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Saudi Arabia shuns 'Red Carpet' for 'Lavender' to welcome guests

Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the first foreign ruler for whom the “Lavender Carpet” was rolled out

Friday May 7, 2021 6:46 PM, Zuhair M Safwan, ummid.com

Lavender Carpet Welcome

Jeddah: Deviating from decades-old tradition of rolling out a “Red Carpet” for heads of states visiting the Kingdom, Saudi Arabia chose “Lavender” to welcome Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince and de facto ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces when he arrived in Jeddah on Wednesday.

The pleasant change for ceremonial welcome is one of the many initiatives announced as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

The Kingdom said the decision to choose lavender as the new colour for ceremonial carpets better reflects the Saudi national identity and the hospitality of the kingdom.

The Kingdom further said that lavender is associated with Saudi generosity and hospitality.

Lavender Carpet Welcome Saudi

Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the first foreign ruler for whom the “Lavender Carpet” was rolled out when he landed in Jeddah on Tuesday.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was personally present to receive “his brother Emir” Mohammed bin Zayed.

The next foreign head for whom the ceremonial carpet in the new colour will be rolled out will possible be Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, who is expected to arrive in the Kingdom today evening.

Ahead of Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit to Saudi Arabia, its Cultural Ministry released a series of videos, banners, images and leaflets to highlight the major change in Saudi Royal Protocol.

“The reception ceremony carpets, with its new identity, proudly paint the identity and the growing renewal of the Kingdom Under an inspiring #Vision2030”, the Kingdom’s Cultural Ministry said in one of such post on Twitter.

Lavendar covers swathes of the country's desert landscape in spring, while the purple hue of the flower has been associated with royalty.

"The colour purple reflects the state in which the kingdom is living in today with the inspiring [Vision 2030]," a culture ministry statement said.

As for the Red Carpet Welcome, The first written record appears in an Ancient Greek play - the Agamemnon by Aeschylus, the famous playwright of Greece -- dated 458 BC.

The first well documented use of red carpet in modern times comes from the US where in 1821, a red carpet was laid for the then President James Monroe to welcome him ashore from a riverboat in South Carolina.

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