National Day

A history of celebrating national pride and progress

Past celebrations have included local events, major inaugurations, cultural milestones, and more.

A history of celebrating national pride and progress

Officially, National Day has been around since just 2005 when King Abdullah announced the holiday, meaning celebrations have only been around for the past 15 years.


In 2005, as Aramco prepared to celebrate its upcoming 75th anniversary, much attention turned to the national holiday and the event it celebrates — the Sept. 23, 1932, unification of the regions of the country into one Kingdom under King Abdulaziz.

KAUST inauguration

A year after Aramco’s 75th anniversary, 3,000 heads of state, industry leaders, and academics joined King Abdullah to simultaneously celebrate National Day and inaugurate the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

To date, with its innovative research center and innovation clusters designed to establish and support businesses Kingdom- and worldwide, KAUST has done exactly that. 

And it started on National Day.

Aramcons, citizens celebrate Kingdomwide

In 2010, Aramcons joined fellow Saudis and residents in festivities marking the 80th year since the country was founded. (The formal unification of the Kingdom came two years later on Sept. 23, 1932.)

Record crowds gathered throughout the country, including the Eastern Province. A cavalcade of more than 1,000 cars, buses, and motorcycles, including more than 60 participants on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, drove along the Arabian Gulf seafront from Dammam to al-Khobar. 

In Makkah, a colorful parade of cars and motorcycles wound through town, followed by a ceremony at the Sports City with a variety of cultural programs such as folk dances and an operetta featuring about 200 people, including children.

In Jiddah, the Ministry of Culture and Information organized a ceremony in Obhur, at which Saudi actor Fayez Al-Malki opened festivities and urged Saudis to work hard to make the Kingdom one of the advanced countries of the world. To mark the event, the people of Jiddah prepared a huge Saudi flag, 30 meters in length.

Celebrating the Kingdom all around the world

National Day isn’t celebrated just by those in the Kingdom.

Company employees working at offices around the world also celebrate with pride each year on National Day. Traditional food, dances, and ceremonies have marked events held from Beijing to Houston and all points in between over the years as the holiday has provided not only an opportunity to mark the Kingdom’s founding, but also to share with stakeholders, customers, and community members where we do business many of the cultural and artistic aspects of the Kingdom.

For example, in 2011, Aramco Overseas Co. (AOC) sponsored a celebration at the residence of HE Ambassador Abdullah Al-Shagrood at which several booths represented an array of cultural and historical aspects of the Kingdom.

A day for cultural celebration

One of the key ways Aramco has supported the annual festival is through events at and sponsored by The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

By highlighting programs and initiatives from locations throughout the Kingdom, Ithra regularly looks to celebrate Saudi heritage while bringing its programming to all parts Kingdomwide.

Fireworks, programs, tours, workshops, exhibits, movies, Ardah, and a wide variety of modern and traditional programs are offered for citizens and residents alike, and always have provided plenty to do on the popular day.


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