World class musicians drawn to festivals at Saudi's UNESCO site

Musician Lang Lang and opera singer Andrea Bocelli among big names lined up for winter festivals at Al-Ula
World class musicians drawn to festivals at Saudi's UNESCO site
The Winter at Tantora festival will be the first event of its kind to be held in the UNESCO World Heritage site and will feature world renowned musician Lang Lang and opera singer Andrea Bocelli.
By Sam Bridge
Thu 13 Dec 2018 04:34 PM

Al-Ula, the archeological jewel of Saudi Arabia, has announced plans to play host to a special season of events and festivities this winter.

The Winter at Tantora festival will be the first event of its kind to be held in the UNESCO World Heritage site and will feature world renowned musician Lang Lang and opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

Al-Ula, which lies north of the Arabian peninsula is home to numerous archeological sites and is a meeting point of many civilizations.

During the festival, feature weekends will include the Tantora Festival, The Wonder of Winter – A Celebration of Light and Life from December 20-27, the Hot Air Balloon Festival from Jan 31-February 9, and Fursan Festival which will play host to the prestigious Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup on February 2.

Beginning on December 21, there will be a series of eight weekend concerts. Under the night skies of Al-Ula, you can experience the virtuoso talents such as Mohamed Abdo (December 21), Majida El Roumi (December 28), Renaud Capuçon (January 4), Omar Khairat (January 11), Lang Lang (January 18), Um Kulthum (January 25), Andrea Bocelli (February 1) and Yanni (February 8).

Each will perform in a purpose-built concert hall which will also have visual shows of classical artworks by painter Van Gogh.

Just 500 tickets will be available for each concert.

Winter at Tantora is a celebration of life, culture, heritage and beauty and guests can take part in an exclusive visit to the archeological and heritage sites that are closed for renovations and will be open solely to the select group of ticket holders.

Celebrating the start of winter, Tantora Festival is a seven-day celebration inspired by Al-Ula’s tradition of marking the beginning of the harvest season. Visitors will be able to experience the authentic essence of Al-Ula, from shopping in a traditional souk, encountering art and performance theatre through to enjoying local delicacies.

In early 2019, the skies of Al Ula will be brought to life with a Hot Air Balloon Festival while the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup will be held for the first time in Al-Ula. The endurance race will see the participation of 80 riders and have one of the largest prize pots for endurance races in the region.

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