quotes Kingdom’s Founding Day: A celebration of deep history and a promising future

24 February 2024
Short Url
Updated 24 February 2024

Kingdom’s Founding Day: A celebration of deep history and a promising future

Founding Day — a celebration of Saudi Arabia’s deep historical, civilizational, and cultural roots — takes place annually on Feb. 22, as decreed by King Salman.

Founding Day commemorates the establishment of the First Saudi State by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1727. Through this political entity, he succeeded in unifying the region’s tribes by ensuring stability within Diriyah Oasis — the capital of the First Saudi State — and the surrounding towns, as well as protecting trade and pilgrimage routes.

He also regulated and expanded the state’s economic affairs and fortified the walls of Diriyah.

The main goals of Founding Day are to honor the solid roots of the Saudi state and the strong bond between citizens and their leaders, as well as the accomplishments of the Kingdom in terms of stability, security, resilience, and defense against its enemies.

It also honors the unity of modern-day Saudi Arabia, established by King Abdulaziz in 1932, since when the Kingdom has witnessed significant development and improvement in all aspects of life, including health, education, public services, and infrastructure.

The largest source of petroleum energy in the world was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938, which created a significant change in the Kingdom’s economy and its people’s quality of life. The Kingdom established much of its strong infrastructure when oil revenues accounted for 90 percent of the country’s budget.

The Saudi leadership has realized that it cannot continue relying on oil revenue as the main source of income, however, given price fluctuations and the global shift to renewable energy sources.

Saudi Vision 2030 was announced in 2016 with the aim of diversifying the economy. Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the initiative has laid a solid foundation for success by implementing unprecedented reforms in the public sector, economy, and society.

Today, the Kingdom is entering a new era of economic and social change, marked by improved government efficiency and enhanced quality of life for our citizens.

I believe that, as Saudis, we should be proud of our leadership, as our country continues to transform centuries after the establishment of the First Saudi State in 1727. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to achieving our goals by 2030.

Our vision is supported by our efforts to empower citizens and businesses to reach their full potential, diversify our economy, support local content, and create innovative growth opportunities by fostering a favorable environment for local and foreign investments, unlocking new sectors of the economy.

Talat Zaki Hafiz is an economist and financial analyst. X: @TalatHafiz