The biggest cultural event of Saudi Arabia, the Janadriyah Cultural heritage festival is just around the corner! In this Blue Abaya guide you will find everything you need to know to attend the most important national festival for culture and heritage of Saudi Arabia. THIS GUIDE HAS BEEN UPDATED FOR 2017 schedules and visiting days for men and families.
In this Janadriyah festival guide you’ll find Janadriyah visiting hours, dates for family and single days, maps, location, directions, more festival guides, tips for parents and more.
First of all, what exactly is the Janadriyah (Arabic: مهرجان الجنادرية) Heritage Festival?
An annually held, cultural heritage and folk festival of Saudi-Arabia organized by the Saudi National Guard since 1985.
The Janadriyah village was built specifically to host this festival. This is the largest festival of its kind in the Gulf, attracting millions of visitors from all over the region each year. The festival was cancelled in 2015 due to the passing of King Abdullah. During Janadriyah of the previous year 2014, over 3 million people from all over Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries visited the festival.
Al Janadriyah village is divided into sections according to the provinces of Saudi Arabia. Each area, or pavilion as they are referred to, showcases the unique culture, architecture, foods, dances, traditional dress and craftsmanship of that region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Janadriyah will be held this year for the 31st time in the Al Janadriyah village on the outskirts of Riyadh.
Entrance to Janadriyah Village is completely FREE of charge and everyone is welcome!
SCHEDULE and VISIT DAYS for 2017 Jenadriyah Festival as follows:
OPENING CEREMONY: February 2nd
MEN ONLY: February 3rd- 5th 4pm- 12 midnight.
FAMILIES AND WOMEN : February 6th- 17th 4 pm to 12 midnight
Al Janadriyah Village is a huge area, covering over 1.5 sq km of land. It’s is divided into sections according to the different Provinces of Saudi Arabia such as: Jizan (Gazan), Asir, Riyadh, Hail, Tabuk, Eastern Province, Makkah, Medinah, Taif, Al Baha, Qassim, and Najran. Each Province area has buildings which are replicas of the architectural style typical to said region.
Each year there’s also visiting country at the festival and in 2017 Guest country is Egypt. Egypt will have their own cultural pavilion at Janadriyah.
In addition to the province areas, Janadriyah showcases also the largest governmental organizations such as National Guard Health affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Saudi Ports Authority, Saudi Tourism and Heritage and many others. Additionally various social projects, non profit organizations, private companies and charity foundations are present.
A Camel race track which hosts camel races during the first three days is also a part of the Janadriyah village.
Several marketplaces, art exhibitions, food stalls, stages for traditional dance performances and commercial pavilions are also present.
When can I visit? Can I go with my husband/family/single male friends?
Dates and timings as follows: The festival grand opening is by invite to males only on Wednesday 2nd of February, you can watch it on live Tv from the KSA channels. Starting from 3rd February the festival is open to males. Singles (male only days) are 3rd- 5th February
Family days at Janadriyah begin Monday 6th February until the 17 th February.
School visits: February 5th – 9th 9am – 12 pm
Opening hours: Gates open 4 pm until 12 midnight everyday.
Family days are when single women (either on their own or with their male family members) and married men with their families are allowed to enter.
Note that sometimes single males might be able to enter on family days accompanied with a tour group, by sticking with the group strictly at all times. The religious police are on the look-out for single males and all single males will be escorted out of the festival if found unaccompanied by family members. The Haia are very strict in particular with the Saudi youth, however expats might get some leeway in this matter.
Where is Janadriyah village located? How do I get there, is there a map of the area, or GPS co-ordinates?
The Janadriyah Village is located on Janadriyah Rd, opposite the Salwa Garden Village North of Riyadh, approximately 40 km from the city center. Further along the same road are the King Abdul Aziz Race track and Thumamah National Park. Three roads from Riyadh lead to Janadriyah. Check the Google map to see which one is closest to you and for driving directions. It takes about 30- 45 minutes from Riyadh city center to reach Janadriyah depending on the traffic. There’s no public transport available to the festival apart from taxis, they should all know the Janadriyah location.
GPS co-ordinates: 24.958592, 46.794462
Location Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/184ur