31 terrific things to do in Saudi Arabia in January

31 terrific things to do in Saudi Arabia in January



Festivals, food and a whole lot of fun – here's how to have a spectacular start to the year.

It's a new year, which means it's a chance to try new things. Saudi Arabia is filled with festivals, from Diriyah Season to Riyadh Season. Pop-ups are opening across the country, from Al Khobar to AlUla. Plus, there are plenty of concerts by local and international artists. Here are the best things to do in Saudi Arabia in January.

Monday 1 January 

Start the year off in style at Amar in Jeddah 

You'll have your head in the clouds – well, installations of them – at Amar in Jeddah. The Lebanese brand has expanded to Saudi Arabia, and the new restaurant serves elevated Levantine food in a stunning setting. Located in Al Andalus, it has been designed by Jacopo Foggini and boasts indoor and outdoor seating. 

GO: Follow @amarrestaurantsksa on Instagram for more information.


Tuesday 2 January

Check out A.O.K Kitchen's pop-up in Dhahran

The FACT Dining Awards Riyadh 2023 winner, A.O.K Kitchen, is making its debut in Dhahran. Running for six months, the pop-up boasts Mediterranean-meets-Californian cuisine, including dairy and gluten-free options. Make the most of the cooler weather, and sit in the green garden setting or outdoor terrace.

GO: Follow @aokkitchensaudi on Instagram for more information.

A.O.K Kitchen Riyadh

Wednesday 3 January

Take a break at the charming café Bateel El'an

Bateel El'an has opened in Roshan Front in Riyadh. The café serves freshly baked goods, sandwiches and coffee. The items are prepared daily by the in-house team of artisan bakers, baristas, and chefs. The baked goods include breads, savoury and sweet pastries. The dishes range from nutritious salads to wholesome sandwiches. 

GO: Follow @bateel_elan on Instagram for more information.

Bateel El’an

Thursday 4 January

Watch the new Ferrari film in cinemas 

Ferrari races into cinemas with a star-studded cast. Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz and Patrick Dempsey bring to life one of Formula One's fascinating stories. Adam looks almost unrecognisable as he plays the former racer, Enzo Ferrari. He is in a crisis, as he is threatened with bankruptcy and he has lost his son. In a drive to win, it follows a race along Italy's Mille Miglia.

GO: Visit https://ksa.voxcinemas.com for more information. 

Red Sea Film Foundation

Friday 5 January

Dig into Al Faisaliah Hotel's new Super Brunch

If your weekend isn't complete without a brunch, then head to Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh and try out La Brasserie's Super Brunch. The FACT Dining Awards Riyadh 2023 'Best All-Day Dining Restaurant' has impressed us, so we are sure it will impress you. The international dishes include Kobe beef, personalised pizzas and a live barbeque station. The new brunch takes place every Friday, and runs from 1pm to 5pm.

GO: Visit www.mandarinoriental.com for more information. 

Al Faisaliah Hotel

Saturday 6 January

Have a zesty time at AlUla Citrus Festival 

Winter at Tantora is underway in Saudi Arabia, and it includes AlUla Citrus Festival. Running from 5 to 6, and 12 to 13 January, the festival takes place at the peak of the harvest season. The zesty activities include family fun, live cooking shows, and stalls where you can buy fresh fruit straight from the farmers.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

AlUla Centre Pompidou

Sunday 7 January

Be the first to visit the new The St. Regis Red Sea Resort

If you're after a winter escape like no other, then put this on your radar. Get ready to set sail for The St. Regis Red Sea Resort. Scheduled to open on 7 January, this luxurious island resort promises to be a haven for travellers seeking both natural beauty and refined hospitality. FACT's Editor-in-Chief has a reservation. Will you be there? 

GO: Visit www.marriott.com for more information.

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort

Monday 8 January 

Dine at the newly opened Oryze in Jeddah 

Jeddah is mixing things up. Oryze has opened in Ana Ghair Mall in At Rawdah District. The Asian fusion restaurant is a sleek stylish spot, and offers a modern take on traditional dishes. The menu spans soups, dumplings, mains and more, and includes Black Bao with Chicken, Beef Bibimbap, and Kale and Mango Salad.

 GO: Follow @oryze.ksa on Instagram for more information.

Oryze Jeddah

Tuesday 9 January

Shop at the creative concept shop, Tafoni

Tafoni is opening a pop-up concept store in AlUla. Running from 9 January to 25 February, it will showcase the best local and regional designers. Check out the high-end fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle products, many of which are inspired by AlUla.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Saudi Arabia in January

Wednesday 10 January

Cheer on sports stars at The Spanish Super Cup 

Saudi Arabia is proving to be a sporting sensation. It has hosted blockbuster sports events, from football to boxing. Now, it is welcoming The Spanish Super Cup 2024 in Riyadh. Running from 10 to 14 January, it will take place at Al-Awwal Park Stadium in Riyadh. The teams include Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Osasuna.

GO: Visit GO: Visit https://mos.gov.sa for more information.

Spanish Super Cup

Thursday 11 January

Catch the Bob Marley: One Love biopic

This might be the closest you get to a Bob Marley concert. Bob Marley: One Love celebrates the musical icon, and shares his message of unity. This is the first time a big screen biopic has been made, and stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as the singer and Lashana Lynch as his wife Rita. After an attempted assassination attempt, he decides to return to Jamaica and play a peace concert. 

GO: Visit https://ksa.voxcinemas.com for more information. 

Saudi Arabia in January

Friday 12 January

Watch Saudi Arabia's Abadi Al Johar in concert 

AlUla is rolling out the red carpet for Saudi Arabia's Abadi al Johar. He started his career back in 1968, and has garnered generations of fans. This musical legend is behind more than 50 albums. On 12 January, he will be taking to the Maraya stage and impressing the crowd with his oud skills. 

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Saudi Arabia in January

Saturday 13 January

Visit Diriyah Season's Diriyah Nights 

Saudi Arabia knows how to put on a season. The next season coming up in the Kingdom is Diriyah Season. Diriyah Nights is part of the event, and starts on 11 January. The season includes events after dark, which cover arts, culture and music. Look out for illuminated walkways, poetry readings and theatre shows. 

GO: Follow @diriyahseason on Instagram for more information. 

Diriyah Nights

Sunday 14 January

Give yourself a funky food treat at Get Lit in Riyadh 

The hip hangout, Get Lit, has opened in the capital, and is a new and novel concept. True to its name, it is an illuminated place with bright logos and brighter lights, which give it a futuristic aesthetic unlike any other restaurant in Riyadh. The menu spans side dishes, pastas, pizzas, salads and desserts. 

GO: Follow @get.lit.sa on Instagram for more information.

Get Lit Riyadh

Monday 15 January 

Relax at the recently launched Obaya Lounge

Opening at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre, Obaya Lounge is inspired by local heritage. Leveraging the Kingdom's passion for all things equestrian, Obaya Lounge is named after the horse that King Abdulaziz rode during the establishment of Saudi Arabia. Set within the hotel's atrium, the lounge serves sourdough tartines and sandwiches, as well as substantial mains from Crispy Confit Duck Leg to Chickpea, Cauliflower & Eggplant Spiced Curry. 

GO: Visit www.fourseasons.com for reservations and more information.

Obaya Lounge

Tuesday 16 January

Shop at Qilada Fine Jewellery in Jeddah's new flagship store

Get ready to be dazzled. Qilada Fine Jewellery proudly opened its doors in Jeddah. Founded in 2012 by Fatima Ficociello, the brand has come a long way, and this launch in Al Basateen Mall is a testament to its evolution. The latest collection ranges from necklaces to bracelets.

GO: Follow @qilada on Instagram for more information.

Qilada Jeddah

Wednesday 17 January

Be gripped by Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo

The Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo gallops full speed ahead into AlUla. Running from 17 to 20 January, it brings the thrilling sport to the calm desert. Horse lovers will be gripped by the action, which attracts local and international players from around the world. 

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo

Thursday 18 January

Join Hegra Candlelit Classics with Ludovico Einaudi

Are you after something magical? AlUla's UNESCO site, Hegra, delivers. A captivating concert takes place at the site by candlelight, and takes you on a journey of Ludovico Einaudi's works. Marvel at the architectural wonder, and listen to the music by flickering candles.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Ancient Kingdoms Festival

Friday 19 January

Catch In the Land of Saints and Sinners

Irish actor Liam Neeson is heading back to his roots. He stars in the film, In the Land of Saints and Sinners, which is set in Ireland. Assassin Finbar Murphy leads a quiet life in a coastal Irish town, and is avoiding the political violence in the country. When terrorists show up, he discovers that one of them has been abusing a young girl. The thriller also stars Kerry Condon, Jack Gleeson and Colm Meaney.

GO: Visit https://ksa.voxcinemas.com for more information. 

Saudi Arabia in January

Saturday 20 January

Dine out at the newly opened Alieia By The Sea 

Alieia By The Sea has brought a touch of the Mediterranean to Jeddah. The Greek restaurant is located on Al Kurnaysh Branch Road, Ash Shati. So, if you want to enjoy a laidback yet luxurious vibe, dig into the Greek classics and sharing dishes.

GO: Visit www.alieia.co for more information. 

Alieia By The Sea

Sunday 21 January

Book a table at the new NUE by Nomad

NUE by Nomad has made a name for itself in Bahrain. The FACT Dining Awards Bahrain 2023 nomination is a testament to the brand's commitment to excellence. The Riyadh outpost offers a charming setting adorned with rattan chairs, cushioned seats, and a soothing colour palette of greys, blues, and greens. Expect everything from Almond Butter Acai Bowls to the tempting Nomad Pastry Basket, hearty Breakfast Sliders, savoury Shakshouka, and indulgent Nutella French Toast.

GO: Visit https://nomadeatery.com for more information.

Nue by Nomad

Monday 22 January 

Be enchanted by Lilly's Café

Al Mamlaka Social Dining has been causing a buzz in Riyadh. The concept opened in 2023, and is an elevated dining hall. The space is home to food from around the world, and it welcomed Lilly's Café. Hailing from Covent Garden, London, the menu has a British influence and covers breakfast, small and large plates, and cakes and bakes. Expect Avocado Toast, Banoffee Toast and Turkish Eggs. 

GO: Visit https://almamlakasocialdining.com for more information.

Lilly’s Café Riyadh

Tuesday 23 January

Check out the new Flamingo Room by tashas

Natasha Sideris' upmarket concept has found a home on Bujairi Terrace. The dining experience at Flamingo Room fuses contemporary craft and African glamour with a menu of fresh seafood, seasonal flavours and Insta-worthy decor. Flamingo Room by tashas personifies African glamour, offering a distinctive dining experience from lunch through to dinner. 

GO: Visit www.flamingoroombytashas.com for reservations and more information.

Flamingo Room by tashas

Wednesday 24 January

Chow down at the celebrity favourite Mr Chow 

Celebrities such as Adele, Bella Hadid, and Justin Bieber have been sighted dining at Mr Chow. Known for its restaurants spanning the United States, from Beverly Hills to New York City, this exclusive celebrity hotspot has now made its debut in Riyadh. Executive Chef Jia has crafted the Mr Chow menu in the Saudi capital, featuring dishes such as Chicken Satay, Green Prawns, Peking Duck, and handcrafted noodles. Moreover, patrons can indulge in a captivating hand-pulled noodle presentation, which is perfect for sharing on social media.

GO: Visit www.mrchow.com for reservations and more information.

Saudi Arabia in January

Thursday 25 January

Strike a pose at AlUla Fashion Show 

Winter at Tantora is underway in Saudi Arabia, and it includes AlUla Fashion Show. Taking place on 25 January, it closes the festival in style. The local spot will welcome international brands Givenchy and Tiffany & Co. Plus, there's a couture collection in the works, which is inspired by the magic of AlUla.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Saudi Arabia in January

Friday 26 January

Watch Andrea Bocelli at AlUla's Maraya 

Andrea Bocelli hails from Lajatico, Italy. He has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, and has collaborated with famous faces including Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera and Ed Sheeran. Now, he is coming to AlUla's Maraya for a captivating concert. His hits include Because We BelieveCanto Della Terra and Time to Say Goodbye

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Andrea Bocelli in AlUla

Saturday 27 January

Have brunch at Mayrig 

Embark on a culinary adventure every Saturday at the exquisite Mayrig Brunch. Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavours of Armenian cuisine, from mouthwatering mezze to succulent kebabs, and experience the warmth of Armenian hospitality while savouring the delicate flavours prepared by Mayrig's talented chefs. Saturdays, from 1pm to 4pm.

GO: Visit www.sevenrooms.com for reservations and more information.

Saudi Arabia in January

Sunday 28 January

Have a sophisticated night out at Scott's Riyadh 

Scott's has made its way from London to Riyadh, and boasts a captivating heritage. In 1851, the concept started as an oyster warehouse and evolved into a restaurant. The fine dining restaurant is famous for its A-list clientele, and the menu is an ode to seafood. Dishes range from Grilled Sea Prawns to Yellowtail Sashimi. 

GO: Follow @scotts.saudi on Instagram for more information. 

Scott's Riyadh

Monday 29 January 

Check out Carbone's debut in Riyadh 

Carbone at Mansard Riyadh, a Radisson Collection Hotel, pays homage to the timeless charm of Italian-American restaurants in New York. Created by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick, the New York outpost is popular with A-list diners. Guests have included Adele, Barack Obama, Jennifer Lopez, the Kardashians and Travis Scott. 

GO: Visit www.radissonhotels.com for reservations and more information.


Tuesday 30 January

Climb the new Via Ferrata and Canyon Hammock in AlUla

Do you have an adventurous streak? We dare you to try the newly opened Via Ferrata and Canyon Hammock in AlUla. The experience begins with a climb up the mountain, ariel walks and obstacle courses. Once you have reached 200 metres high, you will be between two cliffs. The hammock net awaits and you will be able to, well, hang out.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

AlUla hammock

Wednesday 31 January

Treat yourself to Little Asia's restaurants in Jeddah 

Little Asia showcases the best of Asia at City Walk in Jeddah. The festival has been created as part of Jeddah Events Calendar, and runs until 3 March 2024. The zone brings together activities, events and entertainment inspired by the continent. The experience offers cuisine from China, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. 

GO: Visit https://tickets.saudievents.sa for more information.

Little Asia