Spanning over five months from October to March, the Riyadh Season is a celebration of the city as the capital of Saudi Arabia and, in a wider context, of Saudi culture and its people. It is one of the many initiatives that forms part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, a set of social and economic reforms designed to enhance the quality of life for citizens and residents, as well as boosting economic and tourist activity.
The most prominent Saudi landmark of 2021, Boulevard Riyadh City was the pride of Riyadh Season 2021/22. Built from the ground up by local companies, the zone covers some 900,000 square metres and contains nine areas, each with its own set of events. Each area contains luxurious restaurants, cafés, upmarket boutiques, gardens, games centres and more. Special features include the largest cinema in the Kingdom, an electric car circuit, a skating rink and four theatres for concerts and shows. To guarantee quality experiences in keeping with the ambitious nature of this giant complex, each theatre is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art V-Series sound system from d&b supplied by d&b’s local sales partner and AV experts, 7Hertz.
7Hertz managing partner, Chadi Masri, explains that they were approached by Sela, a leading events management company based in Saudi Arabia and operating worldwide. Sela has been delivering the Riyadh Season since 2019 and, as such, was responsible for designing and specifying the systems destined for the new theatres. “Our relationship with Sela goes back a long way,” says Masri. “We’ve known the technical director, Hicham Bitar, and the head of audio, Samer Atallah, for some time now and have built up a relationship of trust over the years. They know that we always do our best for our customers. When this project came along, they had already more or less made up their minds that it would be d&b, so naturally we were their first choice.”
Technical director, Hicham Bitar takes up the story: “Having used d&b on a number of different events worldwide and visited the company headquarters in Germany for seminars and training, we were already very familiar with the brand,” he explains. “For this project we required a solution that covered all the bases: extremely high quality, modern, flexible enough to handle all types of performance and rider-friendly. During the Season – and even beyond now that the Boulevard Riyadh City is a permanent structure – we have different artists coming in with a different show every week, so it was imperative for us to have systems that we are proud to present to any engineer and that all engineers are happy to use. d&b was a very easy choice!”
Head of audio, Samer Atallah, is in full agreement.