Ithra marks Saudi’s 91st National Day with exhibitions, performances and more

The slogan for Ithra’s National Day celebrations this year is “Melodies of the Homeland”…

In celebration of the 91st Saudi National Day, King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) launches a collection of Saudi heritage programs to highlight cultural diversity across the Kingdom.

The celebratory activities start tomorrow (September 22) and run through to September 25, 2021.


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Ithra’s National Day festivities include art performances, live shows, traditional local crafts, interactive cultural activities, various workshops, knowledge-based games for all age groups, musical performances, and the Al-Ardah Al-Najdiah (the national sword dance) to be held on multiple festive occasions.

Here’s an overview of the four-day National Day extravaganza at Ithra.

A treasure trove of Saudi culture

Tafaseel exhibition: This colourful exhibition will express the diversity of fashion as part of the cultural heritage across the local regions, as well as telling stories about the civilisations that inhabited them.

Coffee Tales exhibition: This exhibition will shed light on the practice of farming coffee and the traditions associated with it, particularly in the Jazan region, as well as Saudi Aramco’s efforts to preserve it.

Education and entertainment galore

Along with the exhibitions will be plenty of entertainment to complement the festivities.

The musical performance by Samiri Hail reflects the connection that people have with their land, manifested through words and melodies.

The art of Grain Pounding is a performance art celebrated by the farmers of Al-Ahsa region. It reflects the celebration of the residents of the oasis for the bounties of their land, from wheat to rice, during the harvest seasons.

Children will also enjoy a set of programs that explore the diversity of folklore and cultural heritage in the Kingdom. The programs combine the exploration of renewable energy to establish a sustainable environment and offer diverse workshops.

Ardah enthusiasts will also enjoy the performance (Sept 23, 6.30pm & 10pm at Ithra’s Lush Garden) on Saudi National Day. It was previously used as a war art, especially during the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the hands of the founding King Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Al Saud. Today, it is used as a form of celebration with a cultural twist.

The Arab artist Ahmed Alshaiba will perform on Ithra’s stage to play the finest music in his unique style, combining eastern and western genres. His distinctive musical melody manifests the finest forms of classical music.

Visitors will also enjoy a live musical performance at the Plaza, where different instruments recreate a collection of ancient songs from across the Kingdom.

Delicious food options

During the celebration, celebrity Saudi chef/entrepreneur Ammar Albarakti will prepare an exclusive dining experience at Ewan Restaurant. Chef Ammar’s menu will feature authentic Saudi cuisine with a modern twist and will be available at Ewan until October 2.

Food trucks will also be stationed around Ithra, serving snacks and beverages to replenish visitors as they enjoy the Saudi National Day festivities.

Tickets to the events, as well as the special performances, are available on Ithra’s website. All activities and programs require booking in advance.

Ithra’s 91st Saudi National Day Programs, 8386 Ring Rd, Gharb Al Dhahran, Dhahran 34461, September 22 to 25, 2021, 4pm to midnight. SAR50 per person for an entry ticket to all the National Day activities, and price starts from SAR150 for Ahmed Alshaiba Concert. Tel: 013 816 9799. @ithra

Images: Provided