Saudi Arabia will celebrate on Sunday, Sept. 23 its 83rd National Day, which commemorates the 1932 unification of the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday, citing a degree by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered next Sunday, to be an official holiday for male and female students’ at all educational levels, and for all male and female employees of the State's sectors throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Saudi Press Agency statement said.
Minister of Education Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah, meanwhile, issued a directive to all schools in the Kingdom to hold celebrations next Tuesday and Wednesday to mark the National Day on Sept. 23
Saudis turn out in large numbers on streets across the country playing patriotic music and driving past in long processions across the country.
“The streets are full of decorated cars that are spray painted and adorned with flags. But the spirit is alive in schools as well with students gearing up for the national day celebrations,” Zainab Yasser, a teacher from Jeddah told Al Arabiya.
The teachers and students are working on various student activities. Right now everyone is buying flags, green and white t-shirts, accessories and even school supplies to get into the spirit,” Yasser added.
Millions of expatriates living in the Kingdom also engage in National Day celebrations through local festivities.
"We usually gather with our Saudi friends and join the celebrations on the streets. My sister and I get invited to fashion shows and dinners to celebrate. We add green to everything- from nails, shoes, clothes and even hair. Our house is usually decorated with green and white lights to mark the day. All consulate members in Jeddah are preparing to get together and enjoy the festive occasion," Alaa Nasser, a Lebanese national living in Jeddah, told Al Arabiya.
In a bid to mark the national day celebrations, Saudi’s national carrier Nasair has announced new fares from $22 (SR83) on wards on all its domestic and international flights till Sept. 23.
“We are proud to be Saudi Arabia’s national air carrier and we always look for every opportunity to engage and connect with our customers and this unique and innovative promotion is one of many very special and exciting offers that Nasair extends to its passengers to celebrate key national events within our airports and onboard our domestic and international flights,” said Wael al-Sarhan, director of marketing and communication at Nasairm, Arab News reported.
Qatar Airways also announced a 23% discount on ticket sales on their website.