JEDDAH, Sept 24 – Saudi National Day celebrations continue apace through the holiday weekend, with a series of spectacular entertainment events across the Kingdom highlighting the country’s achievements.
According to the General Entertainment Authority – the body responsible for expanding the entertainment sector under the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 blueprint for the future — a total of 27 events and shows were planned between September 21-25 in 17 cities across the Kingdom to mark the 87th National Day.
National Day is observed on September 23 to celebrate the founding of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The events include concerts, plays, firework displays, comedy shows, laser shows, air balloon shows, cultural and sports shows, and folk dances, and are being held in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Ha’il, Tabuk, Abha, Jazan, Madinah and other cities.
In the capital, the 99-story Kingdom Centre was illuminated against the night sky on Saturday with portraits of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman projected onto it.
Kingdom Centre was also adorned with portraits of famous Saudi women athletes such as track athlete Sarah Al Attar and sprinter Kariman Abuljadayel, who were part of the Saudi contingent to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Also, as a reflection of the promise of Vision 2030’s vibrant and inclusive society, women attended all events, including in sports stadiums, such as King Fahd International stadium which opened its doors to everyone for the first time.
Packed audiences attended a musical performance and a staging of the National Epic operetta on the history of the Kingdom.
“We see our country, thanks be to God, as an active member of the G20, a group that comprises the world’s strongest economies. With tremendous ambition, we look forward to the Kingdom becoming a pioneering model in all respects, relying on the roles played by our young male and female citizens, as we strive to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is in charge of implementing Vision 2030, said in his National Day speech.
“This time marks the beginning of a new phase of development and hard work which aims at ensuring continued progress in the future.”
The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Alawwad said, “National Day is the day treasured by all of us when we remember the historic achievements of the Kingdom’s founder King Abdul Aziz in unifying our country.”
In a sign of the strong ties between Saudi Arabia and Britain, the UK Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows will hold an airshow in Jeddah on September 25.
Expatriates joined in National Day events, celebrating with Saudis at major music concerts such as the one at Al Jowharah Stadium in Jeddah featuring prominent Saudi and Gulf singers, as well as car shows, fashion shows and other events.
“I’m very happy because to celebrate National Day in Saudi Arabia is different right now. It’s very spectacular,” said Farhan, an Indonesian flight attendant living in Jeddah.
“On the road, people are decorating their cars, painting them green and writing phrases in Arabic all over them. It’s very nice out there…I like it here because it’s very easy to get a smile from people.”
Some expatriates took to social media to express their love for the Kingdom under the hashtag #SaudiNationalDay.
“Some things never change. Saudi is and always will be my home,” read a tweet by Emmanuel.
“Home is where your heart belongs. I love you Saudi,” Chezka tweeted, posting pictures of a spectacular fireworks show.