84th National Day Celebrations in Riyadh

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Saudi Arabia is turning 84! On Sept 23, 1932, King Abdulaziz (May Allah bless his soul) announced the unification of his dominions and appointed himself as King.  On this joyous occasion, i wish everyone a Happy 84th National Day!

One of my favourite things to do is listen to stories from my elders. I especially love stories between 1910 and 1970. Although there are fewer and fewer people who were around during time period, when I do find someone who can share their stories, they become an extended family member. I promise you, I will not let you go! All the people I’ve met that have had the opportunity to meet King Abdulaziz talk about him with such reverence. The impact that you leave behind is dependent on how many people remember you after you’re gone, and it’s the little things that count. In that respect, King Abdulaziz personally touched the hearts of many people through his presence and gracious personality.

Our current Emir of Riyadh, His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is a grandson of King Abdulaziz, and the son of our current king, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah.

Under follow-up and direct supervision of the Emir of Riyadh, 8 sites around Riyadh have been selected to hold official National Day Celebrations.

There will be a variety of performances taking place to add to the joy and happiness on the anniversary of the 84th National Day. These will be mainly family affairs, and events include laser shows, fireworks, heritage events and military performances.

The sites are as follows –

1. Ritz Carlton Hotel Riyadh
Sept 23, from 8pm
Special exhibitions with books, tourism activities, video screenings, laser show, fireworks and a parade by the National Guard.

2. Banban in Northern Riyadh, 24.982963, 46.533288
Sept 23 between 3pm – 11pm.
This is the one I want to go to!

Family activities include painting and prizes for the first 50 families. The day commences with performances by actors.

Then we have a fly past by military aircraft, flag displays, hang gliding, drifting, and military parades. (These activities are more for the men.)

 

3. King Abdullah Park – Malaz
Sept 23 from 5 pm – midnight.
Traditional comedy shows, performances and National Guard parade. The fountain will be used for a special laser performance.

 

King Abdulaziz Climate Garden, Al Manakh

King Abdulaziz Garden, Al Manakh (credit – ADA)

4. King Abdulaziz Garden – Al Manakh, Southern Riyadh (24.615926, 46.776308)
Sept 23, 5pm – midnight
There will be two events running concurrently. The first is a theater show for family and children, with cartoon characters, toys and competitions. This runs from 5pm -11pm.
The second event runs from 6pm-midnight. There are  traditional music performances, poetry recitations, competitions and historical presentations.

 

King Abdulaziz Historical Center

King Abdulaziz Historical Center (credit – ADA)

5. King Abdulaziz Historical Center
Sept 23, 8-12 pm.
Several family activities, traditional art work displays, textiles, handicrafts, a children’s theater and rababa players. (I don’t know what the instrument is in English) Henna artists will be around to decorate your hand and a lot of traditional Saudi food will be on offer. The night will end with a fireworks display to celebrate national day.

The highlight for me will have to be a short performance of the Al-Hilali epic. The Al-Hilali epic is an oral poem recounting the tale of Beni Hilal Bedouin tribe’s migration from North Africa to Arabia. UNESCO placed this on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

6. Al Douh Park, 24.580636, 46.586597
Sept 23, 8-12 pm.
Historical presentations, art displays, roller skating, motorcycles and modified vehicles show.

7. Marwa Center
Sept 23, 8pm to Midnight.
This is a special needs center where the celebrations will be more accessible for those with special needs. The performances will be by disabled performers. This is a male only event.

 

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8. Celebratory 15km Bike Ride (My Bicycle National Day Marathon) organized by My Bike SA and Watanna Amanah
Sept 23, Begins at 4pm
Meeting at the Kingdom Tower.

All ages and nationalities are welcome. So far, more than 500 riders have already registered to participate in the marathon.

Wattana Amanah, along with Saudi My Biycle Group (which operates under the umbrella of Prince Salman Center for Youth)  jointly intend to execute a cycling marathon in memory of the 84th National Day for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This will be on Tuesday 28th of Thul Qida 1435 H, corresponding to 23rd September 2014 in Riyadh city.

The start point will be Kingdom Tower, located at the Junction of King Fahd Road with Urubah Road, at 4.30pm.

  • The distant will be 10-15km.
  • There will be a march and a formation of the number 84 using bicycles, along with various activities and surprises.
  • We urge all cyclists to participate with us in this National Day Activity.

Registering is through the following form

Conditions to participate in the marathon

  • You must bring your own bicycle
  • You must bring your own helmet
  • You must follow the marathon instructions.

For more information, please visit the Saudi My Bicycle Group on Twitter.

 

Firework Displays

Other ares with firework displays in Riyadh are the following –
• Al-Manakh Park
• King Fahd International Stadium
• PSU
• Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium
• Next to the suspension bridge west of Riyadh

 

Wherever you are in Riyadh, you are never far from a National Day event. September 23rd also marks the day that the weather cools down again. Have fun and stay safe!

 

15 responses to “84th National Day Celebrations in Riyadh

  1. Which site is best for children and disabled people? I will be bringing my mother to show her some things and she is in a wheelchair. Thank you Sarah.

  2. Hello Sarah,
    Thank you for this post. I will be visiting the King Abdulaziz Histrocial Center.

    When it is possible, I would like to meet you to discuss several things regarding living in Riyadh. Please let me know the best option for contacting you to arrange a meeting. Thank you.

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