying.


Spend your holidays at Habitas – Welcome 2023 with a unique experience at Habitas AlUla

Where better to renew your energy and welcome the new year other than at Habitas AlUla. Habitas welcomes you to experience immersive moments to gather and celebrate the salute to the new year.

Expect mindfulness, yoga, stargazing, DJ sets, and a feast at Tama restaurant, for the ultimate New Year experience. Whether you opt in for the evening celebrations or join at sunrise for an otherworldly meditative session to welcome the New Year, the striking natural beauty of the Ashar Valley canyon surroundings create an unmatched energy for starting 2023 with clarity and purposeful intention.


With Habitas ethos, guests expressed their experiences and connection with nature and the human connection. This New Years Eve, we invite you to expect mindfulness, yoga, stargazing, DJ sets, and a feast at Tama restaurant, for the ultimate experience.

In addition to your ultimate experience, It is the perfect timing for a getaway with the fourth edition of ‘Winter at Tantoura’ that is running from 22 December 2022 to 21 January 2023. From high-end events, star-studded concerts, adventurous activities and an abundance of historical heritage, AlUla is a one-of-a-kind living museum and cultural hotspot destination.


New Year’s Eve:  A night of new beginnings 

On the 31st of December and at the New Year’s Eve, indulge in an evening of connection with theraputing and powerful wellness rituals followed by a dinner at Tama restaurant. The night does not stop here, dance the night away with a live DJ set by Hats & Klaps, under the stars of AlUla. A night of perfection with mindfulness sessions, an Agora and bonfire gathering and a midnight Mastica ceremony.

Timings: from 7 PM


New Year’s Day: Embrace the new journey 

Begin the 1st of January morning with a sunrise yoga session at Habitas AlUla’s Desert Arts Club. During this wonderful experience take in AlUla’s immense natural beauty and embrace nature’s power to bring people together.

Timings: from 7 AM


How much is this experience?

Price: SAR 1,750 per person, New Year experiences. Excludes villa stay bookings.

For more, visit Habitas’s instagram


Digital Brushstrokes: Fatimah Emad

Saudi art goes virtual

A graphic designer and digital artist, Fatimah Emad was interested in digital illustration from a very early age. She began in the industry with creative advertising and marketing, but she had a passion for digital illustration from her early years of growing up watching Disney characters and animation. One of her childhood dreams was to create cartoon characters to bring her imagination to life.POSTER A3

After finding herself studying creative advertising, which did not involve too much design, she began to take time out of her day to improve her design skills and develop her passion from there. Her skills span all areas, including 2D designing, Arabic typography, and, more.

Apart from digital art, Fatimah has also enjoyed creating physical artwork, including DIY origami and pop art. She has attempted to combine both passions and include digital art in any project, as she believes that our lives are now dependent on digital forms regardless of creative interests.img_2659-copy

Fatimah attempts to raise awareness of augmented reality through her work and to showcase imagination within reality. She aims to highlight how possible this notion is now with technology.

Her most recent poster was made physically with her own hands while also integrating Artificial Intelligence to animate the poster, all included within a QR code to digitize the artwork.

Fatimah would like to begin conceptualizing her work towards children by focusing on illustrated children’s books that also include Artificial Intelligence to deliver stories and imagination in a whole new way, especially in the Arabic language, which Fatimah feels is lacking in content right now. She shares all her work on her social media so stay tuned.

Instagram:  fatim_emad


Digital Brushstrokes: Meshal Al-Obaidallah

Saudi art goes virtual

Meshal Al-Obaidallah is an independent artist and curator based in Riyadh. His practice centers around the question, “Before it is forgotten, how can our ever-changing present-day culture be preserved?” Therefore, he utilizes experimental modes of archiving narratives.

Shimagh Series by Meshal Al-Obaidallah. In the collection of Greenbox Museum, Amsterdam. Photo by Hala Al-Obaidallah.

He uses cultural artifacts (be it a shemagh or Internet videos) as mediums to document current issues and affairs in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world. He covers several topics, such as social inequalities, regional stereotypes, the Middle Eastern diaspora, self-identity, and national identity. Meshal explains, “In our hyper-shifting reality, we must catalog today’s dominant narratives to subvert tomorrow’s collective pitfalls.”

Meshal views himself as part of a generation that grew up with the introduction of the Internet as we know it today. Within this time came the rise of consumer laptops. Computers are his primary outlet for creating, with his little interest in the “traditional forms” of art.

Meshal also discusses how he believes the distinction between “digital forms” and “traditional forms” is now outdated. He attributes this to the rise of newer technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning, such as Stable Diffusion. “Now,” Meshal states, “what we consider ‘digital forms’ are becoming ‘traditional forms of art.”

The experimental website: FarewellArabia.com. In collaboration with sound artist, Carolin Schnurrer, and web developer, ch3rr1. Commissioned by the Arab British Centre, London.

Currently, Meshal is working on an ongoing project titled Farewell Arabia. It explores the Arabian Peninsula through the lens of Orientalism and provincialism. It examines today’s repetition of dominant narratives from the distant past. It recycles history to tell of the changing social and urban landscape. Last year, he was commissioned by the Arab British Centre in London. Now, he is expanding this project by collaborating with various creatives from around the region.

Look out for Meshal’s upcoming works, such as a project to conserve and restore old Internet media and memes. Meshal explains, “These overlooked Internet media are records of changing times in the landscape of Saudi Arabia.” Another is a DIY project in Riyadh, in collaboration with Joseph Vadakkumcher. The project has various outputs, including regular updates through his Instagram.

Website: kmeshal.carbonmade.com