Janadriyah Festival Guide 2016

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 in 2016.

Read on to find out the Janadriyah 2016 visiting hours, dates for family and single days, maps, location, directions, festival guides, tips for parents and more. For more Janadriyah updates, like & follow Blue Abaya on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 

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.

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 3oth time in the Al Janadriyah village on the outskirts of Riyadh. Entrance to Janadriyah Village is completely FREE of charge for everyone!

Images from previous Janadriyah festivals check these posts: Why I love Janadriyah Festival  and Janadriyah 2011,

What can be found at the Janadriyah Village?

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 2016 it will be Germany. Germany will have their own cultural pavilion at Janadriyah, all the info and their program can be found here: Germany 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? 

2016 dates and timings as follows: The festival grand opening is by invite to males only on Wednesday 3rd of February, you can watch it on live Tv from the KSA channels. Starting from 4th February the festival is open to males. In 2016 Singles (male only days) are February 4rd- 7th from 9-12 am (school kids) and 4pm-12 am. (Source Sauditourism site)

Family days at Janadriyah begin Monday 8th February until the 2oth February.

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

janadriyah map riyadh


Janadriyah Guides: 
For more information on the different areas of Janadriyah and suggested activities go here: 10 Things to Do at Janadriyah
A guide aimed at families with children for visiting Janadriyah: Janadriyah with Kids
Complete Guide to Janadriyah Festival 2015 
Still not convinced you should visit this festival? This post is for you: Why I Love the Janadriyah Festival
 guide to janadriyah heritage festival 2016

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  • RahiZJanuary 31, 2016 - 9:42 pm

    Thanks for the timely update especially regarding the timings for the family.ReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraFebruary 1, 2016 - 12:23 am

      Hi Rahiz!

      you’re welcome, I know how it’s always so hard to find the info online in English.ReplyCancel

      • MurtazaApril 4, 2016 - 1:10 pm

        what about the crowed there,,, i would like to open stall for lights foods,, can i proceed if yes then how??????ReplyCancel

  • AbdulazizFebruary 1, 2016 - 8:44 am

    good work thank youReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraFebruary 1, 2016 - 7:30 pm

      Thanks Abdul Aziz! I hope this inspires and encourages people, especially the expats to visit the festival.ReplyCancel

      • MuhammadFebruary 7, 2016 - 3:45 pm

        Thanks Arabian Laura :)
        Very useful info and planning to visit soon.


  • […] Check out new on Blue Abaya: Janadriyah 2016: Complete Guide for expats! Location, maps, directions,… […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Complete Guide to Janadriyah festival 2016 click here! […]ReplyCancel

  • Matthias RabFebruary 6, 2016 - 6:13 am

    I went there yesterday with a couple of expats and a Saudi friend. It was really nice and interesting ! People were extremelly friendly, we felt like my friends and I eventually were the second curiosity of the day, as people were mostly Saudi and insisted on taking pictures with us ;)
    I would advise to go there with an Arabic speaker as all the signs are in Arabic. We stayed from 5pm to midnight, and could have easily stayed twice that time as there is really a lot to do !. Thanks for the article !ReplyCancel

  • Josephine pacsoy flordelizaFebruary 7, 2016 - 8:28 am

    I just want to confirm if the festival is open during fridays… because that only time we can go. ThanksReplyCancel

  • AlanFebruary 8, 2016 - 3:53 pm

    Went last night for a few hours, and greatly enjoyed the experience. It was truly unique, even if we only had the opportunity to (barely) scratch the surface. Hoping to head back again prior to the 20th, but not sure it’ll pan out (due to the “family” environment the remainder of the time)

    The one downside (for me) may have been the excessive attention I received (as a westerner). While the initial round of picture requests/practicing of English were fun, after a while the charm wore off and it became excessive and tiring. I certainly can understand their interest in me, as I stand out among the locals (based on size and complexion), but when I become weary of even making eye contact the experience begins to lose its luster.ReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraFebruary 11, 2016 - 11:30 am

      Hi Alan!
      I was there too on Monday :) Were you by any chance at the camel races?

      It can become a little but annoying when they keep coming up to you, but if you just try to show that you’re “moving along” smile and say salaam aleikum, they won’t get offended or anything.
      Nowadays there’s plenty of westerners at the festival for Saudis to take pics with, compared to few years ago. I like to think this is partly due to years of promoting of Janadriyah through my social media channels and the guides on this blog of the festival which have encouraged more expats to visit:)ReplyCancel

  • monsoonsandFebruary 10, 2016 - 12:42 pm


    First of all I would like to congratulate you on such a beautiful blog.
    I share a vivid interest in travelling and photography, but unfortunately haven`t got much chance in saudi to intensify it.
    I love your photographs so much.
    I am planning to visit JAnadriyah 2016 and so please help me know if taking photographs is allowed in this festival by DSLR or mobile?
    Have you ever heard anyone facing problems in Riyadh because of a camera?

    Thanks and keep sharingReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraFebruary 11, 2016 - 11:23 am

      Hi there Monsoonsand and salaam!

      Taking photos on Janadriyah is allowed, but please be mindful when photographing people and especially women. Most likely they will have no problem with it during this festival though, especially when it’s another female photographing them.

  • Al Jamila Laura CruzFebruary 10, 2016 - 12:43 pm

    The mornings are only for schools? Also on weekends?ReplyCancel

  • Saudi Heritage Preservation SocietyFebruary 10, 2016 - 8:25 pm

    Hi dear
    Please contact us for upcoming event .

    Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraFebruary 11, 2016 - 11:20 am

      Hi there! If you mean the the SaSa event, I am aware of it and have posted on my Blue Abaya Blog Facebook fanpage :)ReplyCancel

  • Abdul BasitFebruary 12, 2016 - 11:11 am

    Can school children visit Janadriyah on February 15, 16 and 17th?ReplyCancel

  • Mirza Obedullah BaigFebruary 29, 2016 - 9:09 am

    apart from festival can we visit any time with families.ReplyCancel

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