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The November 30-December 1 event will feature various dog contests. Illustrative image. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Dog lovers in Saudi Arabia are eagerly awaiting a unique festival for their pets due to kick off next week in the capital Riyadh as part of an annual entertainment and tourist gathering.

The Riyadh Season, underway in the Saudi city, said it plans the “first of its kind the Global Dog Festival” set to attract 250 dogs from around the world.

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The November 30-December 1 event will feature various dog contests, it added.

Launched this year under the motto “Big Time”, the Riyadh Season drew more than 2 million visitors in its first two weeks, head of the event’s organiser, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Turki Alalsheikh, has recently said.

The fourth edition of the Riyadh Season was unveiled on October 28 with specular shows including an epic fight that saw British boxer Tyson Fury outrivaling former world champion in mixed martial arts Francis Ngannou in a showdown dubbed the “battle of the baddest”.

Wonder Garden

The Season’s diverse events are taking place in 12 venues in Riyadh, featuring concerts by world celebrities, theatrical shows, a football museum and restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine.

New venues for this year’s edition include the state-of-the area Boulevard Hall set up on an area of 200,000 square metres and can accommodate up to 40,000 visitors at one time.

Another attraction is “Wonder Garden”, a super entertainment city boasting 70 different games and global gardens.

In September, Alasheikh said they expect 10-12 million visitors at this year’s Riyadh Season.

He added that 40 per cent of the anticipated revenue from the event has already been achieved through sponsorship deals.

Launched in 2019, the Riyadh Season is meant to turn the city into as a global entertainment and tourist destination.

The second edition of the festival kicked off in October 2021 after it was suspended the previous year due to the global pandemic. The third was unveiled in October 2022.