White Jeddah reopens, operating as lounge not nightclub

Saudi venue was shut down by authorities last week ahead of the arrival of its headline act Ne-Yo
White Jeddah reopens, operating as lounge not nightclub
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 18 Jun 2019 04:44 PM

Dubai and Beirut nightclub brand White has reopened in Jeddah after shutting down temporarily on opening night Thursday, Serge Trad, Strategic Communications Planning at Addmind told Arabian Business today.

“We were in fact open on Thursday [but] we closed 2 hours prior to our scheduled closing time 2am instead of 4am. We then re-opened Friday and Saturday. And have now announced on our channels that we are open from Wednesdays to Saturdays, from 9pm to 2am,” Trad said in an email statement.

The venue is also working on refunding the price of tickets, which ranged from $100-$133 (370-500 Saudi riyals).

“As for the refunds, we are working on this at the moment!” Trad said.

Another source at White Jeddah said the venue is operating as a lounge as opposed to a nightclub.

“It’s not a nightclub. It’s a lounge and it’s operating very well now...” the source said.

White Jeddah, which features a club-like dancefloor and ‘halal’ bar, was shut down by authorities last week ahead of the arrival of its headline act, American singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, who apologised to his 3 million fans on Instagram with a post stating, “Apologies to the people of Jeddah. On the way to the venue, I was informed it had been shutdown. Guess we’ll try it again another time. Much love to my folks at White”.

The Saudi General Authority for Entertainment said in a tweet that Project X, the festival in which the nightclub was operating, “had not been licensed” and led to “a violation of legal proceedings”.

It said it had agreed to a different event and that its contractor had “taken advantage” of an extension of that license to commit “unacceptable violations”.

White Jeddah’s Instagram page, which was also taken down on Thursday night, is now operating and states that the venue is open, with entry age limit set at 18.

The brand is one of several owned by Dubai-based Addmind Hospitality Group, which runs venues including Indie restaurant and lounge, Italian kitchen Matto, rooftop lounge Iris, Drai’s beach club and many more.

Its CEO Tony Habre told Arabian Business in April that White would open in Saudi Arabia as a “high-end café”.

It had received mixed reviews from Saudis prior to its opening, with critics on social media condemning its dancefloor, and others welcoming its halal bar.

Habre said in April that Addmind is finalising a café version of its Iris lounge in Jeddah, adding that the rooftop venue will play music and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“We’re finalising the Iris café for Jeddah. It will be a café and lounge with music and breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s also a rooftop, outdoor and indoor, and a very interesting concept for the Jeddah market, which is growing, and they have great concepts opening there too,” he said.

“The Saudi market will be great, because the local community goes out a lot. You have people in the country who go out a lot,” he added.

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