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The annual holiday commemorates Mohammed bin Saud, who founded the first Saudi state Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Saudi Arabia is all set to celebrate the anniversary of its founding day on Thursday with cultural and artistic events that pay homage to the rich history of the country.

February 22 marks a new annual holiday to commemorate the founding of the first Saudi state, after the holiday was announced with a royal decree issued by King Salman in 2022 as reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). It said the holiday will commemorate the history of Saudi rule dating back hundreds of years.

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The events that will be displayed will showcase the various stages of prosperity that the Kingdom has gone through driven by the creation of the Saudi Vision 2030, SPA added.

What does Founding Day commemorate?

The annual holiday commemorates Mohammed bin Saud, who founded the first Saudi state

In February 1727, bin Saud inherited leadership over the central Arabian town of Diriyah, which was established by his ancestors in the 15th century.

He oversaw the expansion of Diriyah from a city-state to an emirate, conquering territories in central Arabia and uniting them under his family’s rule.

His dynasty became known as Al Saud, named after his father, Saud bin Mohammed Al Muqrin, who had ruled Diriyah from 1720, the date often cited as the founding of the dynasty.

What will happen on Founding Day?

Events to show off traditional crafts, culture and heritage have been planned across the kingdom.

Live music and dance performances are scheduled in cities including Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Festivities are expected to last three days, with both public and private sectors given a long weekend off until February 25.