As the kingdom celebrates 92 years, here’s where to enjoy shows, staycations and Saudi.
There ain’t no party like a Saudi National Day party. It’s time to get your patriotism on, as the streets are filled with flags, fireworks and festivities. Saudi National Day is one of the most important celebrations in the kingdom, as it commemorates the birth of modern-day Saudi Arabia. This year marks the 92nd Saudi National Day, and it promises to be bigger than ever.
In 1932, the unification of the Kingdom of Najd and Hijaz took place. The nation became known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after the family of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, of the House of Saud. Known as Al Yom Al Watany in Arabic, Saudi National Day falls on 23 September each year. Plus, this year’s slogan is “Hia Lana Dar”, which means “It is our home”.
Saudi National Day is a public holiday, which means that you can prolong the parties over a three-day weekend. There are special events aplenty in compounds, restaurants, malls and stadiums. So, if you’re wondering where to mark the occasion, here are the best things to do on Saudi National Day.
92nd National Day Concerts
Get the Saudi National Day Party started with Arabic concerts. Over the long weekend, there are a series of concerts across the country. On 22 September, catch Majid Al Mohandes at King Abdullah Sports City Qassim in Buraydah. On 23 September, Rabeh Saqr performs at Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sports City in Al Hofuf. On 24 September, watch Mohamed Abdho at Talal Maddah Theater in Abha. Tickets are on sale now.
GO: Visit https://enjoy.sa for more information.
92nd National Day Party
General Entertainment Authority is bringing pomp and pageantry to the proceedings from 18 to 26 September. The huge line-up includes air, boat and military shows, alongside festivals and fireworks. The Royal Saudi Air Force is holding aerial shows in 14 cities. The Royal Saudi Navy is hosting a parade with military vehicles and motorcycles. The Royal Guard is creating a classic car and horse parade. The Ministry of Interior is hosting a live musical performance. Plus, Cirque du Soleil are swinging into town and performing at Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University from 21 to 24 September.
GO: Visit https://www.gea.gov.sa/en/ for more information.
AlUla’s alive with the sound of music. Azimuth music festival is taking place from 22 September to 24 September, and welcomes local and international performers. The line-up includes the artists Baloo, Biirdperson, Dish Dash, DJ Snake KAYAN and Vinyl Mode. Azimuth is expected to have an exclusive feel and welcome up to 1,000 people. Set in the soaring desert landscape, guests will be able to interact with exhibits from Desert X AlUla 2022.
GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.
A.O.K Kitchen has gone all out on the food and cultural front for Saudi National Day, as it has combined the two for an exclusive menu and artwork. The menu includes limited-edition items: Al Dar, a refreshing pomegranate-based drink, which translates to “home” in Arabic; and Baba Sponge desert, which uses Saudi ingredients including cardamon, cinnamon, coffee and rose water. Plus, you can admire Saudi artist Raeda Ashour’s This is Our Home, which fits with the celebration’s slogan. Commissioned by A.O.K Kitchen, it showcases the close ties the brand holds with the kingdom.
GO: Follow @aokkitchensaudi on Instagram for more information.
BayLaSun Hotel and Marina
Does the sound of a public holiday make you want to pack your bags? Well, then head over to BayLaSun Hotel and Marina, as it is marking Saudi National Day with some spectacular hotel offers. Located in King Abdullah Economic City, you can check out this megaproject in all its glory. Book a stay in one of the deluxe rooms that boast city views, and enjoy breakfast as well as dinner for two. All stays must be booked between 21 and 24 September and cost SAR 920.
GO: Visit www.baylasunhotel.com for more information.
No Saudi National Day celebrations are complete without dates. Café Bateel has great gifts for your loved ones – beautiful boxes of gourmet dates, anyone? Throughout September, it is serving a special Saudi National Day menu in its café. The menu includes a beef brochette salad, l’or noir vanilla gateaux, and a pistachio and cherry panna cotta. Plus, drinks include a coco lavender latte and sparkling cucumber.
GO: Visit https://bateel.com for more information.
Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh Northern Ring Road
When only an award winner will do, visit Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh Northern Ring Road. International Travel Awards bestowed it with Best Business Hotel, which means you know you’re in excellent hands. Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, there are two great offers. Seven Restaurant is hosting an Arabic buffet dinner on 23 and 24 September, which costs SAR 192 per person. Plus, guests staying for two-nights on 23 or 24 September can enjoy a third night for free.
GO: Visit https://courtyard.marriott.com for more information.
Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh
Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh is celebrating Saudi National Day over four days. Make the most of deals across rooms, restaurants and more. If the sound of jareesh, menazalah, and dates kunafa gets your mouth watering, then make your way to its Saudi restaurant Elements. Dig into the Friday brunch on 23 September, and themed dinners on 21, 22 and 24 September. The Lobby Lounge is hosting a Saudi band from 22 to 24 September, and a cake cutting and Aradha show on 23 September. Plus, there are special packages with the Kingdom Suite between 20 to 24 September, which include a private tour to the Edge of the World.
GO: Visit www.fourseasons.com for more information.
Il Baretto Riyadh is partnering with the publisher Assouline to mark Saudi National Day. Throughout September, guests can learn about the kingdom through Assouline’s books: Jeddah Al-Balad, Al Ahsa Oasis, Crafts of the Kingdom, Red Sea: The Saudi Coast and Arabian Leopard. Plus, two limited-edition items are available from 15 September to 25 September. The lime tarte dessert combines vanilla cremoso, dates compote, apricot sorbet and salty crystal sugar, and the spiced drink brings together Ma’mool biscuit, apricot jam, rosemary, non-alcoholic gin, homemade fig tartine and jam date puree.
GO: Visit www.ilbaretto.sa for more information.
Let out your inner popstar, as during this interactive show, the crowd take centre stage. The maestro provides the music, and the audience are encouraged to sing along to patriotic songs. The event takes place from 21 to 24 September and costs SAR 50. The songs are all sung in Arabic, and visitors must be aged six years old and above.
GO: Visit www.ithra.com for more information.
Celebrate in style at Milwan in Le Méridien Riyadh. The hotel’s restaurant is hosting a family-friendly brunch in honour of Saudi National Day. The menu includes traditional Saudi cuisine alongside seafood, grills and international dishes. If you’re bringing the little ones, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a kids’ play area and films. The buffet takes place on 23 September, and costs SAR 259 for adults and SAR 144 for kids.
GO: Visit www.marriott.com for more information.
Narcissus Hotel & Spa Riyadh
Bring on the BBQ at Narcissus Hotel & Spa Riyadh’s Pampa Grill. The Argentinian restaurant blends European influences with Latin American products to create a mouth-watering BBQ. This Saudi National Day, it is creating a special menu. So, grab a spot on the rooftop terrace, and you might just catch fireworks in the capital. If you get chilly, blankets await. The dinner costs SAR 300, and takes place on 22 and 23 September.
GO: Visit https://www.narcissusriyadh.com for more information.
Park Hyatt Jeddah
Does the word holiday conjure up images of beaches to you? Well, head over to Park Hyatt Jeddah, which has a spectacular seafront location and an infinity pool overlooking the Red Sea. The hotel has offers on its spa membership: when you sign up for one year, you can enjoy one month for free. Get yourself a mani and a pedi at the salon, relax with facials and massages at the spa or work out in the fitness centre – the choice is yours.
GO: Visit www.hyatt.com for more information.
If there’s one colour that dominates Saudi National Day, it’s green. Whether it’s on buildings, balloons or baked goods, the country is decked in green in honour of the flag. To prove the point, Yauatcha Riyadh has designed a menu that is inspired by the flag – so expect a whole lot of green. The restaurant is well-known for innovative dishes, as they have created dim sums in a rainbow of colours and an afternoon tea with desserts shaped like handbags.
GO: Visit https://yauatcha.com for more information.