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’s health ministry announces two more deaths, 110 new coronavirus cases

Updated 31 March 2020

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry announces two more deaths, 110 new coronavirus cases

  • The two latest people to die from the virus were residents of Madinah
  • The case total in the country has reached 1,563

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s health ministry announced 110 new cases of coronavirus, along with two new deaths in the Kingdom on Tuesday.

The case total in the country has reached 1,563 and the death toll is now in double figures at 10.

The two latest people to die from the virus were residents of Madinah.

Of the 110 new cases, 33 were in the capital Riyadh, 29 in Jeddah and 20 in Makkah. Seven cases were recorded in Al-Qatif and four in Khobar.

Three cases were also confirmed in Dammam, three in Medina, two in Hufof, two in Dhahran, and another two in Jazan, the ministry added.

The rest were in Al-Badaea, Abha, Khamis Mushait, RasTanura and Al-Khafji where one case was reported in each.

The ministry also confirmed that 165 people have recovered from the coronavirus so far.