Saudi Arabia celebrates 87th National Day with nationwide festivities

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Saudi Arabia has been decked green — the color of its flag — as patriotic fervor and national pride take precedence over everything else.

In celebration of the country’s 87th National Day on Saturday all roads in the capital and other important cities have been covered with green flags and posters of King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense.

Many citizens have even got their cars painted green to celebrate the day.

Celebrations, featuring wide variety of programs and activities include patriotic events, folk arts and dances, processions and fireworks, have been held throughout the Kingdom with the start of the celebrations since Thursday.

Saudi children celebrating the country’s National Day on a street in Riyadh on September 23, 2016. (Reuters)
Saudi children celebrating the country’s National Day on a street in Riyadh on September 23, 2016. (Reuters)

Crown Prince statement

On the occasion of the National Day, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, emirs of various provinces, ministers and high-ranking civilian and military officials greeted the people and reminded them of the endeavors made by the Kingdom’s founder late King Abdul Aziz in unifying the Kingdom, as well as the unprecedented growth and massive developments witnessed in the Kingdom during the period of his successors.

Saudi Arabia fans cheer as they hold up pictures of Saudi King Salman and Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman. (AP)
Saudi Arabia fans cheer as they hold up pictures of Saudi King Salman and Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman. (AP)

In his statement, the Crown Prince commended the Kingdom’s growth and prosperity under the great leadership of King Salman, saying: “what our country is witnessing today is due to the continuation by King Salman of what has been done by the former kings of this country of giving, goodness and development as well as efforts to serve Islam and support Muslims. On this occasion of recalling the unification of this great nation, we emphasize the Kingdom’s effective and influential status and role on the regional and international arenas, with its commitment to work for the achievement of international peace and security and its pursuit for the good of all humanity,” he said.

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The Crown Prince said: “With our Kingdom becoming an active member of G20, the grouping of the world’s strongest economies, we look ambitiously forward to seeing the Kingdom as a pioneering model at all levels, depending on the role of young male and female citizens in this regard with striving to accomplish the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which marks the beginning of a new phase of development and hard work for future advancement as well as the pursuit for everything in the interest of the country.”

Saudis celebrate National Day
Saudis celebrate National Day

The Crown Prince also reiterated the Kingdom’s resolve to root out terrorism and extremism. “Under the leadership of King Salman, this country has affirmed its right to uphold the truth and commitment to its principles to achieve justice as well as its quest for the achievement of regional security and world peace.”

Others leaders and citizens also said the Kingdom was witnessing a glorious era and a blessed renaissance with more security and stability under the leadership of King Salman. Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Naif, minister of interior, said that the most significant achievement of the Kingdom after its unification is its security and stability, which are considered as the foundations for the progress of any nation and prosperity of its people.

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh, president of the Shoura Council, lauded the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program of 2020, saying that these would contribute to upgrade the Kingdom’s position as one of the most powerful economies in the world besides bringing in remarkable improvement in the services being extended to the citizens in all walks of life.

Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad greeted King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman as well as the people of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the National Day. He also recalled the remarkable achievements made by the Kingdom in terms of its security, stability, progress and prosperity under King Abdul Aziz and his successors.


This year, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) is hosting 27 diverse festivities across 17 cities within Saudi Arabia to mark the National Day and all these programs and events are planned in line with the Vision 2030. Celebrations with the motto of “Strengthening Social Bonds,” began on Thursday and will run through Monday in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Hail, Alkhobar, Jazan, Abha, Onaiza, Tabuk, Sakaka, Jubail, Yanbu, Hafr Al-Batain, Hofuf, Madinah and Najran.

To light up Saudi Arabia’s horizon with high technology, the GEA has organized laser shows and vibrant firework displays. Citizens and expatriates will have the opportunity to enjoy a chain of related events, which will highlight the country’s achievements through an eclectic combination of sports events, cultural shows, fireworks and concerts.

A man celebrates Saudi National Day in Riyadh on September 23, 2012.
A man celebrates Saudi National Day in Riyadh on September 23, 2012.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has made elaborate arrangements to make the celebrations a great success in all parts of the Kingdom with the involvement of all segments of the society and all departments and agencies. As part of this, all the main roads and streets of major cities and towns were decorated with Saudi flags and wide variety of cultural programs and activities with the slogan of “Serving the Nation,” have been kick-started

A festival in Madinah — “A Nation’s Smile” — combines the story of the country with a historical past and a brighter future

Eleven Saudi and Gulf music artists are to entertain the audience at the Al-Johara Stadium in Jeddah. The participating artists will include Mohamed Abdo, Majed Al-Mohandes, Aseel Abu Baker, Abdulmajeed Abdullah, Tala Salamah, Abadi Al-Johar, Hussein Al-Jasmi and Abdullah Al-Rowaished.

Other events lined up during the five-day celebrations include car festivals, sports and folklore shows, bazaars, fashion shows, dancing fountains, parades, hot air balloon rides and even the Jungle Book play. Organizers will harness high-end technologies including 3D shows, LEDs and HD projections — the results promise to be magnificent.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.

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