Noor Riyadh 2023: A Spectacular Light Art Festival Transforms the Saudi Capital

4 min read
Noor Riyadh
Noor Riyadh

Today marks the grand return of Noor Riyadh for its much-anticipated third edition. Running until December 16, 2023, the event will transform the Saudi capital into a mesmerizing canvas awash with lights of every hue. This year’s theme, “The Bright Side of the Desert Moon,” promises an enchanting blend of art and technology, casting a new light on the city’s nightscape.

Introduced as a crucial element of the Riyadh Art Initiative, Noor Riyadh is more than just a festival; it is a catalyst for nurturing and supporting local and international creativity. The festival stands out as one of the four major projects the Royal Commission for Riyadh City launched as part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030.

Spanning across five main hubs in Riyadh, including the central King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), Wadi Hanifah, JAX District, Salam Park, and Wadi Namar, the festival will feature over 120 large-scale light art installations. These artistic marvels aren’t confined to these hubs alone; areas like Digital City, Via Riyadh, Kingdom Centre, and Al Faisaliah Tower will also join in the citywide celebration of light and colour.

The festival boasts participation from over 35 nationalities, including 35 Saudi artists. Among the notable names in this year’s lineup are Bruno Ribeiro, Carsten Höller, Chris Levine, Christopher Bauder, Dana-Fiona Armour, Diana Thater, Drift, Janet Echelman, and Philippe Parreno. 

Miguel Chevalier's digital art, 'Magic Carpet, Origin of the World.

Miguel Chevalier’s digital art, Magic Carpet, Origin of the World.

But Noor Riyadh is more than just a visual feast. The festival is also a community engagement hub, with over 500 community programs scheduled to run alongside the light installations. These programs aim to foster a deeper appreciation of art and its ability to connect people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Rashed AlShashai's 'Brand 16 (2022)' - A Commentary on Consumer Culture and Life's Evolution in a Global System

Rashed AlShashai’s ‘Brand 16 (2022)’ – A Commentary on Consumer Culture and Life’s Evolution in a Global System

In addition, an accompanying exhibition, aligning with the festival’s theme and spirit, will run concurrently, extending the experience until March 2, 2024. This extended exhibition period not only allows more time for visitors to immerse themselves in the art but also underscores Riyadh’s growing status as a cultural destination.

For more information about artist, artworks and the entire programme visit