Azimuth Cultural Festival is Bringing Art, Music, Film and Food to Saudi’s Al-Ula Desert

Via The National.

In the midst of a sea of golden dunes, Azimuth Festival is coming to Saudi’s most-coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al-Ula, to end Winter at Tantora with a bang. The three-day festival will take place March 5-7 and will celebrate music, art, film, food, and heritage.

At Al-Ula, a Nabatean edifice south of Petra, attendees are set to experience a mash of all that is Arabian with all that is Western. From music to food, it is a deep dive into a worldly, cultural journey like no other.

Winter at Tantora, a larger festival that has been going on every weekend since December 19, is coming to an end with Azimuth being the last event on the itinerary.

A number of high-end chefs from all over the globe are coming to Saudi to complement the festival with gastronomical platters, including Brazilian-Palestinian chef Alex Atala, Portugal’s Nuno Mendes, Indian chef Garima Arora, and Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone the two geniuses behind New York’s Contra and Wildair.

In response to the growing popularity of the site, Saudi Arabia announced a set of rules to protect it. There will be no high-rise hotels or tower blocks, with major development kept at a distance from the archaeological hotspots.

“We are developing a system that is targeted mainly at protecting our cultural landscapes in such a way that we allow development but do not spoil our amazing landscapes,” The site’s chief planning officer Francesca Arici told The National.

There are plans set by the government for Saudi Arabia to put Al Ula on the map as the Kingdom’s crowning jewel, and with events such as Azimuth Festival, the place is slowly but surely gaining renown.

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