Saudi Arabia Public Holidays 2024

Saudi National Day

Are you already planning the trip for the next year? We are, too! Saudi Arabia is one of the emerging travel destinations with beautiful heritage waiting to be uncovered. The ease to apply and check Saudi Arabia visa status has helped increase the footfall of the country. What makes your planning foolproof is the idea of holidays in the country. This can help your wrap your head around the different festivities when you arrive in the country. Also, there are occasions when most of the attractions are shut. 

So, save the dates of these public holidays in Saudi Arabia 2024 so you can plan well: 

A List of Public Holidays Saudi Arabia

1. Founding Day (22nd Feb -23rd Feb)

Saudi Founding Day is the first public holiday in Saudi Arabia in 2024. It is the celebration of the humble origin and rich history of the country. This day was declared a national holiday in Saudi Arabia in 2022, with a royal decree issued by King Salman. In 1727, Muhammad bin Saud enthroned the central Arabian town, Diriyah, and incepted the First Saudi State based on the principles of peace and stability. Soon, under his leadership, other states flourished, creating a dynasty called Al Saud, named after his father, Saud bin Mohammed Al Muqrin. In these years of transformation, Riyadh became the capital, and soon the emirates remodelled into the modern kingdom. 

What Happens on Founding Day Saudi Arabia?

The Founding Day is often stretched for a couple more days and extended to a long weekend. It is the Diriyah season with new activities and events. Several events showcasing the culture and heritage of the country are scheduled in cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. These events are beautiful ways to display how the country evolved from its tough phase and achieved its milestones. Locals adorn in traditional costumes and serve traditional food and desserts. 

2. Flag Day (11th March)

Saudi Arabia flag
Saudi Arabia Flag

Flag Day is a remarkable national holiday in Saudi Arabia that celebrates the past and future of the country through the adoption of the flag. It is the day to acknowledge and appreciate the richness of national heritage, as the flat is an identity of pride. Saudi Arabia’s flag had undergone six stages before what it looks like today. Initially, it had a white crescent moon on a green background, later replaced by Shahada, followed by its enlargement and adding a sword. Again, changes were made, and the final revamp was done in 1973. Today’s flag represents invincible strength. 

3. Ramadan (11th March – 9th April)

The sacred month of Ramadan is the time of reflecting upon our deeds and incline towards spiritual acts. This is the holiest period in the Islamic Hijri (lunar) calendar, where Muslims observe fast, which is abstention from eating and drinking, from dawn to dusk. People indulge in prayers, donate to charity and devote their time to religion. As per the Emirates Astronomical Society, it’s been forecasted that Ramadan 2024 in Saudi Arabia will commence from 11th March for 30 days. The dates can vary as it relies on the moon sighting. Only when religious scholars and astronomers observe the waxing crescent moon in Saudi Arabia the herald announces the beginning of Ramadan. 

Tips if Your Visiting During Ramadan in Saudi Arabia 2024

Saudi Arabia experiences a slower and quieter life during this month. Most of the businesses, malls, restaurants and cafes operate after the dusk. They are either closed during the daylight hours or are opened for a shorter time. Non-fasting tourists are offered food in hotels or a few restaurants in segregated areas. You are expected to not eat and drink in public (open-air places). 

4. March Equinox (20th March)

It is when the day and night are of equal duration. 

5. Eid Al Fitr (10th April-13th April) 

Feast during Eid ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia

After a complete month of observing the day fast, Eid al-Fits brings in a lively atmosphere with cheer and celebrations. People come together to wish happiness, health and good luck to each other by exchanging a galore of sweets and gifts. It is a major festival of joy and elation when Saudi Arabia is festooned with lights and decor. Locals renew and reunite with their friends and families. al-Fitr 2024 is expected to fall on 10th April. The festival marks the beginning of the month of Shawwal. Music, dance performances, and delicious food setups are arranged. 

Tips if you are visiting Saudi Arabia During Eid al-Fitr 2024

Isn’t it wonderful to watch the festivities of Eid at the birthplace of Islam? Saudi Arabia is at its best during these three days. Businesses and schools are shut on the first day as the whole town is out soaking in the celebrations. You can spend your days sunbathing by the beach at the luxe resort, uncovering UNESCO sites or simply gorging the delicious spread of buffet. 

6. Arafat Day (15th June)

Arafat is a national holiday in Saudi Arabia that is on the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah. The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are considered to be the most prosperous and beloved days to Allah. Arafat is the second day of Hajj, and pilgrims travel from across the world to pray, repent and devote themselves to their God at Mount Arafat. Located 20 km southeast of Mecca, it is where the Islamic prophet Muhammad preached one of his last sermons. Today, Islamic scholars deliver the sermon from the mountain, which is considered one of the sacred rituals of Hajj. 

7. Eid al-Adha (16th June – 17th June)

An Islamic festival and national holiday in Saudi Arabia, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijja month. It is one of the major festivals of Islam, observed to honour the great sacrifice of Ibrahim to display his fidelity to Allah. As per the Islamic scripture, once God ordered Ibrahim to sacrifice either of his sons. Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice Ismail. Seeing his unwavering obedience, God offered a lamb to sacrifice on behalf of his son. The festival is now celebrated with prayers, animal sacrifices, charity and family gatherings. Again, it is to be noted that the exact date of each Eid is announced by the moon-sighting committee in Saudi Arabia.

8. June Solstice (20th June)

It is the longest day of the year.

9. Isalmic New Year(7 July)

One of the prominent Islamic festivals, Muharram is the first month of the Muslim calendar. The new Islamic calendar begins with the Month of Allah. This day honours the martyr, Prophet Muhammed’s grandson, Hussein Ibn Al. He was killed during the Battle of Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram. It is the time to remember the sacrifice, offer prayers and spend time in pious rituals. 

10. September Equinox (22nd Sept)

Just like March Equinox, September Equinox has equal daylight and night time. 

11. Saudi National Day (23rd Sept)

Jeddah Fireworks
Fireowrks in Jeddah on Saudi National Day

To celebrate the unification of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 by Ibn Saud, the Sultan of Najd (one of the four regions of modern Saudi Arabia), Saudi National Day is declared a national holiday. When the Ottoman Empire fell during World War I, and Saudi began to develop, events led to gradually uniting the regions into the ‘Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’.

What Happens on the National Day in Saudi Arabia? 

The entire country comes alive on this big day. To celebrate the unification, there are fireworks and drone shows in the sky. Millions of audience gather in Riyadh to witness the magical night filled with pyrotechnic shows. Streets are dotted with Saudi flags. The day is ushered in with great pomp and show, ceremonies and parades. 

What is the difference between Saudi Founding Day and National Day?

While on Founding Day, the cornerstone of Saudi Arabia was laid, the National Day symbolises the unification.

12. December Solstice (21st Dec)

It is the shortest day of the year. 


These public holidays in Saudi Arabia are subject to last-minute changes. Keep following this space for the latest updates. 

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