Saudi Arabia has announced that it is renouncing red for its dignitary visits – and opting for purple carpets instead. The decision was announced by the Ministry of Culture, which connected the change in ceremonial procedure to the violet-coloured plants currently in bloom across the Asir region in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom said the decision to choose lavender as the new colour for ceremonial carpets better reflects Saudi national identity and the hospitality of the kingdom. The Kingdom further said that lavender is associated with Saudi generosity and hospitality. The pleasant change for ceremonial welcome is one of the many initiatives announced as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Lavender covers large areas of the country’s desert landscape in spring and the purple hue of the flower has been associated with royalty.


Prime Minister Imran Khan walked the lavender carpet when he arrived in Saudi Arabia and was received by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

At the Oscars this year, the Academy too, rolled out a pink carpet instead of red for its guests. It’s a shade that is said to flatter the A-listers. A secret colour, one whose precise specifications the show’s organisers won’t reveal for fear of copycats.