Where to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day for an authentic experience

Where to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day for an authentic experience
Al-Balad also known as Historic Jeddah is one of the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is an ideal spot for families and tourists looking to shop at the Al-Balad Bazaar, held in a special location in the heart of Historic Jeddah. (Supplied)
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Updated 21 February 2024
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Where to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day for an authentic experience

Where to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day for an authentic experience
  • From the historic avenues of Diriyah to the fare of Riyadh’s Najd Villages, visitors can celebrate local heritage
  • Discover Saudi Arabia’s hidden gems, showcasing the history and traditions of the Kingdom’s cities and regions

RIYADH: Every year on Feb. 22, Saudi Arabia celebrates the historical and cultural roots of the Kingdom through Founding Day, commemorating the establishment of the First Saudi State. What better way to celebrate Founding Day than by exploring the hidden gems that showcase the history and traditions of each city.

Bujairi Terrace and At-Turaif in Diriyah

Known as “The Jewel of the Kingdom,” Diriyah, the capital of the First Saudi State, dates back to the mid-ninth century.

Situated in Diriyah, Bujairi Terrace provides exceptional views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif.

Inspired by Najdi architecture to evoke images of the past, Bujairi Terrace in Diriyah is the ideal spot for celebrations, offering visitors a curated Michelin-star gastronomic experience and a variety of interactive activities and events.

Surrounded by mud-brick Najdi architecture, guests are treated to over 20 fine-dining restaurants featuring Saudi and international cuisine.




The prominent citadel of Salwa Palace, made from handmade mud bricks three centuries in the historic At-Turaif district, the first capital of the Saudi dynasty, was illuminated on Dec. 4 with a spectacular light display in celebration of its opening to the public. (Supplied)

Layali Diriyah

Returning for its second year and running until March 10, Layali Diriyah is an open-air heritage farm bridging local and contemporary dining experiences, making it an ideal location for celebrating Founding Day.

Surrounded by palm trees and twinkling lights, Layali Diriyah takes a modern twist on a traditional Najdi farm, transforming it into an entertainment hub featuring live musical performances and poetry shows.

Guests can also enjoy the beauty of the palm trees surrounding the farm while dining and experiencing a range of contemporary art by local and global artists.




Azeema, one of the restaurants at Layali Diriyah, offers traditional Saudi cuisine. (Supplied)

Najd Village, Riyadh

For those craving the authentic Saudi flavor in honor of Founding Day, Najd Village specializes in regional cuisine, with each dish highlighting the heritage of a specific region.

There are two Najd Villages operating in Riyadh: one is situated on Takhassoussi Road, and the other is on Abu Bakr Road. The restaurant serves a family-style menu of traditional dishes like jareesh or kasbah, accompanied by fish, chicken, lamb, and camel meat.

For those with a sweet tooth, the restaurant offers a range of traditional desserts and snacks, including hininy, mrahif, and kleija.




Najd Village specializes in regional cuisine, with each dish highlighting the heritage of a specific region. (Supplied)

 

Ithra, Dhahran

A celebration of history through musical performances, educational exhibitions, and hands-on labs, Ithra, known as the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Dhahran, offers a range of festivities to celebrate Founding Day.

The Ithra Museum is home to five galleries, featuring artworks and installations by local and international artists covering Middle Eastern Art, Saudi culture, Islamic art, the natural history of the Arabian Peninsula, and the Archive gallery.

Ithra also offers interactive classes and workshops in the Children’s Museum.

The state-of-the-art building includes a library, theater, cinema, ideas lab, and a variety of restaurants for dining.




The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Also known as Ithra) is a symbol of change and diversity in modern Saudi Arabia.  (Supplied) 

Al-Balad, Jeddah

Al-Balad, also known as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jeddah, is an ideal spot for families and tourists looking to explore the customs of the historical city.

Located in the heart of Historic Jeddah, Al-Balad Bazaar celebrates the traditions and culture of Jeddah by showcasing homemade products, traditional clothing, and handicrafts in over 30 commercial outlets.

The Bazaar is part of significant efforts made by the Historic Jeddah Program to revive Saudi cultural heritage and promote the city’s status as a premier tourist destination.

The year-long Al-Balad Bazaar supports the community by providing them with retail pop-up outlets to showcase their products to visitors.

Another not-to-be-missed event taking place in Jeddah is the “Balad Al-Fann” initiative, launched by the Historic Jeddah Program.

Running until March 9, the initiative includes four art exhibitions, music programs, theatrical performances, and many interactive events for children.




Al-Balad also known as Historic Jeddah is one of the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is an ideal spot for families and tourists looking to shop at the Al-Balad Bazaar, held in a special location in the heart of Historic Jeddah. (Supplied)

Tayebat Museum, Jeddah

Al-Tayebat International City of Science and Knowledge, located in Jeddah’s Al-Faisaliyah district, offers visitors a curated representation of Jeddah’s 2,500-year-old history through detailed walking tours showcasing the city’s architecture, Islamic heritage, and culture.

Highlighting an extraordinary range of exhibits, including museums and houses, Al-Tayebat is billed as a must-see location in Jeddah.

Bringing pre-Islamic and Islamic history to life across 300 rooms in 12 buildings, the museum includes the House of Saudi Arabian Heritage, the House of Islamic Heritage, the House of International Heritage, and the public heritage exhibition.


Saudi foreign minister praises China’s support for Gaza ceasefire efforts

Saudi foreign minister praises China’s support for Gaza ceasefire efforts
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Saudi foreign minister praises China’s support for Gaza ceasefire efforts

Saudi foreign minister praises China’s support for Gaza ceasefire efforts
  • Prince Faisal reiterated calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, an uninterrupted flow of aid

BEIJING: Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday praised China’s support to efforts of ending the war on Gaza and implementing the two-state solution.
In his address at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing, Prince Faisal reiterated calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza,and uninterrupted flow of aid.
He called for deeper cooperation to establish a reliable and irreversible path to the two-state solution, noting that constant dialogue is crucial for achieving regional peace.
He rejected foreign interference in the Middle East and called for efforts to prevent the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the region.
China hosted a summit on Thursday focused on the Israel-Hamas war where the Chinese President XI Jinping promised more humanitarian aid in Gaza and called for an international peace conference.
The summit, attended by heads of state from Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Tunisia among others, was set to focus on China’s expanding trade ties and on security concerns related to the Israel-Hamas war.


KSrelief extends training, water, health projects in Yemen

KSrelief extends training, water, health projects in Yemen
Updated 30 May 2024
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KSrelief extends training, water, health projects in Yemen

KSrelief extends training, water, health projects in Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief is extending its training, food and health projects for vulnerable people in Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

In Taiz and the Hadramout governorate, the agency launched a life-skills program for orphans and women, which including sewing, managing businesses, and maintaining mobile phones.

In Aden, KSrelief concluded a training program on community cohesion in cooperation with the UN Development Programme, covering peace committees, conflict resolution and mediation.

In addition, the aid agency distributed 634 food parcels to 4,438 individuals in Aden.

In Hodeidah, 2,600 personal hygiene bags were delivered to displaced people in the Al-Jisha and Bani Jaber camps.

KSrelief also signed a deal with a civil society organization in Taiz to dig a well in the area that would benefit 3,150 individuals.

In Socotra governorate, KSrelief signed a pact with a civil society organization to construct a tank that would supply clean water to villages.


Saudi Railways announces increased seating capacity of Haramain High-Speed Train for Hajj season

Saudi Railways announces increased seating capacity of Haramain High-Speed Train for Hajj season
Updated 30 May 2024
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Saudi Railways announces increased seating capacity of Haramain High-Speed Train for Hajj season

Saudi Railways announces increased seating capacity of Haramain High-Speed Train for Hajj season

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia Railways on Wednesday announced the readiness of the Haramain High-Speed Railway to receive pilgrims for this year’s Hajj season and said it has increased the number of available seats by about 100,000.

SAR revealed its operational plan for the season at its five stations linking Makkah to Madinah, bringing the total number of seats to 1.6 million, up from more than a 1.3 million seating capacity last year, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The 453-kilometer railway passes through the main Jeddah station in the Sulaymaniyah district, King Abdulaziz Airport station in Jeddah, and King Abdullah Economic City. 
“This expansion also considers the addition of more than 430 new trips to last year’s trips, raising the number of trips scheduled in the operational plan for this year to more than 3,800” from May 9 to June 25, while the numbers of trips on peak days will be 126, SPA said.
The Haramain High-Speed Railway train ranks among the 10 fastest electric trains globally. It reaches 300 km per hour, and operates a fleet of 35 trains, with a capacity of 417 seats per train. It functions based on an environment-friendly system and zero carbon emissions, and plays an important role in preserving roads’ infrastructure by reducing road traffic.


Islamic Ministry unites volunteers to serve pilgrims

Islamic Ministry unites volunteers to serve pilgrims
Updated 29 May 2024
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Islamic Ministry unites volunteers to serve pilgrims

Islamic Ministry unites volunteers to serve pilgrims
  • The initiative is part of the ministry’s ongoing efforts to promote a culture of volunteering within communities

MAKKAH: Almost 5,000 people are set to volunteer for programs launched by the Makkah arm of the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The branch has launched 247 opportunities via its volunteering platform to coincide with the start of the Hajj season. These include distributing more than 235,000 water bottles at 3,850 mosques, providing umbrellas to pilgrims for protection against the sun, distributing booklets and providing meals.

The initiative is part of the ministry’s ongoing efforts to promote a culture of volunteering within communities.

Earlier, the Presidency of Religious Affairs at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque launched its operational plan for Hajj, promoting voluntary and humanitarian work.

It recognizes the Two Holy Mosques as attractive environments for such efforts, based on religious and Saudi values that highlight the importance of generosity and hospitality.


Al-Jubeir meets US, Costa Rica officials in Riyadh

Al-Jubeir meets US, Costa Rica officials in Riyadh
Updated 29 May 2024
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Al-Jubeir meets US, Costa Rica officials in Riyadh

Al-Jubeir meets US, Costa Rica officials in Riyadh

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and climate envoy Adel Al-Jubeir met Robert Karem, national security adviser to US Senator Mitch McConnell, on Wednesday in Riyadh.

In a separate meeting, Al-Jubeir met Costa Rica’s non-resident ambassador to the Kingdom, Francisco Chacon Hernandez.

The talks in both meetings centered on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.