2024-05-23

31 magnificent things to do in Saudi Arabia this May

et your calendars out – cafés, concerts and culture await.

Saudi Arabia is bursting with exciting events in May. Whether you’re after concerts or cinema, there are plenty of ways to spend the month. Special events range from Cinema Nights to Saudi Luxury Week. Plus, there are plenty of new openings, from cute cafés to big brand restaurants. Here are the best things to do in Saudi Arabia in May.

Wednesday 1 May

Take off in a hot air balloon in AlUla

Caravan by Habitas AlUla has launched a Hot Air Balloon experience. The glamping experience is located in the heart of the desert. Now, guests can enjoy the local landscape on a sky-high journey, from the canyons to Arabian Oasis. Tickets start from SAR 995. 

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

Habitas Hot Air Balloon in Saudi Arabia in May

Thursday 2 May

Catch Norah at Cinema Nights in Riyadh 

Red Sea International Film Festival, in collaboration with the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, is hosting Cinema Nights in Riyadh. Running until 23 May, it has an exciting line-up of films. Norah is screened on 2 May, and looks back at the Kingdom in the 1990s. A village woman, played by Maria Bahrawi, finds freedom through art. Tickets start from SAR 35.

GO: Visit https://biennale.org.sa for more information.

Cinema Nights

Friday 3 May

Get into the groove 

Dance the night away at Groove on The Grass. Taking place in Juman Park, Jeddah on 3 May, it looks set to be an exciting event. Catch local as well as international acts including Deian, Dish Dash, Hunter/Game, Hats & Klaps, Hifi, Smhar and Vinyl Mode. Tickets start from SAR 252.

Groove on The Grass

Saturday 4 May

Experience romance at Radisson Blu Hotel Riyadh Convention and Exhibition Center

Celebrate your love with Radisson Blu Hotel Riyadh Convention and Exhibition Center’s “Honeymoon Package.” Imagine a bottle of exquisite non-alcoholic champagne paired with an indulgent spread of luscious pastries and desserts. Your honeymoon suite will be elegantly adorned with a stunning floral arrangement and festive balloons, creating an ambience of love and joy. Priced at SAR 805 per room per night, this package promises a journey into luxury and romance, complemented by a 25% discount on food and beverages.

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

Riyadh Convention

Sunday 5 May

Add some sparkle to your day at Saudi Luxury Week

Now in its fourth edition, Saudi Luxury Week showcases jewellery and watches. Running from 5 to 9 May in Mandarin Oriental Al Faisaliah in Riyadh, the event brings together local as well as international designers. So far, there are exhibitors from across the world including Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy and Japan. The brands include Akillis Paris, Alok Lodha Jewels, Amwaj, Alfardan Jewellery, Charles Oudin, Etho Maria, Fabergé, FerriFirenze, Franck Muller and George Hakim. Plus, there will be new collections and exclusive launches. 

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

Saudi Luxury Week

Monday 6 May

Dine at the newly opened Jon and Vinny’s

Jon and Vinny’s, hailing from Los Angeles, California, has opened in Al Dabbab, Riyadh. The concept brings Italian cuisine to the Kingdom. Created by the friends, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the aim is to create Italian food that is reminiscent of nonnas – aka Italian grandmas. The pizzas include a Breakfast Pizza 2.0 with potato, egg and red onion; La Woman with local burrata, tomato basil and olive oil; and The Rosy with tomato and olive oil crust. 

Jon and Vinny's Riyadh

Tuesday 7 May

Spend the night at ROKA Jeddah 

ROKA is turning up the volume. The restaurant has launched Entertainment Nights, which features live DJs performing in the venue. Running until June, the event takes place at ROKA Jeddah from 6pm on Tuesday. Enjoy the music while digging into Japanese dishes, including Fried Baby Monkfish, Scallop Sashimi, and Seared Beef Striploin. 

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

ROKA Jeddah

Wednesday 8 May

Catch a special exhibition on the Red Sea at Hayy Jameel

Salt-Kissed: Of Vessels That Have Sailed The Red Sea showcases stories from the Red Sea. Running from 8 May to 7 October at Hayy Jameel in Jeddah, it has been curated by Ahmed Al-Aqra and Abed Alrahman Shabaneh. Learn about eight ships that once sailed the Red Sea, and the history of trade routes, coastal communities and colonial legacies.

 GO: Visit https://hayyjameel.org for more information. 

Hayy Jameel

Thursday 9 May

Visit the newly opened Bundt Bakery in Jeddah 

Jeddah, we have some freshly baked news. Bundt Bakery has expanded from Riyadh to Jeddah. Located in The Village Mall, Al Asalah, it prides itself on its classic bundt cakes. Options include Dates Chocolate Nut Cake, Lemon Raspberry Cake and Vintage Carrots Vanilla Cake. Plus, they come in mini bundt sizes and in fun flavours.

Bundt Bakery in Jeddah

Friday 10 May

Admire the beautiful blooms at the Taif Rose Festival 

It’s your last chance to visit Taif Rose Festival 2024. The festival showcases the beauty of the flower, plus the region’s marvellous mountains and Insta-worthy views. The event features a light show, stalls and a dedicated children’s zone, and runs until 14 May. 

Taif Rose Festival

Saturday 11 May

Explore 1364

1364 in the Diplomatic Quarter is a luxury location that brings together homegrown and international brands. The date refers to the founding date of Saudi Arabia, and the area is home to the world’s embassies. The venue boasts world-class restaurants, classy cafés and state-of-the-art wellness centres. Explore the development and admire the architecture, gorgeous greenery and water features.

GO: Visit https://1364ah.com for more information. 

1364 in the Diplomatic Quarter

Sunday 12 May

Experience a bygone era at Olivier Café 

Tucked away in Ar Rabi in Riyadh, Olivier Café invites you with an ambience reminiscent of the lavish settings in Bridgerton. You’ll know what we’re talking about if you’ve watched the hit Netflix series. Picture powder blue and sage green, velvety, plush seating, and brown wooden tables. Olivier doesn’t just deliver on aesthetics, its culinary offerings are equally impressive. From the Strawberry Cake to the nutty indulgence of Pecan Tart, there’s something for everyone. Other items on the menu include Mango Tart, Pistachio Cake, Spicy Cheesecake, Smores and more.

GO: Follow @olivier.sa on Instagram for more information.

Olivier Cafe in Riyadh

Monday 13 May

Watch the new film Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the fourth installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot. Director Wes Ball is setting the story 300 years after the last film, and ape civilisations have emerged and humans have regressed. Chimpanzee hunter Noa and the human Mae go on a journey to determine the future for monkeys and mankind.

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

Kingdom of The Planet of the Apes

Tuesday 14 May 

Visit the new Bohemia Café and Records in Riyadh 

Bohemia Café and Records has opened in Riyadh and brings together art, coffee and vinyl records. Located in a warehouse in the JAX District, the team buy and sell vinyl records. The café serves Americano, Boheme Latte, Cortardo and more. Plus, there are live music nights. 

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

Bohemia Riyadh

Wednesday 15 May

Enjoy Mr Chow’s new early evening set menu

If you love to eat early – we’re not judging – then we have some tasty news. The celebrity favourite restaurant, Mr Chow, is launching an early evening set menu. Dishes include Fiery Beef, Gambler’s Duck and Pot Stickers. The menu is available daily from 5.30pm to 11.30pm and starts from SAR 265. 

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

Mr Chow Riyadh

Thursday 16 May

Tuck into decadent desserts at Alf

If you always have room for dessert, then we have some sweet news. A decadent dessert spot called Alf has opened in Riyadh. The dreamy destination boasts a Greek-inspired, Aegean-style architecture with white curved ceilings and walls. Alf is already proving popular for its desserts. Options include a Date Cake, Honeycomb French Toast, and Soft Chocolate Chip Melts. For chocolate lovers, we recommend the Stacked Warm Brownie, which comes with Nutella and vanilla ice cream.

Alf in Riyadh

Friday 17 May

Race your way into Battle Kart

On your marks, get set, race. If you’re a fan of the video game Mario Kart, you’ll love Battle Kart. Located in Ishbiliyah, Riyadh, the experience uses augmented reality. Players can race along tracks and use weapons including nitrous, bombs, and oil barrels. Players must be at least 145 centimetres tall, and tickets start from SAR 120.

Battle Kart in Riyadh

Saturday 18 May

Watch Fury Vs. Usyk at Kingdom Arena

Saudi Arabia is coming in strong with its sports news. The Kingdom recently announced the Ring Of Fire, an epic boxing match between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk as part of Riyadh Season. The boxing match looks set to be a showstopper, as both Fury and Usyk have unbeaten records. Tickets for the fight are priced from SAR 70 (G5) to SAR 1,500 (diamond).

GO: Visit webook.com for tickets and more information.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk

Sunday 19 May

Check out the new coffee shop Chérie  

 A new coffee spot, Chérie has opened in Riyadh. Located in Olaya, it serves hot and cold drinks and pretty pastries – the venue prides itself on its cheesecake. The décor boasts neutral tones with soft beige, browns and whites, and wooden benches, chairs and tables. Chérie is open daily from 7.30am to 2.30am. 

Cherie in Riyadh

Monday 20 May

Catch In The Night in JAX District 

What do you do when the sun sets? In the Night at Saudi Museum of Contemporary Art explores this question. Running until 20 May, it is all about the night, and how people spend the time between sunset and sunrise. The show brings together more than 30 local and international artists from Argentina, Croatia, France, India, Japan, Morocco, Pakistan and Tunisia.

GO: Visit https://dc.moc.gov.sa for more information. 

In The Night

Tuesday 21 May

Dine out at the newly opened Kuuru in Riyadh 

Having already opened in Jeddah, Kuuru recently made its debut in Riyadh. Located in KAFD, it showcases Nikkei cuisine. The sharing-style menu is designed to bring people together and spans a raw bar, sashimi platters and nigiri. Plus, the mains range from steaks to lobster.

Kuuru Riyadh

Wednesday 22 May

Dig into delicious pastries at Pierre Hermé Patisserie

Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh has welcomed Pierre Hermé Patisserie. The critically acclaimed chef Pierre Hermé is known around the world for this innovative approach to dessert-making. The collection ranges from dacquoise biscuits to nori seaweed-infused macaron. 

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

Pierre Hermé Patisserie

Thursday 23 May

Shop at the newly opened Kayanee flagship shop 

Kayanee has opened its first flagship store in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter. With a focus on fitness and wellness, the collection draws inspiration from science and the region. The workout gear does not compromise on modesty or style. From dance-inspired activewear to on-trend seasonal designs that you can wear anywhere, there’s something for everyone. 

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

Kayanee

Friday 24 May

Catch the WWE at the Jeddah Superdome

Do you know your power slam from your mandible claw? Well, you’ll be thrilled to hear that the WWE is returning to Jeddah. For those unfamiliar with WWE and its events, Smackdown — also known as Friday Night Smackdown — is a televised wrestling extravaganza that typically airs on weekends. However, with the upcoming event in Saudi Arabia, you’ll have the unique opportunity to witness all the action live in the Jeddah Superdome. This will mark the first time that Smackdown will be filmed in the Kingdom, bringing the thrill of the event closer to audiences around the world.

GO: Visit https://enjoy.sa for more information.

WWE Jeddah

Saturday 25 May

Watch the new film Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hardy and Anya Taylor-Joy star in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. The dystopian drama sees the young Furiosa snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers. She falls into the Biker Horde, led by the Warlord Dementus, and must survive challenges as she finds her way home.

Furiosa Movie in Saudi Arabia in May

Sunday 26 May

Have some me-time at Riyadh’s first drive-through spa 

Located in At Taawun, Riyadh, Kynder describes itself as the first drive-through salon in the capital. With treatments indoors and outdoors, it’s a fun-filled concept. The treatments include nails, lashes, and massages. Specialising nail treatments, options include a classic manicure and pedicure, quick fix manicure and pedicure, and shellac classic manicure and pedicure. Nail art fans will love the options, too, from minimalist design to full-on art. 

GO: Follow @kynd.er on Instagram for more information.

Kynd.er Riyadh

Monday 27 May

Check out a new members-only lounge in Jeddah

Chef and entrepreneur Basma Elkhereiji is behind the new members-only lounge, Khalila. The concept blends together Arabic traditions with modern sensibilities, and aims to be a warm and welcoming space. The menu draws inspiration from Saudi Arabia’s traditional dishes and gives them a modern twist. Plus, is boasts live entertainment, which spans DJs and bands. 

Khalila Jeddah

Tuesday 28 May

Catch the exhibition Etel Adnan, Between East and West  

Ithra, The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, in Riyadh is hosting the art exhibition, Etel Adnan, Between East and West. The exhibition is a retrospective of the American Lebanese poet, artist and philosopher Etel Adnan. Plus, the show has been curated by Dr. Sébastien Delot. The exhibition runs until 30 June. 

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

things to do in March

Wednesday 29 May 

Spend the day at Ramla Terraza 

Saudi Arabia’s new tourist attraction, Ramla Terraza, is well worth a visit. Located in Riyadh’s As Sahafah, it’s home to world-famous restaurants and cafés, plus live entertainment. So far, the high-end venues include Brute and Clap, and the casual venues include Iris Café and Jones the Grocer, which we anticipate will serve special iftar menus. 

Clap Riyadh

Thursday 30 May 

Check into Dar Tantora by The Hotel House 

Dar Tantora by The Hotel House has repurposed mud brick buildings into a new hotel. Drawing inspiration from the area, the venue boasts a traditional décor created using contemporary engineering. With 30 rooms, it also hosts cultural activities including fresh bread making, Saudi coffee sessions, ancient games and craft making. 

Dar Tantora

Friday 31 May

Spend the night at Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea 

Six Senses Southern Dunes is officially open – and FACT were one the first to visit. Home to 36 guest rooms and 40 pool villas, the hotel is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the dramatic dunes and wonderful wadi. Designed by Foster+Partners, it is 45 minutes from the Red Sea International Airport. 

Six Senses Southern Dunes

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