Inside Saudi Arabia’s first nightclub with ban on booze, world’s strictest bouncers & entry costs up to £2,8001

4 weeks ago 23

SAUDI Arabia has ditched its conservative laws to open the first permanent nightclub in a bid to appeal to party-loving youngsters.

Dubbed "New Life", the Beast House in Riyadh's youthful Jax District is the only vibrant spot for revellers in the country - but getting an entry does not come cheap.

The dance floor of the country's first nightclub shows men and women grooving together

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The dance floor of the country's first nightclub shows men and women grooving togetherCredit: Instagram

The exclusive club offers chic interiors with world-class amenities

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The exclusive club offers chic interiors with world-class amenitiesCredit: Instagram

The venue regularly hosts gigs and live music events led by talented DJs

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The venue regularly hosts gigs and live music events led by talented DJsCredit: Instagram

The no booze rule applies inside the club but guests can choose from the vast mocktail menu

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The no booze rule applies inside the club but guests can choose from the vast mocktail menuCredit: Instagram

With chic interiors, gorgeous lighting and lavish amenities, creators expect the multi-storey nightclub to become the epicentre of the country's evolving arts and music scene.

The place also boasts multiple studio spaces, dining areas and production rooms equipped with recording booths.

Talented DJs and music producers walk inside the club to play gigs for Saudi youth who had been barred from partying - even in private spaces - for decades.

The club is even expected to attract foreign tourists visiting the country who until now had nowhere to go for parties.

Ramadan Alharatani, CEO of the company behind the venue, told Arab News: "We see Beast House becoming a cornerstone of Riyadh’s music scene, a place where creativity is nurtured and talents from the local and international scenes can grow. 

"Our vision is to revolutionise the way music is experienced in the region by fostering connections in the creative community through the power of music."


Have you been to the nightclub? Share your thoughts with us at sayan.bose@the-sun.co.uk


"We’ve been spreading the word, giving people the lowdown on what members’ clubs are really all about. We’ve rolled out a few sneak-peek events to hook them on the experience, and we’re connecting with creative trailblazers to grow the right community."

Saudi DJ Tarek anTabi who previously had to travel abroad to perform his sets told The Times: "[The club] means the world to me," after finally being able to show his music skills in his own country.

However, getting into the exclusive club does not come cheap: the lowest annual membership of the country's first nightclub costs a whopping £1,900.

But Saudi people with deep pockets have an option to pay some £2,800 to squeeze out the top benefits.

One of the women visiting the club was Nouf, who admitted to having felt tempted to leave the country before the subtle social reforms - including a bit more freedom for women - came into force.

"It’s a new life, we’re born again. Especially as women," she said while entering the club with her friend.

The club is reportedly backed by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - who is racing to put Saudi Arabia on the global stage with his maddening projects like NEOM and the Line.

While the exclusive party spot offers everything top-notch, alcohol still remains forbidden from the venue - and strict bouncers have been hired especially to enforce the no-booze rule.

Instead, guests can choose from the vast menu of mocktails.

Alcohol, which is considered indecent in the Islamic faith, has been banned in the conservative country since the 1950s.

What happened to Saudi Araibia's strict conservative rules?

By Sayan Bose, Foreign News Reporter

GONE are the days when women were forced to cover themselves from head to toe and partying was a crime in the conservative Islamic state.

But why such a drastic change?

Saudi Arabia's young Prince Mohammed bin Salman is swiftly working to appeal and deliver to the country's younger generation which makes up the majority of the country's current population.

He seems to want to ascend the royal throne while having the back of Saudi Arabia's youth.

And what they want is more jobs, more entertainment, and a space where they can live freely - at least to a certain degree.

While women are still required to dress modestly - which includes them not wearing tight-fitting clothing and see-through materials - the monarchy has somewhat relaxed the dress code in recent years after removing the law to wear abaya in public.

Changes in both attitudes and law enforcement came when King Salman "stripped the religious police of arrest powers, removing the enforcers of the Saudi dress code", The Wall Street Journal reports.

Women have now gained the right to drive and are allowed to go to movie theatres and other entertainment centres - including the country's first nightclub.

While Saudi Arabia is considered one of the world’s most gender-segregated countries, the nation's conservative gender rules are also changing.

In December 2019, restaurants were no longer required to have separate entrances for men and women, and some ceased to enforce segregation.

And now men and women are even allowed to party together.

Apart from appealing to the young population, the ambitious prince also wants to make Saudi's economy more independent of its oil business - and attract more foreign investments.

He also wants to put the country on the global stage with his maddening projects like NEOM and the Line.

Just recently, the Islamic country lifted the ban on alcohol for a selected band of non-muslim expats - mostly diplomats - in a dramatic break from the nationwide prohibition that has been in place since 1952.

A Lebanese businessman dining in a French restaurant told The Guardian: "This country keeps on surprising us."

Another expert in the region said: "This is one more step in normalising government sanction of alcohol in defined settings."

Despite the Saudi's bid to become a little less conservative, the absolute monarchy still restricts almost all political rights and civil liberties.

  • A strong surveillance of the public still exists
  • Dissent against the authorities is met with a harsh response
  • Women from religious minorities still face extreme discrimination
  • The country is accused of exploiting a large part of its expat labour force that works day and night to maintain the city's glitzy backdrop

Saudi people with deep pockets have the option to pay some £2,800 to squeeze out the top benefits

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Saudi people with deep pockets have the option to pay some £2,800 to squeeze out the top benefitsCredit: Instagram

Both men and women can dance together inside the club

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Both men and women can dance together inside the clubCredit: Instagram

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