By Jeremy Lawrence
Global companies mark the Kingdom's festivities by going green.
Google marked Saudi’s 23rd of September National Day, commemorating the country’s unification by King Abdul Aziz Al Saud in 1932, with a Doodle showcasing the kingdom’s “rich cultural heritage through the lens of national dress”.
In an accompanying description Google said: “The white ‘thobe’ and black ‘abaya’ symbolize everyday Saudi life. But venture out a bit further and you’ll find treasures and color galore...
“Ceremonial attire in Hijaz in Western Saudi Arabia is white. Women embellish their robes with gold thread (zari), splashes of color adorn the men’s headpieces and belts.”
The statement also explained the background to the traditional Saudi sword dance, which it said originates from Najd in central Saudi Arabia, and explained how people in the southern regions of Jizan and Asir complement their geometrically patterned robes with bright floral headpieces.
It finished by wishing Saudis a happy National Day.
Meanwhile, Shapchat had a range of National Day filters for its Saudi-based users to express their and patriotism.
Both moves could be seen as a reflection of the importance of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.-based firms. According to Statista, The Kingdom has 21.18 million smartphone users, over 65 percent of its population. In addition it has the highest watch time on the Google owned YouTube per capita globally.
Figures by Global Media Insight show that it had 4.41 million Snapchat users in 2016.