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.


Delivery app reps cleared to operate in Saudi Arabia at all hours

Updated 10 April 2020

Delivery app reps cleared to operate in Saudi Arabia at all hours

JEDDAH: Delivery app workers in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to operate around the clock during curfew periods, the Ministry of Interior has announced.

The 24-hour ruling will apply to all delivery representatives affiliated to apps registered with the Communications and Information Technology Commission and carrying valid electronic business IDs, an official ministerial source told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The statement follows an announcement on Wednesday permitting restaurant services (except for food trucks, party caterers and banquet kitchens) to send out food until 10 p.m. throughout the Kingdom via their own delivery fleets, as long as they adhered to government health and safety requirements.

Meanwhile, anyone wishing to report curfew violations can do so through the Absher platform.