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RIYADH: Music, food and art are the sense-stirring offerings at Diriyah’s JAX Ramadan Market, which opened this week.

The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale is hosting the market as a part of the “Layali Biennale” program.

“The (JAX Ramadan) market is such a cute idea … the atmosphere, the music, the food, the people all of it is such a fun vibe for Ramadan nights,” Jood Marzouqi, a visitor, told Arab News.

The JAX Ramadan Market is open to the public from 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., until April 1, and offers visitors a taste of local Ramadan favorites with a modern twist.

Bateel Ismail, the food and beverage lead of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, told Arab News: “The JAX Ramadan Market has seven main selections of hot stations for live-cooking food and eight stations for other miscellaneous cuisines and products including chocolates, dates, tea, cheese, and specialty crackers.

“We also present a henna station and live activities for families.”

Ismail said: “We curated a diverse range of businesses that offer unique and high-quality products. We also considered factors such as the authenticity of the products, the cultural significance, and the ability to provide a delightful experience for visitors.

“The goal was to create a vibrant and enjoyable market that showcases the best of Ramadan’s most famous food.”

The market featured live oud and piano performances for guests to enjoy while shopping.

To foster Ramadan’s community spirit, the market has set up a long table where guests can sit together to eat and chat.

One of the booths named Balila Al-Hijaz offers boiled chickpeas with toppings of pickles and spices including cumin.

A variety of stuffed dates can be found at several booths including The Flavors of Hijaz and Musa & Palm. On the dessert side, Najd Luqaimat has fried dough balls stuffed with cheese, drizzled with honey, chocolate or other syrups.

Visitor Marzouqi said the market captures the spirit of the holy month. “I grew up in Jeddah. Having food with friends and hanging out, was our most memorable tradition during Ramadan in Jeddah.”

She added: “Since I’ve moved to Riyadh, I started missing that, and I heard about this market; and honestly it feels similar to Jeddah. It’s a little different but the vibes, atmosphere and energy truly remind me of a Ramadan back home.”

When asked, Marzouqi said her favorite booth was “definitely the Flavors of Hijaz.”

“I wish it (the market) was bigger. The space is smaller than I expected, but it’s still a fun activity for Ramadan nights.”

Also at the market, The Truffleers, a Saudi Arabia luxury chocolate truffle company, featured several varieties of their products including salted-butter caramel truffles, pure chocolate truffles, Arabian coffee beans, and cookie crisps.

The Truffleers was launched three years ago in Dhahran and has now expanded across the Kingdom.

Wijdan Hussein, operations manager of The Truffleers, told Arab News: “We have seven locations within the Kingdom and we are participating in events such as the JAX Ramadan Market. We are showcasing our chocolate truffle products.

“Our participation in the market today has been very nice, the atmosphere is wonderful, and everything is very beautiful.”

Another booth featuring handmade Saudi Arabia desserts is Okay by Sara, a sweets company that displays their take on ghorayebah, a type of local butter cookie.

Afnan Mahmoud, a sales representative from Okay by Sara, said: “All of our desserts are handmade and come in different designs, based on the occasion you have. For example, if you order dessert for the occasion of Ramadan or any celebration we will specialize it and design it for you.”