Saudi National Day 2018 – The History Behind & The Celebrations Ahead

There’s great excitement all over the Kingdom! Yes, Saudi Arabia is getting ready to celebrate the 88th Saudi National Day on 23rd September. It is a public holiday in the Kingdom; every citizen partakes in the festivities and shows their deep love and gratitude towards their country. You can see colorful fireworks, water shows, as well as a series of events that revolve around patriotic and educational themes.

History of Saudi National Day

World War I was the time when the Ottoman Empire which had been ruling since 16th century collapsed and the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia emerged.

Ibn Saud (the son of Abdul Rahman bin Faisal who had been the last ruler of the ‘Second Saudi State’), became the Sultan of Najd, the central region of Arabia in 1921. After conquering the Hejaz (western Arabia ) in 1925, Ibn Saud was declared King of the Hejaz on 10 January 1926. In 1927, he changed his title to King of Nejd. Despite being King of both regions, he ruled the two parts of his kingdom separately for the next five years. And then the year of 1932 arrived when after a two year campaign to suppress and defeat former allies, that the kingdoms of the Hejaz and Nejd were renamed and unified as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia National Day was declared a public holiday in 2007.

Saudi National Day is celebrated on 23 September to commemorate the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by King Abdulaziz in 1932.

Celebrations for Saudi National Day

The national pride can be felt throughout the country during the day. On this day, people who assisted in the country’s establishment are honored and the milestones that the country has achieved are remembered. You can expect to see the decorations of buildings and roads and fireworks in the evening.

Since Saudi National Day 2018 is falling on Sunday, you can plan for an exciting vacation in Saudi Arabia with the extended weekend holiday.  We’re making your job easier for your long weekend by gathering the most happening Saudi Arabian destinations for your long-awaited trip.


With iconic buildings filled in green lights and special events, Riyadh is geared up to celebrate the Saudi National Day. Riyadh is a thriving international destination that blends tradition and modern-day excitement. With popular landmarks and exciting activities, Riyadh promises unique cultural experiences. Here are some of the best attractions to get to know this vibrant destination.

  • Kingdom Center
  • Ad-Diriyah
  • King Abdullah Park Fountain
  • Al Faisaliyah Center
  • Masmak Citadel
Milestone to recall

One highlight of Saudi National Day 2017 – For the first time in history, the country had allowed women to enter the King Fahd International Stadium to enjoy the football match. Previously the stadium was a male-only venue. Hundreds of women thronged the stadium and marked the Saudi National Day celebrations.

Highlights of Saudi National Day 2017

For the first time, Riyadh had celebrated the National Day in a unique way by bringing an amazing and the largest HD projection on the Kingdom Tower using high technology, 3D projections, laser shows and fireworks. People were extremely delighted with the beautiful firework display.


With several popular landmarks and must-see places, Dammam is an iconic city in Saudi Arabia. Located in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, Dammam takes pride of its beautiful islands, several monuments giving historical importance. Your trip to Dammam is incomplete without visiting these attractions.

  • The Dammam Museum of Archaeology & Ethnography
  • Dammam Corniche
  • Al Marjan Island
  • The Heritage Village
  • Half Moon Bay
Spotlight on Saudi National Day 2017

A number of tourists had visited the National Day Box – first of its kind in the country. The Saudi National Day surprise box with unique activities had revealed a lot of surprises. Besides the main show, people enjoyed a lot of accompanying events on the National Day.


‘Jeddah ghair’ is an Arabic phrase means ‘Jeddah is different’ which is really true. With striking nighttime skyline, Jeddah is a beautiful city to explore. In contrary to misconceptions, the city offers a number of leisure activities to indulge. During your trip to Jeddah never miss visiting these attractions.

  • Jeddah Waterfront
  • Visit any of popular malls – Red Sea Mall, Mall of Arabia, Haifaa Mall etc.
  • Athr Gallery
  • King Fahd’s Fountain
  • Al-Balad
  • Jeddah’s floating mosque
Visit JeddahSpotlight on Saudi National Day 2017

The National Day is more wonderful when art and patriotism join the hands. The same had happened in 2017. People thronged to attend the Big Music Festival performed by 11 fantastic artists. The extraordinary event was held at King Abdullah Sports City.

Milestone in Flights

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s low-cost airline, flyadeal based at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport was launched and the first flight was flown from Jeddah to Riyadh to mark the country’s glorious day.


Jizan also spelled Jazan and pronounced as Gizan is a beautiful port city of Jizan Region. Those who are looking for a weekend vacay, Jizan is one best choice for its incredible natural wonders. Here are some must do activities when you visit this port city.

  • Go for a swim at Wadi Lajab
  • Don’t miss the nighttime stars
  • Shop at traditional souks
  • Dine a Jazan way
  • Explore the beautiful FIFA mountains
  • Visit hot water springs

Spotlight on Saudi National Day 2017 – Celebrations in the sea


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Art has no limits! And the country had proved it again. People enjoyed the multimedia water shows that briefed the story of Saudi Arabia. The same show was repeated at 30 minutes interval. The show was held at Al Salwa Park.


Located in the mountains of Shammar, Hail is one of the most beautiful sites of the Kingdom. Hail is a valley that acts as a passage for Muslim pilgrims when they visit Makkah and Madinah. Hail Valley stretches around the Shammar Mountains and looks like a bow when seen on map. Your trip to Hail is incomplete without experiencing these activities.

  • Visit Mud made homes
  • Explore extinct volcanoes
  • Purchase hand-woven items, pots, dates, and daggers as souvenirs.
  • Hail Rally
  • Visit Al Rajhi Mosque and Qishalah Castle
Al Rajhi MosqueSpotlight on Saudi National Day 2017

People gathered around the Qishalah Castle to watch the extraordinary “Raise the Flag” event. The event was spectacular and the fireworks added additional attraction for the event.

A Complete Guide on Saudi National Day Events 2018

Irrespective of the region, the National Day vibes can be felt throughout the Kingdom.  The Saudi National Day is bringing a number of spectacular events across the country like never before.  Here’s the ultimate list of National Day events for this year. Checkout the huge list and plan your day where to celebrate the National Day 2018.

The Kingdom is gearing up to break Guinness world records on its National Day

Saudi Arabia is getting ready to mark its 88th National Day by launching 900,000 fireworks at a time from 58 platforms in 13 different provinces. The fireworks will create the green background, while the laser image of the white horizontal sword and the Shahada of the Saudi flag will be formed by 300 drones.  This will break the Guinness world records on Saudi National Day forming the largest flag in the world.


Cirque Du Soleil

The Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil – an entertainment company will perform a customized show on 23rd September. This one-hour long show will feature more than 80 artists wearing 250 costumes. Costumes have been specially created respecting the local traditions.

What? Cirque du Soleil and the National Entertainment Day carnival

Where? King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh

When? September 23, 2018

Serat Majd

Highlighting the diversity of the Kingdom, Seerat Majd event will be held on the National Day. The event will feature many musical activities and folk dances.

Where? Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh

Timings: 05:00 pm – 12:00 am (Doors open at 05:00 pm)

National Entertainment Day

Featuring modern leisure activities, artistic performances, laser shows, mobile carnival shows, acrobatic show, and fireworks, National Entertainment Day is set to welcome more than a million people to celebrate the National Day in Riyadh.

Where? Prince Turkey Alawal – Hittin, Riyadh

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 06:00 pm – 11:30 pm (Doors open at 06:00 pm)



Historic Jeddah events

On the occasion of the National Day, 3DMAPPING shows will be held showing various art galleries, murals, and museums, and various theater performances. The 4-day event is expecting to attract thousands of visitors.

Where? AlBalad Jeddah, Jeddah

When? 20 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 05:00 pm – 11:00 pm (Doors open at 05:00 pm)


The National Day Light Festival

The national day light festival will takes place at the new waterfront in Jeddah that’ll feature latest light show on water screens, displaying the images from the time of founder till today’s. The new Corniche is set to witness thousands of people enjoying the 3D light show.

Where? Jeddah Sea Front – New Corniche, Jeddah

Timings: 07:30 pm – 01:00 am (Doors open at 07:30 pm)


Watan Altomouh

It is a large-scale event which will be held on the Corniche of Al Hamra in Jeddah. The event will feature fireworks, 3D light shows on the façade of Ritz-Carlton, dancing fountain show to the tune of Saudi music. It is expected that this spectacular event will attract more than 50,000 people and set to become one of the spectacular celebrations in the world.

Where? Alhamra Corniche, Jeddah

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 05:00 pm – 12:00 am (Doors open at 05:00 pm)


Next Generation Show

Next Generation Show is an epical performance written by youth of Saudi Arabia, stating the story of Saudi generations over time. The show will be performed using the latest techniques and huge figures to the tune of national songs.

Where? Bench Mark Venue, Jeddah

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 06:00 pm – 12:00 am



National day out

“National Day Out” is a 4-day national event which will be held in Al Baha and Abha. Every national from adults to children will enjoy various national shows like “Our children, Our Future”, “Our Youth, Our Pride”, “Our Ancestors, Our Models”, and other events like arts, cultural and historical performances, impressive technical activities, Saudi handmade products exhibition and many more.


  • The Art Street, Abha
  • Raghdan Jungle, Albaha

When? 21 to 24 September 2018

Timings: 05:00 pm – 11:00 pm (Doors open at 05:00 pm)



From us to the Nation

The region of Tabuk will witness a gathering of large number of people at “Minna lil Watan” event. The event will be organized by the General Entertainment Authority and led by young Saudis to show their love and respect to their country. The event will feature artistic scenes of cultural history from traditional costumes, cuisine, popular folklore, to urban civilization.

Where? Prince Sultan Cultural Center, Tabuk

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 04:00 pm – 11:00 pm



Heritage festival

The Heritage Festival is a unique festival Organized by the General Entertainment Authority. As a part of the festival an exceptional food market will be arranged where a large number of Jazan residents and visitors can taste Saudi delights blended with international flavors.

Where? Jazan – Northern Corniche

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 06:00 pm – 12:00 am (Doors open at 06:00 pm)



Saudi National Day Park

Organized by the General Entertainment Authority, people can enjoy many leisure activities that brings past and present together. The event will attract adults and children alike with its interactive garden and range of events from folklore shows, laser shows, to fireworks.

Where? Park Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen, Hail

When? 21 to 24 September 2018

Timings: 05:00 pm – 11:00 pm (Doors open at 04:30 pm)



Hot Air Balloons

2018 would be a memorable year for Saudi Arabia since it’ll launch surprising events like ever before. By floating sixteen balloons into the gorgeous skies of Kingdom, the Al Ahsa region will commemorate the National Day. Thirteen of those will represent 13 regions, one balloon will carry the national flag, while the other will carry the vision of 2030. The 3-day event will also feature many children’s activities, balloon lighting, balloon shows with national songs, etc.

Where? Jawatha Park, Alahsa

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 05:00 pm – 12:30 pm (Doors open at 05:00 pm)



Our green path

It is a huge awareness and recreational activity that displays the huge transformation of the country over the past decades till today, and the future developments. There will be three wings – The Heritage Wing, The Present Wing and The Future Wing featuring its own activities.

Where? King Khalid Cultural Center, Qassim

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 06:00 pm – 12:00 am (Doors open at 06:00 pm)



Day to be Proud

Organized by the General Entertainment Authority, the folkloric entertaining festival will be held for three days in region of Najran. The festival combines folk arts and heritage; and video shows that tell the Kingdom’s achievements and the sacrifices of martyrs. It also includes Arabic cuisine and exciting games for children.

Where? Wehda Stadium, Najran

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 07:00 pm – 01:00 am (Doors open at 05:00 pm)



Aerobatics & Pyrotechnics Show

Enjoy the spectacular show of aircrafts pulling stunts in Khobar. Besides this, there’s also an incredible show of fireworks and display of lights which keeps you entertained on the National Day.

Where? Khobar Sea Front

When? 23 September 2018 from 2 pm to 8 pm


National Activity Day

Within other activities on the National Day, the General Sports Authority is organizing ‘National Activity Day’ event focusing the countryside. The event welcomes you to participate in many sports in competitive environment across the country from Abha to Hail.


  • Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Sport City, Abha
  • King Saud Sport City, Albaha
  • King Fahad Sport City, Taif
  • King Khalid Sports City – Tabuk Stadium, Tabouk
  • King Faisal Sports City, Jazan
  • Prince Abdulaziz Musaed Stadium, Hail
  • King Fahad Rd, Arar

When? 21 to 23 September 2018

Timings: 04:00 pm – 12:00 am

  1. Abid

    Can you give me details of national day celebration place in Jubail KSA.

    1. Monalisha Mallick

      You can attend “The Nations’ Festival”, at Al-Fanateer waterfront in Jubail which opened on Thursday and would be there till Tuesday. Do send in some pics while you are there.

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