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21 February 2023
Saudi Arabia Celebrates Founding Day

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is preparing to celebrate the “Saudi Founding Day 2023” on February 22nd. This annual event, which marks the day when Imam Muhammad bin Saud established the state in 1727, is an occasion of pride, honor and dignity as it symbolizes the historical, civilizational and cultural depth of Saudi Arabia. A day to appreciate the Kingdom’s legacy and the close connection between citizens and the Saudi leadership, Founding Day is there to honor the steadfastness of the first Saudi state in the face of all challenges and commemorate the outstanding achievements of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a nation, particularly in maintaining unity, security and stability.


On Founding Day, centuries of Glory, Pride, and Nobility come to life

February 22nd has been designated as an annual national holiday for celebrating Founding Day under the slogan “The Day We Began”. The first Founding Day was celebrated on February 22, 2022.

The official holiday is observed by all public and private institutions and sectors in Saudi Arabia. On this day, the people honor more than three centuries of values of strong kinship, loyalty and unmatched hospitableness and celebrate a venerable legacy of valiant struggles and glorious victories. 

How do we celebrate Founding Day?

On February 22nd, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s flag is hoisted on balconies and on rooftops, institutions change their logos for the occasion and Riyadh's sky is lit with special airshows and dazzling fireworks displays.

As for cultural events in Saudi Arabia, government authorities and other public entities organize workshops, dialogue sessions and panels featuring the history of the Kingdom and the highlights of its establishment. Additionally, several initiatives are organized to emphasize topics relating to Saudi culture and its characteristics and how it has been reinforced over the years.

Festivals and events are also held to engage the people in this national occasion and promote Saudi culture and tradition, especially among the youth. This includes festivals and events held across the Kingdom’s regions and cities, including the holy city of Makkah. Parades and iconic musical shows are also organized to show off the Kingdom’s history and values. People celebrate the national holiday by preparing popular dishes, including Muftah, Mataziz, Jereesh, Kabsa, Haneeth and others, in addition to delectable sweets like Kaleeja and Maasoub. 

Restaurants, malls, cinemas, and retail stores celebrate the occasion their way with special offers and discounts.

Saudi Founding Day is a national occasion for the Saudi people to relish their precious heritage and share their rich culture with the residents and tourists. This national ceremony brings people together to celebrate history and culture and reaffirm the great values of courage, belonging and generosity that have brought people together on the special land of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Born from the heart of Saudi hospitality, Makarem celebrates Founding Day

Makarem Hotels is deeply rooted in Saudi Arabia’s history and intricately connected to the legacy of the Saudi hospitality we know today. As a Saudi-born brand, Makarem celebrates Founding Day with its guests, decorating its properties with national banners and the Saudi flag to honor the grand occasion.
Established in 1983, Makarem Hotels was the first Saudi hotel chain to open in Makkah, through its luxury property Makarem Ajyad Hotel located near the Holy Mosque and the Clock Tower. 

Drawing on the historic Saudi hospitableness, Makarem brings pilgrims and visitors of the holy cities excellent accommodation experiences through its spacious and comfortable amenities and world-class services. In addition to the diverse suite of services, including religious guidance (Spiritual Concierge), the Islamic library, and a special section for the Holy Qur’an that contains several copies of the Qur’an in different languages, Makarem properties feature meeting rooms and various restaurants that serve delectable menus from local and international cuisines.

Characterized by the highest international standards and designed with a Saudi spirit, the Makarem group has continued to expand across the holy cities throughout the past four decades, becoming a partner of choice for tourists and pilgrims visiting the holy cities. 

  • 1983: Makarem Ajyad Hotel, Makkah.
  • 2010: Makarem Umm Al-Qura Hotel.
  • 2012: Makarem Al-Bait Hotel.
  • 2013: Makarem Mina Hotel and Makarem Al-Shorofat Hotel.


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What lies behind the Founding Day logo?

The font used in the Founding Day logo is the “Founding Day 1727” font from the manuscripts that documented the establishment of the first Saudi state. In the special logo, a distinctive blend of elements is used to truly reflect the authenticity of the occasion. The falcon, ornaments, and Arabic calligraphy, in addition to several symbols, were all used and each of them carries special significance. 

  • The banner in the middle of the emblem and the man carrying it indicate the first Saudi flag and the heroism of the Saudi men.
  • The Arabian horse symbolizes the heroism, equestrianism and valor of the princes of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly as Imam Saud bin Abdulaziz was famous for his passion for horses, having owned 1,400 horses.
  • The palm tree denotes life, growth and generosity. While dates are a national product associated with the history of the Kingdom and an important food source, the palm tree is still considered the emblem of the first Saudi state, besides being a great resource used in the manufactory of many items, including rugs, hand fans, ceilings, and others, such as agricultural and harvesting tools.
  • The falcon soaring high is a symbol of valor.
  • The Majlis (council) signifies social and cultural harmony and unity, while the market icon denotes economic activity.
  • The four cups of coffee indicate:
  • The “haif” (delicacy) cup is the cup that the coffee maker tastes to ensure the quality of the coffee he serves.
  • The “kaif” (enjoyment) cup is the cup that the guest drinks while enjoying the delicious Arabian coffee.
  • The “daif” (guest) cup is the cup to welcome guests.
  • The “saif” (sword) cup is the cup that the guest offers to the host and symbolizes courage and readiness to go to war.


Did you know that there are special traditional costumes for Founding Day?

The people of each of the Kingdom’s regions celebrate Founding Day with unique traditional outfits. 


  • Northern region: Oqal (head cord), Shemagh (keffiyeh) and Dagla
  • Southern region: Al-Jubbah, Al-Samada (headcloth), a girdle and a dagger
  • Central region: Oqal, Ghutra, a thobe, a Murowdin and a dagger
  • Eastern Region: Oqal, Bisht and Ghutra
  • Western Region: Oqal (head cord), thobe, Shemagh (keffiyeh) and Sudairi


  • Northern region: Shal and Al-Mahwthal
  • Southern region: Shal and Sidra
  • Central region: Burqa, Shal, belt or band, clip, Bisht, Kurtah and Shuntah
  • Eastern region: Shal and Al-Nashal
  • Western region: Shal and Al-Masdah


  • Northern region: Al-Mahwthal
  • Southern region: Shal and Sidra
  • Central region: Veil
  • Eastern region: Al-Nashal
  • Western region: Shal and Al-Masdah


  • Northern region: Oqal (head cord), Ghutra, and Dagla
  • Southern region: Al-Shibla and Al-Jabla
  • Central region: Oqal (head cord), Ghutra, Degla, Mahzam and thobe
  • Eastern Region: Oqal (head cord), Ghutra and Bisht
  • Western region: Oqal (head cord), Shemagh (keffiyeh), Sudira and thobe



Makarem Loyalty Program

These establishments include Makarem Ajyad Makkah, plus a number of other hotels across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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