Monday, December 17, 2018

Event: Janadriyah Annual Heritage & Culture Festival 33 (2018/19)

The festival use to happen in February every year but this year they have shifted it to December, I think this has been done to attract foreign tourists during holiday season. The duration of the festival has also been increased.

It is my favorite event in the Kingdom and I have visited it every year from 2012 to 2017. It did not happen in 2015 due to King's death. I would recommend it as a must-see event. It is so huge that you cannot manage to see it completely in one day.

20th December is the inauguration day of 33rd Janadriyah Annual Heritage & Culture Festival (2018/19). This is the biggest festival in the Kingdom. The vibrant festival in Riyadh City District is a showcase for crafts from across the Kingdom to celebrate the cultural traditions.

The festival includes displays of regional architecture, cuisine, craft, markets and folklore. There are working displays of carpet weaving, pottery making, and woodcarving from different regions. There are also displays by the armed forces, and displays of traditional swords and daggers.

Indonesia is the guest of honor country for this year’s festival.

Dates: 20th Dec 2018 – 9 Jan 2019 (21 days/3 weeks)
(20th Dec) is the Opening Ceremony
(21st – 24th Dec ) is for Men Only - Daily 11am to 11pm, Friday 2pm - 12am
(25th Dec - 9th Janis for Women and Families Only – Daily 11am to 11pm, Friday 2pm - 12am

Ticket: Free

Last year a shuttle bus service was available from various malls to the festival for families, similar facilities are expected this year as well: الجنادرية / 5 رحلات بالمجان للعوائل من الرياض إلى الجنادرية يومياً وكالة الأنباء السعودية

Address: Janadriyah Annual Heritage and Culture Festival, Riyadh
Coordinates: 24.958592,46.794462
Google Maps Link:
Event Email:


The National Guard
Phone: +96614038992
Fax: +96614038992

  • ·        The location is in the middle of the desert thus it gets very cold in later hours. You have to dress up accordingly.

  • ·        It is a huge area, wear comfortable shoes, walking is the only option inside the festival area.

  • ·        Remember the location of your car parking carefully; it will not look the same when you will return.

  • ·        Get a map of the festival from the information centers near gates.

  • ·        As you are expected to receive several gifts and you might do some shopping as well, thus it is recommended to carry some kind of bag with you, which is easy to carry.

Pictures and Feedback:
Janadriyah Cultural Heritage Festival 2017:

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage Festival 2016:

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage Festival 2014:

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage Festival 2013:

Janadriyah Cultural Heritage Festival 2012:

Map/Guide of  Janadriyah Festival 2018 in English and Arabic

خريطة المهرجان 1439.pdf

Expected Sections at the Festival, with our feedback from last year:

Jezan: We were able to see some amazing pics of Farasan, which convinced us to have another tour to the island, a longer tour this time. We received 2016 calendars as gifts. Traditional Houses of Farasan are always nice to see. We saw making of oil in the traditional way. We had Matabagh (traditional arabic dish), Samosas, potato chips and Lemon Mint Juice. We took some pics but I will share the pics collectively after the end of the festival.

Hail: We visited Historic Faid City in 2014 but there was not much info available there. Luckily the section of Hail University was all about Faid City and we found out that after 5 years we might be able to see the ruins restored completely. We received caps and keychains as gifts. A whole section was dedicated to pictures of annual Hail Rally. Traditional house looked very cosy. We had tasty Lemon Mint Juice.

Najran: The section was not full to its capacity this year. I had a little interview at Najran TV. You can see live honey bees making honey and could taste it as well.

Ministry of Education: This section is a treat for children. Many toys and activities are present with some stage shows as well. We received stickers, keychains, card covers, mugs as gifts from 1st floor.

Saudi Airlines: Here you can see the history of the company through pictures. We were also informed about current offers. We also participated in a draw where we can win free tickets.

Alwaleed Philanthropies: There were many customizable/exclusive items for sale and the earnings will go in charity. This is the 1st time I saw their section in Janadriyah Festival.

UAE: Good historic pics were on display. We got good bootlets about UAE tourism with some gifts as well. A falcon and I posed for a pic together.

King Salman for Relief Center: We got information about volunteering for charity work and received some gifts as well.

Saudi Commision for Tourism and National Heritage: There were nice interactive projections to play with. Games for children were available. There was also a small high quality cinema with Saudi Tourism video. It was nice to see that we have already seen almost all of the places being shown there. We received some gifts as well.

Human Rights Commission and Martyrs and Injured:  These 2 were together in a row. Not much to see.

Ministry of Islamic Affairs: We received Quran with English Translation and a DVD as gifts.

KACST: Information about enhancements in Science and Technology was available. We found out that KSA has its own Solar Cells manufacturing factory.

Ministry of Housing: We came to know about new housing societies planned for remote cities of KSA. Not much to see.

Saudi Energy Efficiency Center: Good information available on energy saving in daily life. I got the opportunity to experience Samsung Gear VR powered by oculus, I have extreme motion sickness and I can't play 3D games but interestingly the Gear VR didn't make me nausea-tic, although after taking it off "Meri duniya thori dair ghoomti rahi thi" (my world was spinning for a while) but maybe I will be able to play games again once VR technology get's mature enough.

Ministry of Water and Electricity: Good info was available on how to save water in daily life. Games for children were available.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: It was closed.

Ministry of Special Security Forces: Many military related stuff (weapons, uniforms, vehicles etc) was on display, firing range was also available but was very crowded, will try to visit it again.

Saudi Scouts: Information about different charity organizations working in KSA was available there. We found info on how to volunteer for them. Craftsmen were preparing traditional stuff as well. I got my sugar tested for free.

Oman: We got good info on Tourism in Oman. We also came to know that the direct road b/w KSA and Oman is complete from Oman's side and is pending opening from KSA's side. We tasted some traditional Omani sweet. The section was small, it seems their actual section is under construction.

Social Affairs - Productive Families: We had traditional food Mentu, Fermoza and Balila from there, all was tasty but due to cold weather food was not hot.

National Anti-Corruption Commision: It was closed, will try to visit it again.

The Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques: Information on expansion projects of both mosques was available there. Historic pics and video was also on display. You can also see live how the kiswat al-ka'bah is prepared. We were running out of time thus we intend to visit it again.

Ministry of Special Security Forces: We went straight to this section to get a chance to fire a real run. We were given 2 shots each, I was able to hit 2nd and 4th circle and got appreciation for my good aim from the soldier there.

Bahrain: We got some pictures with their descriptions of popular places of Bahrain as gift.

National Anti-Corruption Commission: It was open this time. There were some activities for children. We received some gifts.

The Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques: We spent maximum time there, got some amazing info, which you can find on this link: Inside the Outer Boundary of Rawdah (Roza) Mubarak in Masjid e Nabvi SAW, Madina, Saudi Arabia (Arabic/English). We received an Urdu Quran as gift. I got the opportunity to touch the Kiswah which will be used to cover Kaba next year.

Ministry of Economy and Planning: This is a new ministry with innovative logo and decor. The host were very welcoming but there was not much to see.

Amusement Children Air Cities: We just saw it from a distance as it looked for children only. Must be a treat for children.

Hyundai: You can get all info about latest Hyundai cars available in KSA. Many cars were on display.

Ford: You can get all info about latest Ford cars available in KSA. Many cars were on display.

Customs Department: You can see how smuggling is done, the most surprising for us was using peanut shells to smuggle illegal stuff. They also had live demonstration of trained dogs detecting illegal stuff.

Global Village: This is a new section introduced this year. It was like an old traditional indoor congested market but the shops were from various nationalities. There was huge variety of honey available there. We had Kushri, Shuwarma (traditional arabic food) and beef burger from there. One side also had free rides and arcade style video games for children.

Public Pension Agency and Ministry of Finance: Not much to see there.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: It was open this time but not much to see there. There were activities for children.

Health Affairs National Guard:
1st Hall: We got our eyesight checked for free and got a small course on how to help a choking infant/adult and how to help someone who had a heart attack. We received some gifts as well.
2nd Hall: It was for blood donation. I can't donate blood if I have visited Pakistan in last 1 year's time as Pakistan comes under malaria infected countries.
3rd Hall: It was for volunteering for registering in blood bank, where if required they can request us for blood platelets etc. We got registered. We received some gifts as well.

A Group Aaksphoto: It was a photo gallery with some nice pics.

Students of Faculty of Medicine of Imam Muhammad bin Saud University: I got my BMI calculated, sugar and BP checked and got advice on how to stay healthy.

Ordnance Survey Geological: You can see precious stones and millions of years old fossils here. We got some gifts as well.

Saudi Press Agency: Not much to see.

King Abdulaziz Hall: It was similar like last year. Good traditional themes.

Media Center: Janadriyah Festival Guides/Maps were available here as well.

The National Family Safety Program: It was a big indoor auditorium and there was some show for children going on there.

Saudi Food and Drug Authority: We got some really useful info from this section about daily products we use. I will try to write a separate post for this. We received some gifts.

Technical and Vocational Training Corporation: This is a newly build section and it was quite big. It had a lot of activities for children and teenagers, especially boys. We received some gifts.

Ministry of Education: We visited it again as we had missed a few displays in our last visit. We received some gifts and I got my blood type tested for free.

Commission of Wildlife Conservation: It had pics of wildlife present in KSA and there was a small zoo at the back side. Not much to see.

Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice: We found good information about who to approach if someone is blackmailing using cyber crimes. We received some gifts as well.

Equestrian Club: This was about Equestrian Club Riyadh. To know more about this club click on: Place: Equestrian Club Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We received some gifts as well.

Emirate Northern Border: It had traditional theme. Not much to see.

Old Farm: It had some goats and a camel making oil.

Qassim Province: We had some local sweet dish (Kaleja) and dates for free. We also got the information that Awja Dates is not only from Madina but it can grow in other areas as well. There is Ajwa from Qassim as well. We received some gifts.

Saudi Post: We got some info about EMS service and received some gifts from EMS and Lebara Counters.

Muslim World League: It has information about charity work. We received some gifts and some really good books for free.

Ministry of Social Affairs: You can get information about labor rights, I got my BP tested for free. You can also get your sugar tested.

Riyad Bank: We got Janadriyah Festival Guides/Maps from here (finally).

Arabian Oud: We purchased our favorite Aiter (Perfume Oil) at 50% off.

Uber: We got free SR80 vouchers to use on Uber rides. Get SR 80 Free on your First Ride on Uber, Saudi Arabia

Baha Province: We had Mandi (Arabic dish) and we received some gifts as well.

Monetary Agency: It has old Saudi coins/medals on display.

Madina: They have increased the size of this section this year which is a good thing because food from madina is very famous among locals. We also had Mutabbaq, Fermosha, Sobia and a kind of local burger from there.

Old Farm: We passed through it and it is a good attraction for people who have not seen Saudi farms.

Ministry of Agriculture: We received some dates as gifts. There was also free fresh juice available but it was too crowded.

King Abdulaziz Center for Equestrian: We met a few friendly horses. Children can also get free rides on horses.

Saudi Youth Welfare: Last year there were video games available here, this time there was not much to see.

The Management of Prisons: There was some homemade dresses and woodwork was available there. Not much to see.

Borders Guard: It has weapons and vehicles on display.

Jubail and Yanbu: Not much to see.

Hospitality Tent: Its local style big tent used in desserts. Not much to see.

Isuzu: 2 new models were on display.

Public Market: They have increased its size even more. It has many small sections and shops. We received books as gifts.

Ladies Events: It is a women only area.

Art Gallery: It was closed.

King Abdulaziz Library: Pics and Books are on display, we received calendars as gifts.

Kia: Several new models are on display.

Boeing: There was a flight simulator available there but there was a long queue thus we didn't wait for it.

Geological Survey: It was interesting to see seabed of some of the beaches of KSA.

Ministry of Transportation: We got confirmed news that the train b/w Makkah and Madina will start after 1-2 years. The train station of Madina is complete but there is still work going on on the track. We also got to know that after 5-7 years, the train station of Dammam will be an international train station with trains coming from Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman etc. No work has been started on the track b/w Makkah/Madina and Riyadh. We received some calendars as gifts.

Makkah: We had paparh (which are commonly available in Pakistan but not available here), meat samosas and balila. We got interviewed for UNESCO's documentary on Janadriyah Festival, which will be available on UNESCO's website in 2017. Makkah house has been improved with balconies and different entry/exit points. There was a new booth on history of Makkah.

Armed Forces Exhibition: It covers army, air force and navy. This section is always full of gifts, we received many.

Asir: Some nice jewelry was on display.

Ports Authority: There were far less things on display this year. Not much to see.

Ministry of Justice: Not much to see but we got gifts.

Riyadh Municipality: There were activities for kids.

Eastern Province: They have made a new building which looks like historic port of Uqair. They have also improved the background of the stage. We received several gifts.

BAE Systems: There are activities for children including video games. We received gifts.

Aljouf: We couldn't find it, it seems it was not made available this year.

KIA Driving Experience: There you can test drive latest KIA cars.

Hall Diriya: While coming back we found out that there was a side entrance to this hall which was not visible from the front side. It was a big executive sitting hall.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Video: Spider Shoots 25 Metre Web | The Hunt | BBC Earth

The world's biggest spider web can span an entire river
The Darwin's bark spider is small and inconspicuous, but it spins a web 25m across using one of the toughest materials known to exist
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