For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia is set to host a multi-cultural festival, allowing people to virtually tour 50 countries in one go.
Dubbed "The Global Village," the festival is set to open up in Jeddah's Atallah Happy Land Park from Feb. 28 to March 29.
The massive cultural event aims to boost the tourism sector in the kingdom, which is a goal set under Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. The festival is expected to attract 1 million visitors, Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, told Arab News.
"Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters," she said.
That's not all
The festival will feature pavilions for five GCC states, 10 other Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries, and four countries from the Americas, according to Arab News.
Each pavilion will give visitors an authentic experience into the respective country - from traditional attire to food and performances.
Saudi Arabia's Global Village is not the first of its kind in the Arab region. Dubai's Global Village opened its doors in October for its 23rd season; it will remain open until April 6, 2019.
Still, this is a major step forward for the entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia
In 2016, the kingdom established the General Authority for Entertainment in a bid to enhance the cultural and entertainment sector within the country.
Since its establishment, the kingdom hosted several concerts for the first time in years. Mixed-gender events – including Saudi Comic Con and a YouTube FanFest – have also taken place in the past few months. One of the major steps taken under the authority is the lift of the kingdom's long standing ban on cinemas, which was officially announced in 2017.
In 2018, Saudi Arabia also revealed it is set to build its first ever opera house. That same year, the authority organized the kingdom's first-ever Arab Fashion Week.
The government body has also stated that it plans to invest $64 billion in the entertainment sector within the next decade.