A new season of the all-electric Formula E series is about to begin in Saudi Arabia. Here’s everything you need to know about attending the 2022 Diriyah E-Prix on January 28-29!
Formula E’s eighth season kicks off with the Diriyah E-Prix, held at Riyadh Street Circuit, near the UNESCO World Heritage site, Ad Diriyah. The series first visited Saudi Arabia in 2018 and the Riyadh circuit has since hosted five E-Prix. Last year’s double header was the first time that the series raced at night. It will do so again in 2022. From the five races here, Sam Bird is the only driver to have taken multiple wins, while Alexander Sims is the only repeat polesitter.
Where will the 2022 Diriyah E-Prix take place?
The 2022 Diriyah E-Prix will take place at Riyadh Street Circuit, which is located around 20km northwest of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia.
Where should I stay for the Diriyah E-Prix?
It’s best to base yourself in the city of Riyadh over the Formula E race weekend, where there are a wide range of hotels available. The Olaya district, in the heart of Riyadh, is the best place to stay in the city. The glitzy Four Seasons hotel is located in the Kingdom Centre, which stands in this area of the city. If you’ve come to soak up the history of Riyadh, the Al-Murabba district is full of places of interest.
How to get to Riyadh Street Circuit
Ad Diriyah, the UNESCO World Heritage site where the race takes place, is 20km northwest of Riyadh city centre. For those unfamiliar with the area, the best way to get there is by taxi or ride sharing. For those looking to get around the city, you can read more about Riyadh’s public transport options here.
Are tickets still available for the 2022 Diriyah E-Prix?
Not got your tickets yet? Good news – tickets are still available for the 2022 Diriyah E-Prix. 10,000 tickets are on sale for the event. Single day General Admission tickets are priced at 150 SAR (around $40 USD), while grandstand tickets are priced at 250 SAR (around $66 USD).
Two-day hospitality tickets for the Boss Emotion Club – Formula E’s exclusive hospitality experience – are also available.
Trackside at the 2022 Diriyah E-Prix
All tickets for the Diriyah E-Prix include access to the E-Village, where you can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy headline concerts. James Blunt and Wyclef Jean will be the headline performers after the first race on Friday, while The Script and Two Door Cinema Club are set to perform post-race on Saturday. Craig David will also take to the stage on Saturday evening.
The full on track timetable for the 2022 Diriyah E-Prix can be found below:
Thursday 27th January
- 18:00: Free Practice 1
Friday 28th January
- 13:30: Free Practice 2
- 15:40: Qualifying
- 20:00: Diriyah E-Prix
Saturday 29th January
- 13:30: Free Practice 2
- 15:40: Qualifying
- 20:00: Diriyah E-Prix
Last time out at the Diriyah E-Prix
Last year’s double header of Diriyah races were dramatic affairs. In Race 1, Nyck de Vries claimed his maiden Formula E win, taking the first victory of his championship-winning season. Edoardo Mortara made an epic overtake to make up two positions in a single move, while Sam Bird and Alex Lynn were eliminated in a mid-race collision.
Sam Bird won from pole position in the second race. There was wheel-to-wheel racing throughout the field – not least between team-mates Antonio Felix da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne. The E-Prix ended under a red flag following a heavy crash for Alex Lynn, who hit the rear of Mitch Evans’ Jaguar.
Need to know: Saudi Arabia travel
What are the coronavirus rules and restrictions in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is open to international visitors. You must provide a negative PCR test upon your arrival to the country, conducted no more than 72 hours before departure. You will need to download the Tawakkalna app. There are no quarantine requirements if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More information can be found here.
Do I need a visa to visit Saudi Arabia?
Travellers from 49 countries are able to apply for an e-visa to visit Saudi Arabia. Countries including the UK, USA, Canada and the European Union are included on the list of eligible countries.
Where is the nearest airport to Riyadh Street Circuit?
King Khalid International Airport (RUH) is the nearest airport to Riyadh Street Circuit. It’s located 30km north of Riyadh’s city centre.
What number should be called in an emergency in Saudi Arabia?
In case of emergency during your visit to Saudi Arabia, call 112. You can contact the ambulance service on 997 and police on 999. A full list of emergency numbers can be found here.
What time zone is used in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia operates on Arabian Standard Time, which is GMT +3 hours.
What type of electrical plugs are used in Saudi Arabia?
Type G plugs are used in Saudi Arabia, operating on a 230V supply voltage and 60Hz. It’s the same type of plug used in the United Kingdom. Non-British travellers will need a power adaptor.
Is the tap water safe to drink in Saudi Arabia?
Tap water in Saudi Arabia is safe to drink. In fact, the country is the world’s largest producer of desalinated water.
What currency is used in Saudi Arabia?
The Saudi Riyal (SAR) is the official currency in Saudi Arabia. It is subdivided into 100 halala. 1 Saudi Riyal is the equivalent of £0.20 GBP, €0.23 EURO or $0.27 USD. Find the exchange rate for your currency on xe.com.
Which side of the road is driven on in Saudi Arabia?
You drive on the right hand side of the road in Saudi Arabia. Road signs are mostly bilingual and feature place names in both Arabic and English.
What can I expect the weather to be like for the Diriyah E-Prix?
Riyadh and the surrounding area has a hot desert climate. Thankfully, the Diriyah E-Prix takes place in January, in the cooler part of the year. Temperatures will not exceed 30°C during your trip, with the average daily temperature for the month being around 20°C (68°F). The Diriyah E-Prix takes place at night, so temperatures will be even cooler than this – most likely around 15°C at a maximum. On average, there are six days of rain during the month of January. Dust storms can be an issue here.
Which languages are spoken in Saudi Arabia?
Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia. English is widely spoken and is a compulsory second language taught in schools. The language barrier is unlikely to be a problem during your visit.
Are there any local customs to be aware of in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is a conservative country where Islamic laws are observed. Though locals are generally tolerant and will not take offence if rules are not strictly observed, it is a good idea to follow social etiquette during your trip. Alcohol is banned in the country and public decency laws must be followed. Men should wear long trousers, not shorts, and long-sleeved shirts. Women should carry a headscarf for occasions where covering of the hair is appropriate. You should be aware that prayers are observed five times per day. Shops and restaurants may briefly close during these times.
What can I do away from the circuit during my trip?
There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained away from the circuit during your trip to the Diriyah E-Prix. Here are some ideas of where to visit while exploring Riyadh and the surrounding area!
Formula E’s Riyadh Street Circuit is located in the historical town of Ad Diriyah. Founded in the 15th century, Diriyah’s Al-Turaif district is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Saudi state was established here in 1745. The area was once an ancient trade and pilgrimage route and was the original seat of power for the kingdom’s Al Saud family.
The Al-Turaif district can be seen from Al-Bujairi, where you can explore the city ruins and check out the traditional marketplace.
It’s difficult to miss this iconic landmark. The Kingdom Centre is Riyadh’s tallest skyscraper. Standing over 300 metres tall and 100 storeys high, the Kingdom Centre became the tallest building in Saudi Arabia upon its completion in 2002.
Got a head for heights? You’ll want to check out the centre’s Sky Bridge. Located on the 99th floor, soak up the spectacular views across the city and for miles further afield. We recommend going at night for an atmospheric experience.
The site is also home to the lavish 5-star Four Seasons Hotel, which is a great place to base yourself for a luxury experience over the Formula E race weekend, as well as the prominent Al Mamlaka Mall. The expansive shopping centre is packed full of modern brands and popular cafes. Be sure to check out the diverse range of restaurants in the area too!
National Museum of Saudi Arabia
There’s no better place to explore the history, culture and art of the local area than at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia. Set out over eight halls, the museum takes its visitors through an interactive tour of Saudi Arabia’s history, from the prehistoric to the unification of the kingdom in 1932.
The museum is open seven days a week. We recommend booking your tickets in advance. Visit on a weekday for a quieter experience.
If your visit to Riyadh is a family affair, Riyadh Zoo is worth putting on the to do list. The zoo was founded in 1957 as a private menagerie for the Saudi royal family. It opened to the public 30 years later.
Home to many species of exotic animals, Riyadh Zoo is the largest zoo in Saudi Arabia. With the Diriyah E-Prix taking place in the cooler January temperatures, it’s a fantastic time to go to the zoo – as the animals won’t be hiding in the shadowy interiors!
Be aware that it is not always possible for men and women to visit the zoo together, however the park is open to families all day on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Al Masmak Fortress
Located in the heart of Riyadh’s old quarter, the Al Masmak Fortress is a historically important piece of architecture. Built in 1865, the building has a storied past – from serving as an ammunition warehouse to a prison.
In 1902, there was an ambush against the mud-brick fortress, resulting in the Battle of Riyadh. The event restored Saudi control over the city and is considered an important milestone in the Unification of Saudi Arabia. In 1995, the fort became a museum, exhibiting one of the most celebrated landmarks in Saudi history.
The museum is open 8am-9pm every day except Fridays. Mondays and Wednesdays are reserved for families.