Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity, the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry in the Kingdom, concluded its inaugural edition with the Athar Awards ceremony that saw the likes of Dr Obeid Al Abdali, President of Mazeej Marketing Consulting and Kaswara Al Khatib, Chairman of UTURN, take home the Saudi Athar Marketer Award and Saudi Athar Empowerment Award, respectively.The festival, which brought together more than 1,400 attendees from across the region and beyond to Riyadh, celebrated the distinguished work of some of the finest talent at the first Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade and the Athar Special Awards on 16 November 2023. In addition, the event also recognised winners of the Young Talent Academy Programme’s 24-hour hack competition as well as the participants of the Maheerah Programme.Attended by the who’s who of the industry from across the region, the award ceremony saw top honours being given away by the awards were given away in grand fashion by Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, and Mohamed Al Ayed, Vice Chairman of Athar Festival and CEO of TRACCS, alongside other senior leaders from reputable Saudi organisations.Commenting on the success of the festival, Fairservice stated: “Over the last few days, Athar Festival has proven that the potential for creativity in Saudi Arabia is simply boundless. Though it may have come to an end here at the Athar Awards, the conversations have only just begun, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”Similarly, sharing his thoughts on the inaugural edition of the Athar Awards, Al Ayed said: “Creativity has always been the differentiating factor of success. That success is what the first-ever Athar Awards intends to recognise and celebrate as we draw the curtain on what has been a truly amazing and inspiring festival. We are confident that the impact created here will spread to empower even greater levels of creative innovation in the Kingdom.”Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade:The Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade, recognised agencies and brands verified by the Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions international festivals of creativity based on the highest number of cumulative points gained over the last decade. The four categories and the proud winners were:Saudi Athar Media Network of the Decade: StarcomSaudi Athar Brand of the Decade: stcSaudi Athar Agency of the Decade: Wunderman Thompson, RiyadhSaudi Athar Network of the Decade: Wunderman ThompsonAthar Special Awards:The Athar Special Awards went out to the most outstanding individuals, market leaders, and organisations who have positively contributed to the local creative industry’s growth and development. These awards were given across two individual categories and four group categories:Individual CategoriesSaudi Athar Marketer Award: Dr Obeid Al Abdali, President of Mazeej Marketing ConsultingSaudi Athar Empowerment Award: Kaswara Al Khatib, Chairman of UTURNGroup CategoriesSaudi Athar Disruptors Award: The Bold GroupSaudi Athar Excellence Award: The FullstopSaudi Athar Game Changer Award: AramcoSaudi Athar Creative Recognition Award: Impact BBDOYoung Talent Academies Awards:A fitting culmination of the Young Talent Academy Programme that took place over the course of the Athar Festival, the Young Talent Academy Awards at the ceremony acknowledged the outstanding performance of participants who excelled in six academies related to public relations, social communications, branding and design, innovation, copywriting, and planning.Held from 13-15 November, these youth took part in a 24-hour hack competition that saw the leaders of tomorrow put their skills to the test, with each academy producing a number of winners:Social Communications Academy Hack Competition WinnersLama Baaj, XELEMENTHessa Alnoufal, BassmatShahad Alhammad, HungerStationBranding and Design Academy Hack Competition WinnersNancy ElAzzi, Wunderman ThompsonMazunah Alfagham, King Saud UniversityAhmed Al-Hassan, XELEMENTInnovation Academy Hack Competition WinnersRaghad Othman, HungerStationSara Alruwalily, King Saud UniversityShaden Alotaibi, King Saud UniversityCopywriting Academy Hack Competition WinnersNouf Mishall Mohabat, SABICRuba Alshamrani, HungerStationYara Al Hanaya, Lhamin MarketingPlanning Academy Hack Competition WinnersNoora Alissa, HungerStationAmmar Sadiq, MindshareAbdullah Dahan, Onsor MoshaSaleh Alhedaithy, BassmatAyman Aldahan, MindsharePublic Relations Academy Hack Competition WinnersRaneem Alotaibi, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityAljohara Alsuliman, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityRaghad Asiri, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversitySahar Alharbi, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityRaya Almoshawah, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic UniversityThe Athar Awards ceremony successfully culminated the inaugural edition of the Athar Festival that brought the local and international creative community together to uncover and amplify the creative potential of Saudi Arabia. The realisation of this potential and its business impact on the industry and beyond will likely be explored in next year’s edition of the festival.