As Saudi Arabia marks its 92nd National Day, citizens across the Kingdom have expressed their patriotism, love and allegiance to their country as they gear for a celebration marked by parades, fireworks and entertainment shows.
In Riyadh, preparations for celebrating the Saudi National Day begun days ahead of the festivities.
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The city’s main streets are adorned with the Saudi flag while towers and buildings are covered with green lights to mark the occasion.
For 28-year-old Saad al-Ruwaili, celebrating the Saudi National Day goes beyond the numbers and is rather a reminder of the deep values on which the Kingdom was built.
“Every year Saudi Arabia celebrates this National Day; I feel inside that I am part of every tribe and every region of Saudi Arabia,” he told Al Arabiya English.
Al-Ruwaili said that this sense of patriotism that Saudis have toward their country is due to a combination of many factors but noted that the leadership’s response to the various global crises makes the bond stronger.
Speaking to Al Arabiya English, May bin al-Amir, 24, based in Riyadh, said that National Day is a close occasion for every Saudi.
“The National Day is the anniversary of the founding of this dear country and its unity,” she said.
“For me, the National Saudi Day is renewing an even stronger allegiance to this country.”
Al-Amir added the feeling of safety and stability that Saudi Arabia gives her is incomparable. “This country gives you back and the sense of social bonding that we have is essential for us.”
Salma Asiri, 32, said that the unification of the Kingdom gives her a sense of pride and strength. Asiri added that marking the Saudi National Day means renewing loyalty to the Kingdom’s leadership. “It is [also an occasion] to revive our love and patriotism for our country,” she said. “Patriotism runs in our blood.”
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s entertainment authority revealed a spectacular array of events for the Kingdom’s 92nd national day.
While National Day itself falls on Friday, there will be 10 days packed with a variety of parades, musical performances, fireworks displays, and even a Saudi-themed Cirque du Soleil show from Sunday.
To mark National Day, Royal Saudi Air Force fighters are performing acrobatic air shows with Typhoons, Tornados, and F-15 in Jeddah pulling off stunts over the skies. This is taking place in various cities for 10 days, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The Royal Guard will parade through Riyadh to the tune of the national anthem played by a military band, and they will be followed by a procession of classic cars.
A specially-designed Cirque du Soleil show entitled ‘The Wealth of a Nation’ will be performed at Riyadh’s Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University theater from September 21 to 24.
Arab musicians including Mohammed Abdo, Abadi al-Johar, Rabeh Saqr, Majed al-Mohandes, Ahlam, Angham, and Ahmed Saad will be performing.
The Ministry of Interior is also organizing its own festivities that will include live music from the military band and other performances.
There will be major fireworks displays over the skies of 18 cities across the Kingdom, and public parks will host history and heritage exhibitions.
In Medina, a theatrical performance narrating the Kingdom’s history through the ages will be held at the Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Sports City.
Saudi Arabia’s National Day commemorates the unification of the Kingdoms of Najd and Hijaz by King Abdulaziz in 1932.
It was made into a national holiday by King Abdullah in 2005 and differs from ‘Founding Day’ – a new holiday that was introduced in February 2022 to mark the founding of the first Saudi state in 1727.
UAE to honor Saudi National Day
In the UAE, three days of celebrations are also slated to mark Saudi National Day.
With the close ties between the two GCC countries, and with so many Saudi nationals living in and visiting Dubai, the city will host an extensive program of special celebrations for the Kingdom and its people, including concerts and entertainment, retail promotions, activities, and hotel deals.
Arabic music sensations Assala Nasri, Fouad Abdelwahed and Aseel Hameem will be taking center stage to honor the Saudi National Day with a showcase featuring all of their chart-topping tunes on September 24 at Coca-Cola Arena.
As part of the Saudi National Day celebrations across the city, top retail brands throughout Dubai’s malls will offer from 25 percent up to 75 percent off across fashion clothing, accessories, footwear, cosmetics, beauty and perfumes, optics, home and outdoor furnishings, electronics, pharmacies, as well as department stores and hypermarkets.
In honor of the 92nd Saudi National Day, shoppers can also head over to City Walk for special retail deals, while the Outlet Village will celebrate the occasion with live music and will surprise its visitors with free giveaways on September 23.
Fitness lovers can head to The Track at Meydan Golf for the Saudi National Day Run, a night run on September 23 from 8 p.m., where adults over 16 can either walk or jog distances of 10 km, 5 km or 3 km, while children up to the age of 15 can dash across the 1 kilometer route.
Dubai Festival City Mall will also be hosting a special IMAGINE fountain show to honor Saudi National Day on September 23.
Visitors and residents can enjoy sights of Dubai’s most famous landmarks illuminating the colors of the flag of Saudi Arabia, including Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Ain Dubai and the Dubai Frame lighting up green on September 23 at 7 p.m. Dubai’s sky will also be lit up with fireworks at The Beach from 9 p.m.
Dubai will also welcome families and visitors arriving by plane for this year’s Saudi National Day celebrations.
Dubai International Airport will tag passenger bags with the country’s national flag and display welcome greetings on its screens.
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