On its 93rd National Day, Saudi Arabia Celebrates Decades of Remarkable Development and Achievements

Riyadh, September 22, 2023, SPA — Tomorrow, September 23, Saudi Arabia will celebrate its 93rd National Day.
Proud of their country’s achievements and to build on its successes, citizens and residents alike commemorate this joyous occasion under a wise leadership that uses all means to secure their comfort and prosperity, and that continues to steer the country toward a bright future.
In this report, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) recalls the life of King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Faisal Al Saud who, on September 23, 1932, unified the scattered parts and splintered tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an Islamic state with the Holy Quran and the Prophet Sunnah as its constitution, and Riyadh as its capital.
According to King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives’ (Darah) records, King Abdulaziz was born in Riyadh in 1293 Hijri. At the age of seven, he was taught reading and writing. At the age of 10, several scholars and tutors were assembled by his father, Imam Abdulrahman Al-Faisal, to teach him the fundamentals of Islam and equestrian skills.
King Abdulaziz was greatly influenced by his courageous father and his mother, Princess Sarah Al-Sudairi, who was known for her wisdom and intellect. He had a close relationship with his brothers Khaled, Faisal, Fahd and Mohammed, and an even closer one with his sister, Princess Noura.
King Abdulaziz had seen and been through many events in his life that sharpened his character and taught him patience, strength and statesmanship.
Some historians consider his (forced) departure from Riyadh in 1308 Hijri, along with his father and some members of his family, to have been the most difficult time of his life. The family first settled in the Yabrin oasis, in Al-Ahsa, then moved to Bahrain, and later to Kuwait where they stayed for several years. Throughout this time, King Abdulaziz was determined to recapture the city that was once held by his forefathers.
He was in his twenties when he left Kuwait, on the fifth of Ramadan 1319 Hijri, for Riyadh at the head of an army.
On the fourth day of Shawwal 1319 Hijri, King Abdulaziz and his men reached Al-Shaqib district, ninety-minutes away from Riyadh on foot. From there, they headed to Riyadh, where he restored things to order after a heated battle that did not last long, turning a page on the past of Riyadh and announcing the beginning of a prosperous era.
The people and notables of Riyadh pledged allegiance to him as Emir of Najd and Imam of its people in 1320 Hijri. After this great victory, political stability was restored after years of turmoil, and the unity of government played a significant role in paving the way for Riyadh to enter a new era of growth and prosperity.
After enduring a long and difficult journey, King Abdulaziz Al Saud was able to unite the country, restore security and confront the chaos that prevailed in the Arabian Peninsula back then. Soon enough, and with the support of the people, he became the king of a country that he had built, securing an honorable position for it in the world.
On the 21st of Jumada Al-Awwal 1351 Hijri (September 23, 1932), the king issued a royal decree to change the name of the state from the Kingdom of Hejaz and Najd and its annexes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
When he started organizing the country, King Abdulaziz focused on the Two Holy Mosques, expanding them to serve Hajj and Umrah performers, as well as on opening schools and hospitals, building villages, settling the Beduins, and using irrigation water to support agriculture. However, for these endeavors to get implemented, there was need for large sums of money.
The strong desire to see the country advance led, in the fall of 1933, to oil exploration operations to be conducted in some parts of the Kingdom. For four lean years efforts to discover oil reservoirs remained unsuccessful, but determination and perseverance paid off; those efforts yielded results when the experts started to explore in an area called “Ain Jet” and, to their surprise, found oil 5,000 feet underground.
In 1939, oil was pumped at a ceremony attended by King Abdulaziz; it became the starting point for the state projects he had planned to implement.
King Abdulaziz was interested in external affairs as much as he was in domestic affairs. He dealt with all countries with high levels of diplomacy, placing the Kingdom’s independence above all, and getting into relations with other countries without prejudice about their religious, civilizational or cultural status, which earned him the admiration of various world leaders and made him the focus of Arab, regional and international media.
In Muharram 1373 Hijri, King Abdulaziz fell seriously ill during his stay in Taif, and at the dawn of the second of Rabi’ Al-Awwal (November 9, 1953), he passed away. He was buried in Al-Oud Cemetery, in the center of Riyadh.
While building his state, King Abdulaziz was also interested in scientific publications. He was passionate about reading Arabic books on various sciences, especially Sharia, printing most of them at his expense and distributing them free. Currently, 1,468 rare volumes can be found in his private library.
King Abdulaziz consulted his citizens, asking them to share opinions and advice, guided by the teachings of Islam.
This righteous approach followed by King Abdulaziz and his sons had a great impact on the development witnessed today in the Kingdom, which is based on cooperation between ruler and citizens.
At the ceremony held by King Abdulaziz on Muharram 25, 1355 Hijri, at the end of the Hajj season in Jeddah, he said: “We are gathered here tonight to advise each other and exchange experience, on the one hand, and on the other, to bid you farewell as I am leaving soon. I wish not to leave, but I am obliged to. I have gathered you here tonight because I would like to address an issue that has been on my mind. It is not my intention to make things difficult, but I have to be frank with you. We are in desperate need to meet and communicate with you so that you are fully aware of what we do and vice versa. I would like for you to meet me face to face at my place, so that you could inform me of the demands and desires of our people and to inform the people of our work and intentions. It is my desire to be deeply tied with the people, as this will help me meet their aspirations. My door is always open to anyone who wants to talk.”
King Abdulaziz built his country’s relations with the Arab and Muslim countries, and established strong relations with the international community, in the same manner in which he managed the affairs of his country and citizens.
He was transparent in his stance regarding issues that concerned his nation at all levels.
In a speech he delivered at the grand banquet that he hosted for elite pilgrims in Makkah on Dhu al-Hijjah 9, 1364 Hijri (November 15, 1945), he underscored the Palestinian issue as he said: “The Palestinian issue is at the top of the matters that occupy the thoughts of Muslims and Arabs these days, and it is the issue that should be the focus of everyone’s attention. Although I see more value in silent actions than too many spoken words, I must say that silence on the Palestinian issue is not the right thing to do. I have previously spoken with members of the British government, and I also spoke at length with President Roosevelt, and I mentioned with all frankness the injustice that befell our Arab brothers in Palestine and the oppression to which they were subjected. I demanded and requested from the late president justice for the Arabs of Palestine, if not by taking actions then at least by staying neutral and not helping Israel against them.”
Researchers and historians have shown admiration for the history of this lofty entity that overcame all obstacles and challenges with strong faith and a clear vision to grow into the First Saudi State, established by Imam Mohammed bin Saud in 1139 Hijri, who supported the call of Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab to return to true Islam.
Al Saud family continued these efforts after the end of the First Saudi State, which lasted for about 46 years and ended due to foreign intervention.
In 1240 Hijri, the Second Saudi State was established by the second founding Imam, Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud, who, together with his sons after him, continued the path of their ancestors for about 68 years.
The dawn of the fifth day of Shawwal, 1319 Hijri, marked a new era, as King Abdulaziz recovered the city of Riyadh, which had been ruled by his fathers and grandfathers, with heroism, courage and bravery. He built the state on a strong foundation based on the injunctions of the Holy Quran and on Prophet Mohammad’s Sunnah.
King Saud bin Abdulaziz continued this wise leadership model until signs of progress emerged and the structure of some basic institutions and bodies in the state was set.
After him came the pioneer of Islamic solidarity, King Faisal bin Abdulaziz, during whose reign the Kingdom began implementing ambitious five-year plans for development.
Further prosperity and stability were achieved under the reign of King Khalid bin Abdulaziz, during which development continued. He served the nation in particular, and Islam and Muslims in general.
A new era of development prevailed after King Fahd bin Abdulaziz received the pledge of allegiance as king of the country. The achievements during his reign distinguish themselves by their inclusiveness and integration; they led to a comprehensive development of the country under a wise leadership.
During the era of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Kingdom witnessed huge achievements in education, health, transportation, industry, electricity, water, agriculture and economy.
Today, we witness the reign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, an era of sustainability, growth and development during which the country has taken great leaps forward in all fields, secured a distinguished stature abroad, and witnessed the laying of the foundations of the Kingdom’s political, economic and cultural standing, which consolidated its influential role in the global economy.
The Kingdom now has a solid economic base that places it among the 20 strongest economies in the world.
This nation continues to celebrate the national day with remarkable accomplishments. Saudi Arabia has taken huge strides, locally and globally, positioning itself high under its wise leadership. His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, announced :
Saudi Arabia has taken huge strides, locally and globally, positioning itself high under its wise leadership. This nation continues to celebrate its national day with new remarkable accomplishments every year, including His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, recent announcements of:
The Kingdom’s National Strategy for Industry, which aims to build an industrial economy that attracts investment and contributes to achieving economic diversification.
The masterplan for King Salman International Airport, which will boost Riyadh’s position as a global logistics hub, stimulate transport, trade and tourism, and act as a bridge linking the East with the West.
The National Intellectual Property Strategy.
The Events Investment Fund to support infrastructure developments in culture, tourism, entertainment, and sports sectors.
The new Murabba Development Company, which aims to develop the world’s largest modern downtown in Riyadh.
The four new Special Economic Zones in Saudi Arabia.
The Naming and further development of Al-Wahah and Salahiddine neighbourhoods as “King Salman Neighbourhood”.
The Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project upon completing the implementing procedures of the first stage.
The new strategy of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
The Master Plan for Logistics Centres to make the Kingdom a global logistics hub.
The Saudi Downtown Company (SDC), which aims to build and develop downtown areas and mixed-use destinations in 12 cities throughout Saudi Arabia.
The Global Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, which aims to position Saudi Arabia as a key link in the global supply chains.
The launch of Ceer, the first Saudi electric vehicle brand.
PIF’s establishment of five regional investment companies.
The accreditation of a development approach for the Darin and Tarout Island and future initiatives of the island.
The development of Sindalah, the first luxury island destination in NEOM.
The Diriyah Project as PIF’s fifth giga-project.
The establishment of “Riyadh Air,” the new national carrier.
The establishment of a Global Water Organization, to be headquartered in Riyadh.
The signing of an MoU to establish an economic corridor connecting India, the Middle East and Europe.
Saudi Arabia witnessed several events over the year, among which are the following:
Opening the Saudi Games 2022.
Signing several agreements and MoUs during the Saudi-Chinese Summit.
Hosting the 32nd regular session of the Arab League Council at the summit level in Saudi Arabia.
Hosting the GCC-Central Asia Summit in Saudi Arabia.
Participating in the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue.
Finalising the implementation of all humanitarian evacuations of 8,455 Saudis and foreign nationals of brotherly and friendly countries from the Republic of Sudan.
HRH Crown Prince strengthened the Kingdom’s presence on the global map by:
Heading the Saudi delegation to the G20 Leaders Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
Attending the Kingdom’s Official Reception for Riyadh’s bid to host World Expo 2030.
Heading the Kingdom’s delegation to Paris-Hosted Summit for a New Global Financing Pact.
Heading the Saudi delegation to the G20 Leaders Summit in India.
With regard to its international achievements:
Saudi Arabia ranked first in the e-government services maturity index for 2022.
Saudi Arabia was the world’s second fastest-growing tourism destination, data from the World Tourism Organization (WTO) revealed.
Saudi Arabia launched a scientific voyage to space from the International Space Station (ISS) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the United States.
Saudi Arabia ranked 17th globally in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2023.
Saudi Arabia won the presidency of the Aviation Security Committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
10:19 Local Time 07:19 GMT