Nation plunged in celebrations for second day

A Saudi student participates in a competition to mark the Saudi 87th National Day on Friday night.

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Red Sea port city of Jeddah is celebrating the Kingdom's 87th National Day on a grand scale with many activities lined up for all segments of society.

The extended three-day weekend break on account of the National Day brought cheers to citizens and as well as expatriate residents.

Many enthusiastic young Saudis have been displaying national flag itself from Friday night on all main roads of the city.

Google has created a special Doodle to mark the occasion and earlier the STC changed its carrier name to LOVE US KSA and Mobily to KSA 4 EVER.

Also on Saturday, Saudi Arabian Airlines launched a two-day special promotion fare campaign. One-way fare for trips within the Kingdom started at SR 87, with prices varying based on flight timings and destination. Tickets are valid up to Dec. 31 and the promotion was applicable only within Kingdom.

A mammoth vehicular movement was witnessed on Friday night with many people including large number of families thronging various gift and stationery shops to buy decorative items to display their love and admiration toward the nation.

There was a significant change in the pattern of celebrations this year thanks to strict vigil by police. Instead of changing the color of their cars, many enthusiastic young men merely wrapped the green color on their cars.

Police kept a strict surveillance on shops that sell car accessories and decorative items in the past few days.

The car decorative shops in Bawadi and Bani Malik were hit badly due to drop in sales of green color paints.

A series of cultural events including laser show, musical programs by famous Saudi singers, lighting show and fireworks display were being organized.

For the first time, the General Entertainment Authority presented a “National Day Box” event in Jeddah on Saturday night while similar events were planned in all major cities of the Kingdom.

In Jeddah, the event was held with the collaboration of Jeddah Municipality at Palestine Street walkway.

Also arrangements were made to explode the sky with vibrant fireworks at the Corniche site.

Jeddah Municipality also erected over 1,000 large screens in various streets in the city to display scenes reflecting the national spirit. It also distributed Saudi flags to visitors nearby the flagpole on King Abdullah Road and the Football Square at King Abdulaziz Road.

In Abha, the Ministry of Culture and Information's Asir branch organized celebrations to mark the 87th anniversary of the unification of the Kingdom by King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

The ceremony began with recitation of the Holy Qur'an. Director of the Public Library in Abha Abdullah Al-Qakran delivered a speech in which he extended congratulations to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and the Saudi people on the National Day, which he said is an occasion to strengthen the bonds of society and increase national cohesion.

In Madinah, a number of foreign pilgrims joined the National Day celebrations by participating in an event organized by the Ministry of Haj and Umrah at Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport.

The pilgrims were on their way home after successfully completing the pilgrimage in Makkah. The guests thanked the government of Saudi Arabia for facilitating their stay from the day they arrived to the day of their departure. They expressed their joy to participate in one of the activities of the National Day at the airport. In Makkah, head of the Education Department Muhammad Al-Harthi visited a National Day exhibition hosted by the female branch of the National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of Arab Countries. The event was organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage's Makkah regional office.

The exhibition was titled "Together to provide the best service for pilgrims". Chairman of the tawafa establishment, Muhammad Bin Hasan, said the main goal of the event was to showcase the development of Haj services during the Saudi era.