King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture hosts unprecedented celebration of the Kingdom.

Ithra Attracts More Than 90,000 for Saudi National Day Celebrations

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) welcomed more than 90,000 visitors to celebrate the 92nd Saudi National Day. Visitors were charmed by the National Day Moment on Friday and Saturday, with artists Muath Bugnah and Joury Kattan embracing the sky on the elevated stage which was suspended as high as the Ithra building to perform a collection of national songs for the enthusiastic audience.

Ithra Attracts More Than 90,000 for Saudi National Day Celebrations
Tens of thousands of visitors descended on the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran for the recent National Day celebration.

The 92nd National Day Moment was widely observed by the public, starting with the countdown and the emergence of the artists on the uniquely-designed stage, to celebrate the National Day with a collection of national and folklore songs such as Sing-along for Saudi, which was specifically produced by Ithra to celebrate this annual moment. The audience wholeheartedly recited the lyrics, forming a harmonized symphony.

Ithra Attracts More Than 90,000 for Saudi National Day Celebrations
Crowds gather outside Ithra to take in the spectacle of Ithra's National Day celebration.

Saudi Dialects

Musical performances and activities lasted from Sept. 21-24, providing a perfect opportunity to celebrate dialects with the Say It in Your Dialect activity at the Ithra Library. The event offered visitors an intellectual and cultural space to learn more about other dialects in the region, as well as their customs and traditions that are exclusive to the respective local inhabitants.

The exploration of other dialects and commonly used words proved to be a hit.

“Say It in Your Dialect is a cross-cultural activity that connects different regions with each other," said visitor Naif Al-Binali. "For example, the words hakaka, qarara, and qahous all have the same meaning as ‘destiny.’ However, the difference in the essence of these words makes it more like a rich dictionary that takes us on a journey to the worlds of knowledge and culture.”

The activity promoted the exploration of other dialects and commonly used words.

Ithra Attracts More Than 90,000 for Saudi National Day Celebrations
The Saudi sing-along proved to be a popular attraction.

Martial Music

At Ithra’s Plaza, music and folklore enthusiasts lined up to enjoy a bouquet of songs, as well as a collection of designs that children created to celebrate the National Day at the Children’s Museum, before they headed over to the theater to take part in the Sing-along for Saudi performance composed to a variety of Saudi songs.

Hundreds of other visitors visited Ithra’s Lush Gardens to watch the military parade and cavalry performance to boast the mightiness of the Kingdom and its prosperity. The parade consisted of more than 60 military band members who dazzled the audience with their performance.

Coffee Tasting

Many families experienced Saudi coffee in sync with the 2022 annual Coffee Celebration. They had the opportunity to taste different types of coffee originating from different regions of the Kingdom.

Ahmad Sultan’s family described that experience as a “cultural experience that resembled hospitality, as well as the rich customs and traditions of their respective regions.”

Others enjoyed local cuisine that represented all parts of the Kingdom, delivered by Chef Rakan Al Oraify. Moreover, live performances and activities continued non-stop, and many exhibitions welcomed visitors such as the Saudi Melodic Memory exhibition, the Hijrah exhibition, and the Amakin exhibition.

Ithra Attracts More Than 90,000 for Saudi National Day Celebrations
The four-day celebration was embraced by tens of thousands.

The Kingdom's Future

The Energy Exhibit offered many stories that introduced the future of the Kingdom through a series of contests called The New Future to highlight the core of modern information. The contest encouraged families to take part in dialogues of different topics such as the City of Neom, The Line; forestation and environment; the future of palm cultivation in the Kingdom; as well as the Red Sea project and its ecosystem, according to one of the families that won first place.

The closing ceremony of the 92nd Saudi National Day was highlighted with a joyful crowd who enjoyed every moment of the four-day celebration.

— The Arabian Sun: September 27, 2022