Saudi Arabia is gearing up to have more music as part of public life in 2018 with Emirati singer Shamma Hamdan and Saudi Dalia Mubarak scheduled to perform in Riyadh early next year. According to the Kingdom’s General Authority for Entertainment (GAE), the event entitled “Riyadh Nights” will be held on the 26th of January, featuring the two singers in a female-only concert.
According to Arab News, Hamdan was the first woman from the UAE to reach the finals of “Arabs Got Talent” in 2012. She is “considered one of the UAE’s most popular vocalists and performing artists, is known for mixing Khaleeji, pop, rock and flamenco elements in her music, as well as her signature haircut.” One of her most recent performances was part of a series of free concerts held across Dubai to mark UAE National Day.
The news portal also explained Mubarak is a Khaleeji folk singer and former “Arabs Got Talent” contestant as well, who sings in Arabic and English. “The Riyadh-born singer began her artistic life in 2012. She performed during a musical evening for the cultural section of the French Embassy in Riyadh.”
This year has been a transformative one for Saudi Arabia, with key reforms taking place across the Kingdom, particularly in the domestic leisure industry. Enhancing cultural and entertainment opportunities is a key component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a national strategy that aims to diversify its currently oil-dependent economy, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
In early January, Amr Al Madani, head of GAE, announced that concerts would become more common place. Months later, in mid-December, hip hop artist Nelly and Greek renowned musician Yanni were amongst the first international artists to hold concerts in the Kingdom.
In addition, just a few days ago the 35-year ban on public cinemas was finally lifted, opening up a domestic market of over 32 million people, with over 300 cinemas and over 2,000 screens anticipated to open across the Kingdom by 2030.