Diriyah Season 2019 Wayfinding System and Design

Each year Saudi Arabia hosts an unmissable mix of international sports and entertainment events, taking centre stage within at a UNESCO heritage site, Diriyah, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, Diriyah Season took place in an area over 2 million square metres. The festival had 9 zones, each hosting a range of sports or entertainment. From international sporting events such as Formula E and World Heavyweight Title Boxing to the Diriyah Music Festival featuring Usher and Akon, Diriyah Season is like no other event in the world. 

CCD, in partnership with Pixxells, was contracted to deliver a wayfinding system that was seamless with the Diriyah Season brand and creating a holistic and well-designed end to end journey for visitors. Our remit covered all physical and digital assets, including the development of a temporary signage solution and the creation of a bespoke mobile application.

A complex, sprawling site and diverse range of events meant an exciting line up for visitors, but also posed a significant commercial challenge. The wayfinding needed to take into consideration dual language and accessibility whilst holistically supporting visitors to explore and discover the huge site, bringing a sense of buzz and excitement to the visitor experience whilst encouraging multi-event and multi-day attendance. 

Diriyah Season 2019 Equestrian
Diriyah Season 2019 music festival
Diriyah Season 2019 Formula E

Research & Strategy 

Firstly, we undertook the research and strategy phase to paint a picture of the experiential visitor journey and fit this alongside operational and commercial requirements. Experiential journey mapping and visitor profiles helped us to develop a series of strong visitor use cases, including key pain points and touchpoints around the site. 

In Saudi Arabia, private vehicles are by far the most popular mode of transport.  A significant focus was ensuring that visitors could navigate their end to end journey easily. Arriving and leaving were as important as the journey through the Festival grounds. We closely examined what information needed to be delivered and when it was most timely in the journey.

Using the insights from our research to generate the wayfinding strategy allowed us to create more user-centred design solutions that were derived from real-world needs. This also helped spot opportunities to further enhance the experience along the visitor journeys.

user persona and journey map


To design the system, we aligned research insights and strategic principles, the Diriyah Season brand elements and industry best practice. We created design elements for colour, pattern, iconography and maps to develop a look and feel that was seamless with the brand whilst reflecting the local culture and landscape of Diriyah.  Collectively these assets were used to create a branded sign family, made up of 21 unique product types, each designed to encompass all wayfinding needs from the initial welcome, to finding your seat. 

We examined key elements against visitor experience journeys, including zoning, accessibly, nomenclature, terminology, dual language, viewing distance, product positioning and information hierarchy.  Considerations were made for sightlines, reading distance and how visitors would use and interact with the signs, as the scale of the signs varied significantly.  

wayfinding kit of parts


The development of accurate sign location plans, message schedules, 1483 production artwork files and installation guidelines across all zones. This workstream included extensive collaboration and planning with varying stakeholder teams to ensure consideration was made for overlap and conflict with branding, sponsorship and camera sightlines

Diriyah Season 2019 wayfinding signage 1 copyright CCD
Diriyah Season 2019 Ruiz Joshua Boxing Arena
diriyah season saudi arabia