In Brief

The city of Riyadh will soon have its own opera house

KSA’s first opera house to be built in Diriyah

Diriyah Company and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City announced the Royal Diriyah Opera House, which will be built in the heart of Diriyah, the Saudi capital city’s 300-year-old heritage quarters and the birthplace of the Kingdom.

The announcement was made during Diriyah Company’s celebrated Bashayer 2023 Event that also witnessed the unveiling of a strategic partnership with the world-renowned architectural firm Snøhetta to design the Royal Diriyah Opera House. The Riyadh-based Syn Architects also contributed to the design, infusing the project with local expertise and a deep understanding of the region’s architectural heritage.

The Royal Diriyah Opera House, first of its kind in the Kingdom and located near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At Turaif in Diriyah, will be built by Diriyah Company and operated by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC), the entity leading growth and development efforts in the Saudi capital city.

Encompassing 45,000 square meters, the opera house will be a beacon of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, showcasing Diriyah as a global hub of culture and creativity.


Battersea Power Station gets 11m visitors

The Iconic London landmark, Battersea Power Station has welcomed more than 11 million visitors and opened over 35 new shops, eateries and leisure venues, since the Grade II listed building opened to the public for the first time in history on October 14, 2022.

New openings at the exciting new riverside neighbourhood for London since last October include the 24,000 sq ft Arcade Food Hall, Apple Battersea, Bounce Ping Pong, LEGO, The Cinema in the Power Station, ME+EM, Scamp & Dude, MALIN+GOETZ, Arc’teryx, Office Shoes, M&S Foodhall, A.P.C., NOCI Pasta, Jigsaw, Penhaligon’s, Under Armour and many more.

Battersea Power Station’s unique chimney lift experience, Lift 109, which opened in November 2022, has since ascended the building’s northwest chimney nearly 20,000 times, travelling 2000km which is twice the length of the United Kingdom. The attraction has also hosted a series of sell-out events as part of its ‘Lift 109 Lates’ offering including ‘Sundown Sessions’ and ‘Full Moon Manifestation Workshops’.


VisitBritain-British Film Commission deal

The British Film Commission and VisitBritain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the intention of boosting screen tourism throughout the UK’s nations and regions.

Set-jetting is a booming trend in travel. According to Expedia Group, more than half of international travellers said TV shows and films inspire their travel plans. Inbound tourists spent an estimated £892.6 million in film-related screen tourism in the UK in 2019 alone according to the British Film Institute (BFI), making screen tourism an increasingly valuable part of the UK’s global tourism offer.

The UK film and TV industry continues to attract major international productions with its world class production offer. With first-class studios available throughout the UK’s nations and regions, cutting-edge VFX facilities, unique locations and a talented crew base, the UK has hosted many world-renowned film and TV franchises, contributing billions of pounds to the UK economy.


Tourism in New Uzbekistan unveiled in UAE

Uzbekistan has showcased its rich cultural heritage and commitment to sustainable tourism practices through two noteworthy events in UAE. The first event, titled Tourism in New Uzbekistan, took place on November 14, 2023, at the Khiva Restaurant on Bluewaters Island in Dubai. The second was part of COP28 in Dubai.

The Tourism in New Uzbekistan event organized by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in the United Arab Emirates in association with Uzbekistan Airways and renowned national tour operator Asialuxe Travel showcased the vibrant tourism landscape of Uzbekistan to an audience of travel enthusiasts, industry professionals, and esteemed guests.

With an impressive turnout of 50 participants, the event featured Uzbekistan as an emerging gem in the tourism industry with diverse landscapes, cultural treasures, and emerging hotspots, including iconic sites like Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, underlining Uzbekistan’s cultural significance and rich history.