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12 terrific things to do on Saudi Founding Day

From concerts to dining deals, here’s where to spend the national holiday and long weekend.

Saudi Founding Day is one of the most important celebrations in the kingdom. The day falls on 22 February each year. Festivities take place across the country with special events including concerts, exhibitions and fireworks.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud declared Saudi Founding Day a public holiday in 2021, and it now takes place each year. This year, there will be not one but two days off.

So, look out for special offers across shopping malls, cafés and restaurants. Plus, one-off cultural events, from concerts to exhibitions, many of which are announced closer to the time. Here are the best things to do on Saudi Founding Day and the long weekend. Happy Saudi Founding Day. 

AlUla On Wheels 

Feel the rhythm under the stars at AlUla On Wheels this Saudi Founding Day. Taking place in Al Jadidah district, it brings feel-good nostalgia with its roller skating and superb soundtrack. Look out for DJ nights as you glide and groove at this open-air roller rink. 

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

AlUla on Wheels

Desert X AlUla 2024

Embark on a cultural odyssey amidst ancient landscapes with a guided tour of Desert X AlUla 2024. The exhibition positions 15 innovative contemporary artworks by both Saudi and international talents, inviting the artists to engage in a discourse with AlUla’s landscape, nature, and heritage, crafting distinctive pieces that emanate from the local context while resonating with global audiences. South Korean artist Kimsooja’s “To Breathe – AlUla” is a highlight, offering a cylindrical form that spirals into the desert landscape, refracting light that has travelled aeons into prisms that dance across the landscape.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Desert X AlUla

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

Get your art fix at the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, featuring works from renowned artists worldwide. Dive into the cultural richness of the event, showcasing the talent of Saudi Arabian artists alongside international creatives. Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024 brings together local and international artists and architects. The event showcases how art is developed with a strong focus on collaborations, conversation and connections between communities. Plus, the participants include musicians, restaurateurs and traders.

GO: Visit https://biennale.org.sa for more information.

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

Diriyah Nights 

Diriyah Nights runs until the big day itself, 22 February, so it’s your last chance to check it out. The event is part of Diriyah Season, which showcases international sports and entertainment events. Visitors can catch Arab singers in concert, shop for famous brands, and visit fine dining restaurants and cafés. The restaurants include Greek eats at Okto, Middle Eastern food at Shababik, traditional Saudi dishes at Tawlat Fayza, and Japanese cuisine at Yokari. 

GO: Visit https://diriyahseason.sa for more information.

Diriyah Nights

Khobar Corniche

For a day of fun, visit the Khobar Corniche. With stunning sea views, recreational activities, and dining options, it’s the perfect spot for families and couples to unwind and create cherished memories on the shores of the Arabian Gulf.

GO: Visit https://welcomesaudi.com for more information.

Eastern Province

Lauryn Hill Live at Maraya 

So, we know that Saudi Founding Day is officially across two days, but make a long weekend of it at AlUla. The dazzling concert hall, Maraya, is welcoming the American singer and songwriter Miss Lauryn Hill. On Saudi Founding Day, she’ll be in the Kingdom, celebrating the 25th anniversary of her acclaimed album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Released in 1997, it won five Grammy Awards and spawned the hit singles Doo Wop (That Thing), Everything is Everything and Ex-Factor.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Lauryn Hill AlUla

LPM Restaurant & Cafe Riyadh

This Saudi Founding Day, treat yourself to a decadent dessert inspired by the legendary Brigitte Bardot at LPM Riyadh. This limited edition sweet treat is a contemporary interpretation of one of the French Riviera’s beloved delicacies, the Tarte Tropézienne, originally inspired by the iconic Brigitte Bardot. This delectable creation consists of a buttery brioche filled with Orange Blossom Diplomat Cream, crowned with Craquelin and Pink Pralines.

GO: Visit https://lpmrestaurants.com for more information.

February in Abu Dhabi

Old Town After Dark

Immerse yourself in the enchanting memories of Old Town in AlUla. Follow expert guides through ancient passageways, soaking in tales of the past. Cap off the journey with a candlelit dinner atop the majestic AlUla Fort, offering breathtaking views and local flavours – a perfect way to spend Saudi Founding Day.

GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.

Saudi Founding Day

Riyadh Season 

Riyadh Season may be hitting its final weeks, but it hasn’t lost any of its steam. If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, then put this festival on your radar. Now in its fourth edition, Riyadh Season takes over the whole city and 60 per cent will be new experiences. The festival welcomes A-listers, from celebrity chefs to singing sensations – BTS were at the inaugural season, after all. Plus, the new experiences include the Barbie World, which pays homage to the doll, and the Legend Museum, which celebrates soccer stars. 

GO: Visit https://riyadhseason.sa for more information.

Riyadh Season 2022

ROKA Jeddah and Riyadh

As Saudi Founding Day approaches, ROKA Jeddah and ROKA Riyadh invite you to indulge in a special culinary experience. To mark this joyous occasion, they have crafted limited-time delights, including a Ruby Woods mocktail and a Green Mochi dessert. 

GO: Visit www.rokarestaurant.com for more information.

Saudi Founding Day

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea

Six Senses Southern Dunes is officially open – and FACT were one the first to visit. Home to 36 guest rooms and 40 pool villas, the hotel is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the dramatic dunes and wonderful wadi. Designed by Foster+Partners, it is 45 minutes from the Red Sea International Airport. 

GO: Visit www.sixsenses.com for more information.

Red Sea Global

The Saudi Cup

The Saudi Cup gallops into town over the long weekend, running from 23 to 24 February. The competition launched in 2020, and offers a prize purse of $35.5 million. Taking place at King Abdulaziz Racecourse, the thrilling event brings together some of the most famous horses, jockeys and trainers from around the world.

GO: Visit https://riyadhseason.sa for more information.

Saudi Founding Day

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