Noor Riyadh 2023, the annual festival of light and art in Saudi Arabia, announces dates and themes for its third edition

Refik Anadol, Machine Dreams_Space, 2022. Image courtesy the artist. Photo © Noor Riyadh 2022, a Riyadh Art program.

  • Noor Riyadh Festival returns for its third edition, which will feature over 120 artworks by more than 100 artists across five hubs in the capital of Saudi Arabia, from November 30 to December 16
  • The festival features local and international artists and offers diverse workshops, thought-provoking seminars, and stimulating artistic discussions.
  • The curatorial team of the Noor Riyadh 2023 festival is composed of Jérôme Sans as Lead CuratorPedro Alonzo, Fahad Bin Naif and Alaa Tarabzouni as Curators.
  • For the Noor Riyadh exhibition, which runs concurrently with the festival starting November 30, 2023, until March 2, 2024Neville Wakefield will be Lead Curator and Maya Al Athel, Curator.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Noor Riyadh, the Largest Light Art Festival in the World, will return for its third edition in Riyadh, with the festival running from November 30 to December 16, 2023, and the exhibition from November 30, 2023 to March 2, 2024.

The citywide festival will illuminate Riyadh with large-scale light art installations, building projections, performances, and more. Artworks will be displayed in public spaces across five hubs.

Curated by Jérôme Sans (Lead Curator), Pedro Alonzo, Alaa Tarabzouni, and Fahad Bin Naif (Curators), the festival’s theme is “The Bright Side of the Desert Moon” and will feature over 120 artworks by around 100 artists (more than 35 from Saudi Arabia) from more than 35 nationalities. Sans is the co-founder of Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, possessing an established career as curator of major biennials around the world and artistic director of prestigious institutions in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. On the other hand, Boston-based Alonzo is currently adjunct curator at Dallas Contemporary in Texas and specializes in shows that go beyond museum walls. Riyadh-based Tarabzouni and Bin Naif are both artists and curators, with individual practices that utilize their architectural backgrounds to bring unique perspectives on urbanism and the built environment.

The festival’s exhibition “Refracting Identities, Shared Futures” will be held at the JAX DistrictNeville Wakefield, formerly of MoMA PS1, Frieze Projects, and Desert X, returns to lead the curation of the show alongside Maya Al Athel, Curator, who served as artistic director of the festival in 2022.

Noor Riyadh 2023 will also feature over 500 community engagement programs for all visitors and families alike throughout the duration of the festival and the exhibition.

His Highness Prince Badr bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture, Board Member of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, and Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Riyadh Art Program, said: “Under the guidance of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, our dedication to culture and the arts has opened doors for creative expression. The participation of renowned global light artists in Noor Riyadh echoes our united vision. As we approach our third edition, we look forward to continuing Riyadh Art’s mission to turn the city into a dazzling gallery without walls and to ensure that art is for everyone.”

Developed with the aim of nurturing local talent and amplifying Saudi Arabia’s cultural economy, Noor Riyadh is part of Riyadh Art, one of the largest public art initiatives in the world. Riyadh Art aims to transform the Saudi capital into a “gallery without walls”, with more than 1,000 public art installations, to be spread out across the city through 10 programs and two annual events.

Across its editions, Noor Riyadh has created unique moments of joy across the city and provided millions of visitors the opportunity to appreciate world-class light artworks, and rediscover the city of Riyadh in a new light. In 2022, Noor Riyadh celebrated multiple achievements, including welcoming 2.8 million visitors to the festival and winning six Guinness World Records, one of which being the largest celebration of light art in the world.

Noor Riyadh 2023 press kit can be found here:

For more information regarding Riyadh Art and Noor Riyadh contact:
Anastasia Lander at Pelham Communications
Andrew Johnson at H+K Strategies
Riyadh Art Media Center

Notes to editors

About Noor Riyadh
Noor Riyadh is a citywide annual festival of light and art which launched in March 2021. Noor Riyadh includes a festival and world-class exhibition, along with a public program of activities for the community that includes educational workshops, talks, and performances. Noor Riyadh is the largest light art festival in the world.

Noor Riyadh combines the highest quality light artworks from leading international and Saudi artists, across the largest city footprint of any light art festival worldwide. Staged under Riyadh Art, the festival aims to nurture local talent and inspire youth to drive Saudi Arabia’s creative economy.

Instagram: @noorriyadhfestival
Twitter: @NoorRiyadhFest
Facebook: @NoorRiyadhFestival

Noor Riyadh is presented by Riyadh Art and the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.

About Riyadh Art
Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, is on a ten-year mission to become one of the world’s most livable and competitive cities, a global city which is open for business and that welcomes the world. With a young and rapidly growing population of 7+ million residents, Riyadh is transforming into a vibrant and cosmopolitan global city.

Art and culture reflect the spirit of a city. That’s why the Riyadh Art project has been developed to turn the whole capital into a creative canvas – a gallery without walls – to enrich lives, ignite creative expression and kindle the creative economy. Riyadh Art is a demonstration of the open, accessible and creative transformation of the capital, where the exchange of ideas through creative expression, develops a deeper mutual understanding and respect.

The Riyadh Art project will have a positive impact on people, bringing every day moments of joy to residents and visitors alike, while instilling a greater sense of civic pride and creating a more beautiful city for everyone to enjoy. It will also spark the development of the new creative economy and have a positive effect in attracting new businesses to invest in the city.

Instagram: @riyadhartofficial
Twitter: @Riyadh_Arts
Facebook: @RiyadhArtOfficial

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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