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DGDA Announces the 3rd edition of its Diriyah Bayt Al Ardah Training Initiative

21 Dec 2022

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) has now opened registration for the third edition of its Diriyah Bayt Al Ardah Initiative 2023. Held in collaboration with the National Center for the Saudi Ardah, part of the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah). young Saudis will be trained in the nuances and intricacies of this traditional style of celebratory dance at the hands of the Kingdom’s best performers. 
The initiative welcomes Saudi youths aged 12 to 17, who wish to receive Saudi Ardah training, to apply for a place on one off our three-day educational training courses held in February, 2023.  At the end of each three-day course, five trainees will be shortlisted for a final assessment. The 20 finalists who pass the rigorous panel assessment covering the five core elements of Ardah (the Saudi flag, attire, sword, drums, and march), will be honored at a ceremony in March to mark the end of the initiative. The deadline for applications is January 10, 2023.
Held at the historic mansion of Prince Thunayyan bin Saud in the UNESCO World Heritage Site ofAt-Turaif, the initiative aims to strengthen this next generation’s connection to Diriyah’s culture and history. One of several community engagement programs offset up to preserve and protect Saudi heritage, DGDA’s Diriyah Bayt Al Ardah Initiative aims to further popularize the art form amongst young Saudis. Al Ardah is one of the Kingdom’s foremost performance traditions, and in 2015 was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.  Combining poetry with masterful sword displays, the Ardah dance epitomizes Saudi loyalty and pride. It is these values that the DGDA aims to instill in the hearts and minds of young Saudis nationwide. In DGDA’s first two iterations of the initiative, held in 2019 and 2021, over 200 participants received training in the art of Ardah. 26 of these youths were subsequently honored in a closing ceremony attended by several senior officials. Saudi Ardah remains a highly coveted skill among young Saudis thanks to its endearingly festive nature and uplifting poetic elements.
Link to sign up for the initiative