On September 23, 2021, Saudi Arabia will celebrate its 91st annual National Day commemorating the birth of the modern Saudi nation. The theme and slogan for this year’s National Day is “A Home for Us,” inspired by traditional Saudi poems and folk songs about home and appreciation for the things that make Saudi Arabia feel like home to so many people. The color green is included in every decoration set up for this day, representing the color of the country’s flag and reflecting the symbolism of the color in Islam. Expect to see squares, streets, roads, universities, schools, public and private buildings, and cars throughout the country adorned with the Saudi flag. Many Saudis are given this day off of work, so people typically gather with friends, go out to eat, and enjoy the country’s special day.
No specific activities or events have been announced yet by the Saudi government, however this article will be updated as soon as they are set. The first announcements by the General Entertainment Authority on National Day events are expected on September 16th. In the meantime, stay updated on announcements regarding National Day festivities from these websites:
Festivals & Parades
Parades: spontaneous parades are held in Riyadh through the city’s main boulevards, with Saudi flags lining the streets and throngs of people honking their horns, waving flags, blasting music, shouting in celebration, and dancing in the streets. Make sure to wear green, and if you plan on joining in the parade of cars, expect to be there for several hours! The festivities mostly start in the early evening just before sunset.
Fireworks: every year, fireworks are launched from different points of the capital city. Riyadh is home to the country’s most extravagant fireworks displays which can be seen from pretty much anywhere. Laser/light shows typically accompany Riyadh’s fireworks shows at night.
Air shows: Riyadh also hosts flyovers of military aircraft every year during the day.
Livestream from Riyadh: This year, a livestream link will be set up by Saudi Entertainment Authority to showcase the events in Riyadh for everyone in the country. The link will be available on Enjoy Saudi’s website.
Restaurants & Shopping
- Visit shopping malls in the days leading up to National Day to take advantage of the special discounts and deals available.
- Restaurants throughout the city will be offering special deals and dishes for National Day.
Exhibitions & Other Events
- Artistic displays will be visible around the city, headed by artists from all over the world.
- Heritage and cultural displays, likely in Riyadh’s Dariyah Gate historical area, are a familiar sight from past National Days.
- A number of concerts will be planned in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam from September 22nd to 26th, featuring performers from across the Arab World – announcements will be made soon by the Saudi government.
- Family-oriented events and fun programs for kids have not yet been announced for this year but are also typically organized for National Day.
Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on all there is to do for this year’s Saudi National Day!