Saudi Arabia prepares for Valentine’s Day

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Hearts and flowers are everywhere as Saudi Arabia prepares to celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Hearts and flowers are everywhere as Saudi Arabia prepares to celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Hearts and flowers are everywhere as Saudi Arabia prepares to celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Hearts and flowers are everywhere as Saudi Arabia prepares to celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Hearts and flowers are everywhere as Saudi Arabia prepares to celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 13 February 2020

Saudi Arabia prepares for Valentine’s Day

  • Hearts and flowers are everywhere as the Kingdom prepares to celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow
  • Saudis are buying extravagant gifts, flowers, cheesy balloons and even the cliched teddy bears for that special person

JEDDAH: Love is in the air and hearts and flowers are everywhere as the Kingdom prepares to celebrate the once “haram” Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

As recently as three years ago it would have been unthinkable — Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police saw to that.

Florists and confectioners used to hide their red roses and heart-shaped chocolate in fear of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). Restaurant owners even banned birthday or anniversary celebrations on Feb. 14 for fear of arrest or closure.




Hearts and flowers are everywhere as Saudi Arabia prepares to celebrate the once ‘haram’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

A breakthrough came in 2018, when former Makkah CPVPV President Sheikh Ahmed Qasim Al-Ghamdi declared that Valentine’s Day did not contradict Islamic teaching or doctrine. Celebrating love was universal,and not limited to non-Muslims, he said.

Now Saudis are buying extravagant gifts, flowers, cheesy balloons and even the cliched teddy bears for that special person.

To help readers to get the most out of Valentine’s, Arab News has compiled an essential guide. We have advice on romantic getaways, whether you’re on a budget, or ready to splash out on a rented yacht in the Red Sea or a cultural heritage hotel in a palm oasis in the Eastern Province.

There’s also a “his and her” gift guide for every purse, and info on the best places for that romantic meal for two.


Saudi Arabia announces 22 more COVID-19 deaths

Updated 01 June 2020

Saudi Arabia announces 22 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The total number of confirmed cases in the Kingdom so far has reached 87,142
  • A total of 525 people have died from COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 22 new deaths from COVID-19 and 1,881 new cases of the disease on Monday. 
Of the new cases, 688 were recorded in Riyadh, 293 in Jeddah , and 290 in Dammam. 
The total number of confirmed cases in the Kingdom so far has reached 87,142. 
The health ministry also announced that 1,864 more patients had recovered from the coronavirus, bringing the total number of people who have recovered in the Kingdom to 64,306.
A total of 525 people have died from COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia.