For nearly 25 years, Starbucks has been immersing itself in the rich culture and heritage of Saudi Arabia, getting to know its people, taking inspiration from the deep sense of community and supporting youth through job creation and training. As part of Starbucks’ commitment to the country, and in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, an annual competition was established in 2022 to nurture and encourage local talent, allowing Saudis to express what their heritage means to them using the iconic Starbucks cup as their canvas.
The winning cup from 2022, which will be served in all stores this month, was designed by budding young Saudi artist Joud Yahya Al-Sultan, who said this about her design: “I wanted to create a design that celebrated the long history of Saudi Arabia, while highlighting the importance of coffee to the region. With the orange and reds of the desert landscape contrasting with the deep green of the coffee plant leaves, I’m really pleased with the finished artwork, and I’m delighted that Starbucks has chosen it to feature on their cups this September. I hope it inspires other Saudis to take a second and think about the wonderful heritage of our country as we celebrate National Day.”
The competition is now open once again for Saudis to create their own expressions of national pride on one of the world’s most iconic coffee cups. The winning design will be featured on Starbucks cups during next year’s National Day festivities, celebrating the shared history and heritage of Saudis across the country.
Alongside the new competition, Starbucks is hosting several events at its stores to celebrate Saudi culture throughout September, with live art experiences, events that bring writers, poets and local communities together, and musical artists that showcase traditional Arabian songwriting.
Andy Holmes, president of Starbucks for Alshaya Group, said: “At Starbucks, we understand the importance of human connection and are proud of our partners (employees) and stores across the Kingdom, which serve as both a place for communities to come together and enjoy their coffee as well as for creating unique moments of connection.
“As we celebrate National Day across the Kingdom, we are pleased to be hosting these exciting store events and invite our customers to feel inspired by our iconic new cup designed by a very talented local artist. We also look forward to seeing more new designs for this year’s competition and hope to encourage our customers to consider what their heritage means to them — in coffee, hospitality, art, culture and beyond. It’s a conversation we are privileged to be part of.”