Beatboxing, oud music and folklore dance: diverse Saudi performances wow audiences at Expo 2020

DUBAI, 19 November 2021 – From beatboxers to folklore dancers, the Saudi Arabia Pavilion showcased a variety of performances representing the Kingdom’s diverse culture and traditions across the Expo 2020 site today (19 November).

The Saudi Variety Show, held at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, brought global audiences a delightful blend of music, comedy and singing.

The show kicked off with a dazzling performance by music composer Abdulkhaleq Bin Rafaah and the Thaqaf band, who presented traditional songs embodying the Kingdom’s artistic heritage.

At the start of the show, Abdulkhaleq Bin Rafaah said: “I’m very excited to be representing the Saudi pavilion for the second time on this stage. I want to congratulate the pavilion on reaching one million visitors yesterday. They deserve all the praise. All of the music that you will hear is pure Saudi music, with Saudi melodies, played by Saudi artists, and made in Saudi Arabia.”

جناح المملكة العربية السعودية في إكسبو 2020 دبي ينظم عرضا فنيا منوعا

Audience members were then treated to a special performance by Saudi singer Tamtam, who wrote a song especially for the Saudi Variety Show, with both Arabic and English lyrics, called One Earth.

Saudi oud player Abdulaziz Shanan also presented a unique musical segment with Indian beatbox artist Rai, combining the oriental sound of the oud with the western musical technique of beatboxing. And Saudi actor and stand-up comedian Ibrahim Al-Hajjaj brought laughter with an interactive comedic skit.

The Saudi Signature Performance Group showcased the Kingdom’s history and cultural traditions with stunning performances of folklore music, chants, and dance outside the Saudi Arabia Pavilion. The group performed four different dances, called ardah, from various parts of the Kingdom. Men line up in two rows facing each other or in a circle, each carrying a sword, accompanied by drums and sometimes a singer or poet.

The performances take place nightly in front of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, in the Opportunity District, at 1900, 1940, 2020, 2100 and 2140.

The Saudi Arabia Pavilion offers a glimpse into the future, taking visitors on a journey through the country’s ambitions across four main pillars: people, nature, heritage and opportunities. It is second largest Country Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, after the United Arab Emirates, with a total area of 13,059 square metres