JEDDAH: Despite the scorching heat in the coastal city of Jeddah, crowds gathered on the waterfront to watch the air display that marked the start of the 90th Saudi National Day celebrations.
This year, 60 civilian and military aircrafts soared over the heads of the onlookers in different formations, leaving a trail of green and red colors behind them, fascinating adults and children alike.
The display brought together aircraft such as the Airbus A330 multirole tanker transport, F-15, Eurofighter Typhoon, and BAE Hawk.
Sarra Bukhari, 28, an aircraft enthusiast who attended the show, told Arab News that the show was short but amazing. “I really liked it. I liked their organization and how the planes all started and finished right together.”
Another attendee, Aya Toukabri, said that she missed last year’s show but managed to make it to the 90th National Day celebrations this year. “I made sure I didn’t miss this one. I am not an aircraft enthusiast but I still like watching such shows.”
Jeddah municipality has approved a number of activities and displays to be held on streets, squares, buildings, gates and other sites for the celebrations on Wednesday under the slogan “To the Summit.”
The activities include contests, equestrian shows, fine arts and congratulatory displays and slogans on screens and billboards, as well as decorative flags and lighting.
Jeddah deputy mayor of community services Ayedh Ali Al-Zahrani said that Saudis and expats can watch demonstrations of equestrian skills with riders in traditional Arab dress and bearing Saudi flags for three days at the gates of the city on the Holy Makkah Road and Madinah Road.
Al-Zahrani said that the municipality, in cooperation with the Association for Children with Disabilities, will hold an online drawing competition titled “90 years” for 30 days for pictures and drawings of the homeland.
Additionally, a challenge/competition entitled “Celebrate the Homeland, Jeddah” will be launched at the YallaJeddah.sa platform for all Saudis and expats to share pictures of their National Day celebrations and get the chance to win prizes totaling SR90,000 ($24,000).
The competition has been set up by the Municipal Innovation Center in cooperation with TAM Development Company. The closing date for entries is Friday Sept. 25.
Al-Zahrani added that the King Abdul Aziz Center will host an art exhibition and workshop for artists, in addition to organizing a graffiti event for drawings of King Salman and the crown prince in the Al-Tahlia and Rehab walkways and Al-Irada Park.
The municipality of Jeddah has launched the “Draw the Nation” initiative, where a number of old cars have been painted as masterpieces by artists and will be on public display on Jeddah’s new waterfront and main squares from Sept. 23.
A 90-meter mural will also be unveiled in the city in Al-Serafi Mega Mall in cooperation with the Jeddah Eye Association.
Al-Zahrani said that main landmarks will be decorated with flags and lighting, including the Globe, Al-Tahlia and Qanadil squares and King’s Road, Al-Salam, Al-Andalus, and Al-Amana streets. The municipality and its buildings will be lit in green.
The displays will include the installation of LED screens the length of Globe Square to display the Saudi national day identity and slogans, as well as pictures of Saudi leaders.