Disappointment in Janadriyah – Saudi Arabia Cultural Festival

Once again the ultimate annual cultural festival of the Kingdom has discriminated again by preventing families from attending the event.  I truly do not understand this.  This is the biggest event in the Kingdom bringing together the best of the Kingdom’s history, heritage and culture with displays, exhibits, food, music, dance and song.  Yet again, the timings are either for men only or women only.  This event takes place 45 kilometers outside of Riyadh so it is not as if it is easily accessible.  Precluding families from attending together has no doubt impacted on the attendance.


I have chosen not to go to this event as have many others who for their own reasons wish to go as a family.  As an expat married to a Saudi, for me to go, it would have meant either going by myself or with other women on women’s day.  I could not have the benefit of my husband beside me to further explain and share in what would have been seen.


It has simply not been practical or feasible for many families to attend independently.  The Saudis themselves are missing out on enjoying and learning of their own culture and heritage.


I see the enforced segregation on an event such as Janadriyah a major step backward for the Kingdom.  On one hand we hear about significant reforms and the launching of the King Abdullah University for Science & Technology which will have zero segregation and then here and now is this lovely event families are unable to share together as a unit.

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