Riyadh

Riyadh (/rɪˈjɑːd/; Arabic: الرياض‎, translit. ar-Riyāḍ [ar.riˈjaːdˤ], Najdi pronunciation: [er.rɪˈjɑːðˤ]) is the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia, approximately 790 km (491 mi) North-east of Mecca. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the centre of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau and home to more than six million people.[2]

The city is divided into 15 municipal districts, managed by the Municipality of Riyadh headed by the mayor of Riyadh, and the Development Authority of Riyadh which is chaired by the governor of the Province, Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud. The current mayor is Ibrahim Mohammed Al-Sultan. Riyadh has been designated a global city.[3]

Riyadh

الرياض
Capital city
Counter-clockwise from top left: Riyadh at sunset, Masmak fort, King Fahd International Stadium, People and camels in the peripheral desert of Riyadh, Al Faisaliyah Center, Kingdom Centre, View of the center of Riyadh.
Counter-clockwise from top left:
Riyadh at sunset, Masmak fort, King Fahd International Stadium, People and camels in the peripheral desert of Riyadh, Al Faisaliyah Center, Kingdom Centre, View of the center of Riyadh.
Flag of Riyadh

Flag
Official seal of Riyadh

Seal
Riyadh is located in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh
Riyadh
Location of Riyadh within Saudi Arabia
Riyadh is located in Asia
Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh (Asia)
Coordinates: 24°38′N 46°43′E / 24.633°N 46.717°ECoordinates: 24°38′N 46°43′E / 24.633°N 46.717°E
Country Saudi Arabia
RegionRiyadh Region
Government
 • Riyadh Prince GovernorFaisal bin Bandar Al Saud
 • MayorIbrahim Mohammed Al-Sultan
Area
 • Total1,798 km2 (694 sq mi)
Elevation
612 m (2,008 ft)
Population
(2017)[1]
 • Total7,676,654
 • Density4,300/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (AST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (AST)
Postal Code
(5 digits)
Area code(s)+966-11
WebsiteHigh Commission for the Development of Riyadh Riyadh Municipality

History

Early history

During the Pre-Islamic era the city at the site of modern Riyadh was called Hajr (Arabic: حجر‎), and was reportedly founded by the tribe of Banu Hanifa.[4] Hajr served as the capital of the province of Al-Yamamah, whose governors were responsible for most of central and eastern Arabia during the Umayyad and Abbasid eras. Al-Yamamah broke away from the Abbasid Empire in 866 and the area fell under the rule of the Ukhaydhirites, who moved the capital from Hajr to nearby Al-Kharj. The city then went into a long period of decline. In the 14th century, North African traveler Ibn Battuta wrote of his visit to Hajr, describing it as "the main city of Al-Yamamah, and its name is Hajr". Ibn Battuta goes on to describe it as a city of canals and trees with most of its inhabitants belonging to the Bani Hanifa, and reports that he continued on with their leader to Mecca to perform the Hajj.

Later on, Hajr broke up into several separate settlements and estates. The most notable of these were Migrin (or Muqrin) and Mi'kal, though the name Hajr continued to appear in local folk poetry. The earliest known reference to the area by the name Riyadh comes from a 17th-century chronicler reporting on an event from the year 1590. In 1737, Deham ibn Dawwas, a refugee from neighboring Manfuha, took control of Riyadh.[5] Ibn Dawwas built a single wall to encircle the various oasis town in the area, making them effectively a single city. The name "Riyadh," meaning "gardens" refers to these earlier oasis towns.[6]

Third Saudi State

1922 map Riyadh by Philby
1922 map of Riyadh

In 1744, Muhammad ibn Abdel Wahhab formed an alliance with Muhammad ibn Saud, the ruler of the nearby town of Diriyah. Ibn Saud then set out to conquer the surrounding region with the goal of bringing it under the rule of a single Islamic state. Ibn Dawwas of Riyadh led the most determined resistance, allied with forces from Al Kharj, Al Ahsa, and the Banu Yam clan of Najran. However, Ibn Dawwas fled and Riyadh capitulated to the Saudis in 1774, ending long years of wars, and leading to the declaration of the First Saudi State, with Diriyah as its capital.[5]

The First Saudi State was destroyed by forces sent by Muhammad Ali of Egypt, acting on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman forces razed the Saudi capital Diriyah in 1818.[5] They had maintained a garrison at Najd. This marked the decline of the House of Saud for a short time.[7] Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad became the first Amir of the Second Saudi State; the cousin of Saud bin Saud, he ruled for 19 years till 1834, leading to the consolidation of the area though they were notionally under the control of the Muhammad Ali, the Viceroy of Egypt.[7] In 1823, Turki ibn Abdallah chose Riyadh as the new capital.[8] Following the assassination of Turki in 1834, his eldest son Faisal killed the assassin and took control, and refused to be controlled by the Viceroy of Egypt. Najd was then invaded and Faisal taken captive and held in Cairo. However, as Egypt became independent of the Ottoman Empire, Faisal escaped after five years of incarceration, returned to Najd and resumed his reign, ruled till 1865, and consolidated the reign of House of Saud.[7]

Following the death of Faisal, there was rivalry among his sons which situation was exploited by Muhammad bin Rashid who took most of Najd, signed a treaty with the Ottomans and also captured Hasa in 1871. In 1889, Abdul Rahman bin Faisal, the third son of Faisal again regained control over Najd and ruled till 1891, whereafter the control was regained by Muhammad bin Raschid.[7]

Internecine struggles between Turki's grandsons led to the fall of the Second Saudi State in 1891 at the hand of the rival Al Rashid clan, which ruled from the northern city of Ha'il. The al-Masmak fort dates from that period.[8]

Abdul Rahman bin Faisal al-Saud had sought refuge among a tribal community on the outskirts of Najd and then went to Kuwait with his family and stayed in exile. However, his son Abdul Aziz retrieved his ancestral kingdom of Najd in 1902 and consolidated his rule by 1926, and further expanded his kingdom to cover "most of the Arabian Peninsula."[9] He named his kingdom as Saudi Arabia in September 1932[9] with Riyadh as the capital.[10] King Abdul Aziz died in 1953 and his son Saud took control as per the established succession rule of father to son from the time Muhammad bin Saud had established the Saud rule in 1744. However, this established line of succession was broken when King Saud was succeeded by his brother King Faisal in 1964. In 1975, Faisal was succeeded by his brother King Khalid. In 1982, King Fahd took the reins from his brother. This new line of succession is among the sons of King Abdul Aziz who has 35 sons; this large family of Ibn Saud hold all key positions in the large kingdom.[9]

Modern history

From the 1940s, Riyadh "mushroomed" from a relatively narrow, spatially isolated town into a spacious metropolis.[11] When King Shah Saud came to power, he made it his objective to modernize Riyadh, and began developing Annasriyyah, the royal residential district, in 1950.[11] Following the example of American cities, new settlements and entire neighbourhoods were created in grid-like squares of a chess board and connected by high-performance main roads to the inner areas. The grid pattern in the city was introduced in 1953.[11] The population growth of the town from 1974-1992 averaged 8.2 percent per year.

Since the 1990s, there has been a series of terrorist attacks on locals and foreigners as well as protests against the royal family. On 13 November 1995, a car bomb which detonated outside a classroom building of the Saudi National Guard left six dead, and injured over 60 people.[12][13] On 12 May 2003, 34 people died in a series of suicide attacks targeting American civilians. On 8 November 2003, a suicide truck bomb attack in the Muhiya residential area with Saudis and Arab foreigners was responsible for killing 18 and injuring 122 people.[14] Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks.[14] On 23 June 2006, Saudi security forces stormed a suspected hideout of al-Qaeda in the neighborhood of al-Nakhil; a bloody battle ensued during which six extremists and a policeman were killed.[15][16] The current mayor of Riyadh is Ibrahim Mohammed Al Sultan, an experienced transport official. He was appointed mayor in 2015.[17]

Riyadh has the largest all-female university in the world, the Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University.[18]

Riyadh is now the administrative and to a great extent the commercial hub of the Kingdom. According to the Saudi Real Estate Companion, most large companies in the country establish either sole headquarters or a large office in the city.[19] For this reason, there has been a significant growth in high rise developments in all areas of the city. Most notable among these is King Abdullah Financial District which is fast becoming the key business hub in the city.[20]

According to the Global Financial Centres Index, Riyadh ranked at 77 in 2016-2017. Though the rank moved up to 69 in 2018, diversification in the economy of the capital is required in order to avoid what the World Bank called a "looming poverty crisis" brought on by lingering low oil prices and rich state benefits.[21]

Since 2017, Riyadh has been the target of missiles from Yemen.[22] In March 2018, one person died as a result of a missile attack.[23] The number of missiles which targeted Riyadh are a small portion of the dozens of missiles fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia due to the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[24] In April 2018, heavy gunfire was heard in Khozama;[25] this led to rumors of a coup attempt.[26]

Panoramic night view of Riyadh from Kingdom Centre

Geography

Climate

Classified as having a hot desert climate (Köppen: BWh), temperatures during the summer months are extremely hot. The average high temperature in August is 43.6 °C. Winters are warm with cool, windy nights. The overall climate is arid, and the city experiences very little rainfall, especially in summer, but receives a fair amount of rain in March and April. It is also known to have dust storms during which the dust can be so thick that visibility is under 10 m (33 ft). On 1 and 2 April 2015, a massive dust storm hit Riyadh, causing suspension of classes in many schools in the area and cancellation of hundreds of flights, both domestic and international.

City districts

Riyadh Saudi Arabia 10Mar2018 SkySat
Satellite image of Riyadh
KING FAHD ROAD FEB1
King Fahad Road

Riyadh is divided into fourteen branch municipalities,[28] in addition to the Diplomatic Quarter. Each branch municipality in turn contains several districts, amounting to over 130 in total, though some districts are divided between more than one branch municipality. The branch municipalities are Al-Shemaysi, Irqah, Al-Ma'athar, Al-Olayya, Al-Aziziyya, Al-Malaz, Al-Selayy, Nemar, Al-Neseem, Al-Shifa, Al-'Urayja, Al-Bat'ha, Al-Ha'ir, Al-Rawdha, and Al-Shimal ("the North"). Olaya District is the commercial heart of the city,[29] with accommodation, entertainment, dining and shopping options. The Kingdom Centre, Al Faisalyah and Al-Tahlya Street are the area's most prominent landmarks. The centre of the city, Al-Bathaa and Al-Deerah, is also its oldest part.

Some of the main districts of Riyadh are:

  • Al-Bat'ha[30]
    • Al-Deerah (old Riyadh)
    • Mi'kal
    • Manfuha
    • Manfuha Al-Jadidah (منفوحة الجديدة – "new Manfuha")
    • Al-'Oud
    • Al-Mansorah
    • Al-Margab
    • Salam
    • Jabrah
    • Al-Yamamah
    • 'Otayyigah
  • Al-'Olayya & Sulaymaniyyah[31]
    • Al-'Olayya
    • Al-Sulaymaniyyah
    • Al Izdihar
    • King Fahd District
    • Al-Masif
    • Al-Murooj
    • Al-Mugharrazat
    • Al-Wurood
  • Nemar[30]
    • Nemar
    • Dharat Nemar
    • Tuwaiq
    • Hazm
    • Deerab
  • Irqah[28]
  • Diplomatic Quarter
  • Al-Shemaysi[32]
    • Al-Shemaysi
    • Eleyshah
    • Syah
    • Al-Nasriyyah
    • Umm Sleym
    • Al-Ma'athar
    • Umm Al-Hamam (East)
  • Al-Ma'athar[33]
    • Al-Olayya
    • Al-Nakheel
    • King Saud University main campus
    • Umm Al-Hamam (East)
    • Umm Al-Hamam (West)
    • Al-Ma'athar Al-Shimali ("North Ma'athar")
    • Al-Rahmaniyya
    • Al-Muhammadiyya
    • Al-Ra'id
  • Al-Ha'ir[28]
    • Al-Ha'ir
    • Al-Ghannamiyyah
    • Uraydh
  • Al-'Aziziyyah[34]
    • Ad Dar Al Baida
    • Taybah
    • Al Mansouriyah
  • Al-Malaz[35]
    • Al-Malaz
    • Al-Rabwah
    • Al-Rayyan
    • Jarir
    • Al-Murabba'
  • Al-Shifa[36]
    • Al-Masani'
    • Al-Shifa
    • Al-Mansuriyya
    • Al-Marwah
  • Al-Urayja[37]
    • Al-Urayja
    • Al-Urayja Al-Wusta ("Mid-Urayja")
    • Al-Urayja (West)
    • Shubra
    • Dharat Laban
    • Hijrat Laban
    • As-Suwaidi
    • As-Suwaidi (West)
    • Al-Badi'a
    • Dahrat Al-Badi'a
    • Sultanah
  • Al-Shemal[38]
  • Al-Naseem[39]
    • Al-Naseem (East)
    • Al-Naseem (West)
    • As-Salam
    • Al-Manar
    • Al-Rimayah
    • Al-Nadheem
  • Al-Rawdhah[28]
    • Al-Rawdhah
    • Al-Qadisiyah
    • Al-M'aizliyyah
    • Al-Nahdhah
    • Gharnatah (Granada)
    • Qortubah (Cordoba)
    • Al-Hamra
    • Al-Qouds
  • Al-Selayy[40]
    • Al-Selayy
    • Ad Difa'
    • Al Iskan
    • Khashm Al-'Aan
    • Al-Sa'adah
    • Al-Fayha
    • Al-Manakh
  • King Abdullah Financial District

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1918 18,000—    
1924 30,000+66.7%
1944 50,000+66.7%
1952 80,000+60.0%
1960 150,000+87.5%
1972 500,000+233.3%
1978 760,000+52.0%
1987 1,389,000+82.8%
1992 2,776,000+99.9%
1997 3,100,000+11.7%
2009 4,873,723+57.2%
2013 5,899,528+21.0%
2016 6,506,700+10.3%
2017 7,676,654+18.0%
Source: Census data

The city had a population of 40,000 inhabitants in 1935 and 83,000 in 1949.[41] The city has experienced very high rates of population growth, from 150,000 inhabitants in the 1960s to over 5 million, according to the most recent sources. According to 2010 census, the population of Riyadh was composed of 65% Saudi families while non-Saudi families accounted for 35% of the population.[42]

Landmarks and architecture

Vernacular architecture of Old Riyadh

The old town of Riyadh within the city walls did not exceed an area of 1 km2, and therefore very few significant architectural remnants of the original walled oasis town of Riyadh exist today. The most prominent is the Masmak fort and some parts of the original wall structure with its gate which have been restored and reconstructed. There are also a number of traditional mud-brick houses within these old limits, but they are for the most part dilapidated.

Expansion outside the city walls was slow to begin with, although there were some smaller oases and settlements surrounding Riyadh. The first major construction beyond the walls was King Abdulaziz's Murabba Palace. It was constructed in 1936, completed in 1938, and a household of 800 people moved into it in 1938. The palace is now part of a bigger complex called The King Abdulaziz Historical Centre.

There are other traditional villages and towns in the area around traditional Riyadh which the urban sprawl reached and currently encompasses. These include Diriyah, Manfuha and Wadi Laban. Unlike in the early days of development in Riyadh during which vernacular structures were razed to the ground without consideration, there is a new-found appreciation for traditional architecture. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage is making efforts for revitalizing the historic architecture in Riyadh and other parts of the kingdom.[43]

Archaeological sites

The archeological sites at Riyadh which are of historical importance, in which the Municipality of Riyadh is involved, are the five old gates on the old walls of Riyadh. These are the eastern gate of Thumaira, the northern gate of Al-Suwailen, the southern gate of Dukhna, the western gate of Al-Madhbah and the south-western gate of Shumaisi. There are also four historic palaces, which are the Musmak Palace, the Al-Murabba Palace (palace of King Abdul Aziz), Prince Muhammad bin Abdul-Rahman and the Shamsiya Palace.[44]

Masmak castle
Masmak Fortress

Masmak Fortress

This fortress was built around 1865 under the reign of Mohammed ibn Abdullah ibn Rasheed (1289-1315 AH), the ruler of Ha'il to the north, who had wrested control of the city from the rival clan of Al Saud. In January 1902 Ibn Saud, who was at the time living in exile in Kuwait, succeeded in capturing the Masmak fortress from its Rashid garrison. The event, which restored Saudi control over Riyadh, has acquired almost mythical status in the history of Saudi Arabia. The story of the event is often retold, and has as its central theme the heroism and bravery of the King Abd Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. The Masmak Fortress is now a museum and is in close proximity to the Clock Tower Square, also known to English-speaking residents as Chop Chop Square, referring to the capital punishment that takes place there.

Contemporary architecture

Kingdom Tower

The tower is built on 94,230 square metres of land. The Kingdom Centre is owned by a group of companies including Kingdom Holding Company, headed by Al-Waleed bin Talal, a prince of the Saudi royal family, and is the headquarters of the holding company. The project cost 2 billion Saudi Arabian Riyals and the contract was undertaken by El-Seif. The Kingdom Centre is the winner of the 2002 Emporis Skyscraper Award, selected as the "best new skyscraper of the year for design and functionality". A three-level shopping centre, which also won a major design award, fills the east wing. The large opening is illuminated at night in continuously changing colours. The shopping centre has a separate floor for women only to shop where men are not allowed to enter.

The Kingdom Tower has 99 stories and is the third tallest structure in the country (behind Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca and Burj Rafal in Riyadh), rising to 300 m. A special aspect of the tower is that it is divided into two parts in the last one third of its height and is linked by a sky-bridge walkway, which provides stunning views of Riyadh.[45]

Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski

Burj Rafal, located on King Fahad Road, is the tallest skyscraper in Riyadh at 307.9 meters (1,010 feet) tall. The tower was designed and engineered by P & T Group. Construction began in 2010 and was completed 2014. The project was considered a success, with 70% of the residential units already sold by the time the skyscraper was topped out. The tower currently contains 474 residential condominium units and a 349-room 5-star Kempinski hotel.[46]

Burj Al Faisaliyah

Al Faisaliyah Center
Al Faisaliyah Centre

Al Faisaliyah Centre (Arabic: برج الفيصلية) is the first skyscraper constructed in Saudi Arabia, and is the third tallest building in Riyadh after the Burj Rafal and the Kingdom Centre. The golden ball that lies atop the tower is said to be inspired by a ballpoint pen, and contains a restaurant; immediately below this is an outside viewing deck. There is a shopping centre with major world brands at ground level. Al Faisaliyah Centre also has a hotel at both sides of the tower while the main building is occupied by offices run by different companies. The Al Faisaliyah Tower has 44 stories.[45]

Riyadh TV Tower

The Riyadh TV Tower is a 170 meter high television tower located inside the premises of the Saudi Ministry of Information. It is a vertical cantilever structure which was built between 1978–81. The first movie made in 1983 by the TV tower group and named "1,000 Nights and Night" had Mohammed Abdu and Talal Mmdah as the main characters. At that time, there were no women on TV because of religious restrictions. Three years later, Abdul Khaliq Al-Ghanim produced a TV series called "Tash Ma Tash," which earned a good reaction from audiences in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. This series created a media revolution back in the 1980s.[47]

Museums and collections

In 1999, a new central museum was built in Riyadh, at the eastern side of the King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre. The National Museum of Saudi Arabia combined several collections and pieces that had up until then been scattered over several institutions and other places in Riyadh and the Kingdom. For example, the meteorite fragment known as the "Camel's Hump", recovered in 1966 from the Wabar site, that was on display at the King Saud University in Riyadh became the new entry piece of the National Museum of Saudi Arabia.

The Royal Saudi Air Force Museum, or Saqr Al-Jazira, is located on the East Ring Road of Riyadh between exits 10 and 11. It contains a collection of aircraft and aviation-related items used by the Royal Saudi Air Force and Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines).

Sports

King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 2014
King Fahd International Stadium

Football is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia. The city hosts four major football clubs, Al Hilal was established in 1957 and has won 15 championships in the Saudi Premier League.[48] Al-Nasr club is another team in the top league that has many supporters around the kingdom. It was established in 1955, and has been named champion of the Saudi League 7[49] times. Another well-known club, Al-Shabab, was established in 1947 and holds 6 championships. There is also Al-Riyadh Club, which was established in 1954, as well as many other minor clubs.[50]

The city also has several large stadiums such as King Fahd International Stadium with a seating capacity of 70,000.[50] The stadium hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup three times, in the years 1992, 1995 and 1997. It also hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1989,[50] and Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium (Al-Malaz Stadium) that is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium has a capacity of 22,500 people.

The city's GPYW Indoor Stadium served as host arena for the 1997 Asian Basketball Championship, where Saudi Arabia's national basketball team reached the Final Four.

Transportation

Airport

SV ERJ-170 at RUH (3004177752)
Saudi Arabian Airlines ERJ-170 at Riyadh King Khalid International Airport

Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport (KKIA), located 35 kilometers north from the city centre, is the city's main airport, and serves over 17 million passengers a year.[51] Plans are being made to expand the airport to accommodate 35 million passengers, given that the airport was only built for 12 million passengers annually.[51] A possible new airport is on the table. It is one of the largest airports in the world.

Roads

The city is served by a modern major highway system. The main Eastern Ring Road connects the city's south and north, while the Northern Ring Road connects the city's east and west. King Fahd Road runs through the centre of the city from north to south,[52] in parallel with the East Ring Road. Makkah Road, which runs east-west across the city's centre, connects eastern parts of the city with the city's main business district and the diplomatic quarters.

Railways and metro

Saudi Railways Organization operates two separate passenger and cargo lines between Riyadh and Dammam, passing through Hofuf and Haradh. Two future railway projects, connecting Riyadh with Jeddah and Mecca in the western region, and connecting Riyadh with Buraidah, Ha'il and Northern Saudi Arabia are underway.[53] A metro has also been approved, with six lines planned with a scheduled opening in 2019.[54]

Buses

The metro system will be integrated with an 85 kilometres (53 mi), three-line bus rapid transit (BRT) network.[55]

The main charter bus company in the kingdom, known as the Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO), offers trips both within the kingdom and to its neighboring countries, including Egypt (via ferries from Safaga or Nuweiba) and Arab states of the Arabian Gulf.[56]

Media

The 170 m (560 ft) Riyadh TV Tower, operated by the Ministry of Information, was built between 1978 and 1981. National Saudi television channels Saudi TV1, Saudi TV2, Saudi TV Sports, Al-Ekhbariya, ART channels network operate from here.[57] Television broadcasts are mainly in Arabic, although some radio broadcasts are in English or French. Arabic is the main language used in television and radio but radio broadcasts are also made in different languages such as Urdu, French, or English. Riyadh has four Arabic newspapers; Asharq Al-Awsat (which is owned by the city governor), Al Riyadh, Al Jazirah and Al-Watan, two English language newspapers; Saudi Gazette and Arab News, and one Malayalam language newspaper, Gulf Madhyamam.[57]

Development Projects

In 2019, King Salman launched a plan to implement 1281[58] development projects in Riyadh. The project is planned to cost around 22 billion USD.[59] The main goal of the plan is to improve the infrastructure, transportation, environment and other facilities in Riyadh and the surrounding area.[60] In the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, the plan will take care of constructing 15 housing units, building a huge museum, establishing an environmental project, sport areas, medical cities, educational facilities and others.[61] This includes the establishment of 14 electricity projects, 20 sewage projects, 10 housing areas, 66 trading and industrial areas, a number of lakes covering 315,000 square meters and well-advanced sport cities.[62]

See also

References

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Bibliography

External links

2017 Riyadh summit

The 2017 Riyadh summit (Arabic: قمة الرياض 2017‎) was a series of three summits held on 20–21 May 2017 on the occasion of the visit of United States President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia, his first trip overseas. The summit included one bilateral meeting, between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and two multilateral meetings, one between the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the other with Arab and Muslim countries. Leaders and representatives of 55 Arab and Muslim countries were in attendance.

Al-Hilal FC

Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club is a Saudi Arabian professional multi-sports club based in Riyadh. The football team plays in the Saudi Professional League.

Founded on 16 October 1957, it is one of four teams to have participated in all seasons of the Saudi Professional League since its establishment in 1976. Overall, they have won 58 official titles on the national and international stage, more than any other Saudi club. In domestic competitions, they have won 45 trophies: a record 15 Professional League titles, a record 13 Crown Prince Cup titles, a record 7 Federation Cup titles, 8 King Cup titles, 2 Super Cup title, and the title winner of Saudi Founder's Cup (a centennial football tournament held every 100 years).

Internationally, Al-Hilal have a record 6 Asian Football Confederation trophies – the AFC Champions League in 1991 and 2000, the Asian Cup Winners Cup in 1997 and 2002, and the Asian Super Cup in 1997, 2000. In September 2009, Al-Hilal was awarded Best Asian Club of the 20th Century by the IFFHS.

Al-Kharj

Al Kharj (Arabic: الخرج‎), also known locally as Al Saih (Arabic: السيح‎), is a city in Al Kharj Governorate in central Saudi Arabia. Al Kharj is 77 km south of Riyadh.

It is connected by rail to both Riyadh and Dammam. The city's main landmarks includes the historical water wells, and King Abdulaziz Palace and Mosque.

Al-Riyadh SC

Al-Riyadh (Arabic: نادي الرياض السعودي‎) is a Saudi Arabian football team. It was established in 1953 as Ahli Al-Riyadh, then changed to Al-Yamamah and finally to Al-Riyadh. The club is based in Riyadh and currently playing in the Saudi Second Division (third level).

Although it is best known for its football team, Al-Riyadh also have squads playing at other sports.

They won two major titles, including a Crown Prince Cup in 1994 (also 2nd at Saudi Premier League) and a Prince Faisal bin Fahad Cup in 1995.

Al-Shabab FC (Riyadh)

Al-Shabab FC (Arabic: نادي الشباب‎) is a Saudi Arabian professional football club based in Riyadh. It was founded in 1947, and was named at first Shabab Al Riyadh, but later in 1967 was named Al Shabab. Al Shabab club has produced prominent players such as Saeed Al-Owairan who scored the crucial goal for Saudi Arabia against Belgium in the 1994 World Cup. Also Fuad Amin, who scored Saudi Arabia's first World Cup goal against Netherlands. Al Shabab is also known for selling many players to other Saudi clubs, as Reda Tukar (Ittihad) and Abdulaziz AlKhatran (Al-Hilal).

Capital Market Authority Headquarters

Capital Market Authority Tower is a 385 m (1,263 ft) skyscraper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Construction started in 2010 and was topped-out in 2014. It became the tallest building in Riyadh, surpassing the Kingdom Centre and Burj Rafal.

Diriyah

Diriyah (Arabic: الدرعية‎), formerly romanized as Dereyeh and Dariyya, is a town in Saudi Arabia located on the north-western outskirts of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Diriyah was the original home of the Saudi royal family, and served as the capital of the Emirate of Diriyah under the first Saudi dynasty from 1744 to 1818. Today, the town is the seat of the Diriyah Governorate, which also includes the villages of Uyayna, Jubayla, and Al-Ammariyyah, among others, and is part of Ar Riyad Province.

The Turaif district, the first capital of Saudis, in Diriyah was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

Emirate of Nejd

The Emirate of Nejd was the second Saudi state, existing between 1824 and 1891 in Nejd, the regions of Riyadh and Ha'il of what is now Saudi Arabia. Saudi rule was restored to central and eastern Arabia after the Emirate of Diriyah, the First Saudi State, having previously been brought down by the Ottoman Empire's Egypt Eyalet in the Ottoman–Wahhabi War (1811–1818).

The second Saudi period was marked by less territorial expansion and less religious zeal, although the Saudi leaders continued to be called Imam and still employed Wahhabist religious scholars. Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad's reconquest of Riyadh from Egyptian forces in 1824 is generally regarded as the beginning of the Second Saudi State. Severe internal conflicts within the House of Saud eventually led to the dynasty's downfall at the Battle of Mulayda in 1891, between the forces loyal to the last Saudi imam, Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki, and the Rashidi dynasty of Ha'il.

King Fahd International Stadium

The King Fahd International Stadium (Arabic: استاد الملك فهد الدولي‎), also nicknamed "Pearl of Stadiums" (درة الملاعب Durrat al-Mala'eb) or simply "the Pearl" (الدرة Addurra), is a multi-purpose stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is currently used mostly for football matches and it also has athletics facilities.

King Khalid International Airport

King Khalid International Airport (Arabic: مطار الملك خالد الدولي‎ Maṭār al-Malik Khālid al-Duwaliyy, IATA: RUH, ICAO: OERK) is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, designed by the architectural firm HOK, and Arabian Bechtel Company Limited served as the construction manager on behalf of the Saudi government.

This airport consists of five passenger terminals (only three of which are in use), with eight aero-bridges each, a mosque, covered and uncovered car parking for 11,600 vehicles, an additional Royal Terminal (for the kingdom's guests, government heads, and Saudi royal family use), a central control tower (one of the world's tallest), and two parallel runways, which are each 4,260 metres (13,980 ft) long. The land area allocated for this airport is among the largest (second-largest, after King Fahd International Airport) in the world.This airport was an alternative landing site for NASA's Space Shuttle.

King Saud University

King Saud University (KSU, Arabic: جامعة الملك سعود‎) is a public university in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, founded in 1957 by King Saud bin Abdulaziz as Riyadh University, as the first university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The university was created to meet the shortage of skilled workers in Saudi Arabia. It was renamed King Saud University in 1982.The student body of KSU today consists of 40,000 male and female students, 7% of which are international. The female students have their own disciplinary panel, and there is a center supervising the progress of female students, either personally by female faculty members or by male faculty members via a closed television network. The university offers courses in the natural sciences, the humanities, and professional studies, and many courses are tuition-free. The medium of instruction in undergraduate programs is English and Arabic depending on the chosen major. Among Arab universities, its medical programs are highly regarded.

Kingdom Centre

Kingdom Centre (Arabic: مركز المملكة‎) is a 41-storey, 302.3 m (992 ft) skyscraper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the fifth-tallest skyscraper in the country, whose tallest two buildings are the Abraj Al Bait Towers and the Capital Market Authority Tower. It is the world's third-tallest building with a hole after the Shanghai World Financial Center and the 85 Sky Tower in Taiwan.

It was developed by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and designed by architects Ellerbe Becket and Omrania in joint venture. When completed in 2002, it overtook the Faisaliyah Tower, which – at 267 metres – was the tallest tower in Riyadh at that time.

Besides the shopping mall, Kingdom Tower contains the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and apartments. There is a 65m skybridge atop the skyscraper.The building is situated on a 100,000–square metre site, with parking for 3,000 vehicles. The building structure consists of two systems: reinforced concrete columns, beams and core for the first 180 meters, and a steel frame structure for the building‘s remaining height. The foundation is a four-meter-thick, 3,100-square-meter raft foundation.The upper third of the tower features an inverted parabolic arch. The building uses butt jointed glazing, combined with the lack of both distinguished floor lines and other tall buildings around it. The lower two thirds were constructed with a reinforced concrete frame while the top third has a tubular steel frame.The Sky Bridge sits atop the tower. It is a 300-ton steel structure, taking the form of an enclosed corridor with windows on both sides. After paying the admission fees, visitors take two elevators to reach that level.

List of companies of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab state in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. The country's command economy is petroleum-based but slowly diversifying; in 2017 58% of budget revenues and 85% of export earnings came from the oil industry. The country plans to reduce oil-based revenues to 42% by 2023. A considerable proportion of Saudi companies are owned by families, including the royal family.

Public companies are listed on the Tadawul. For further information on the types of business entities in this country and their abbreviations, see "Business entities in Saudi Arabia".

List of tallest buildings in Saudi Arabia

This list of tallest buildings in Saudi Arabia ranks the tallest buildings in Saudi Arabia by height.

The tallest building in Riyadh is the 485 meter super-tall skyscraper Capital Market Authority Tower. It is located in the new Skycraper hub, King Abdullah Financial District and is the 20th tallest Tower in the world.

The skyline of Riyadh extended with the 310 metre tall Faisaliyah Tower which was completed in 2000. The Kingdom Centre built in 2002 overtook Faisaliyah Tower and now stands as the 4th tallest Tower in Riyadh at 312 meters.

Riyadh is now the 3rd city in the Middle East after Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A total of 100 skyscrapers have been constructed since 2014 in the city.

The city is expected to reach on the Top 3 list of Skylines by the year 2020.

List of universities and colleges in Saudi Arabia

This is the list of universities, colleges and institutes in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh Metro

The Riyadh Metro (Arabic: قطار الرياض‎ Giṭār Ar-riyāḍ, pronounced [gɪˈtˤaːr ərːɪˈjaːðˤ]) is a rapid transit system under construction in the city of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. It will consist of six metro lines spanning a total length of 176 kilometers, with 85 stations. The project will cost $22.5 billion to build. It is scheduled for a light opening in 2019, and the full network is expected to be fully operational in 2021.

Riyadh Region

The Riyadh Region (Arabic: منطقة الرياض‎ Manṭiqat ar-Riyāḍ) is a region (mintaqah) of Saudi Arabia, also called Al-Wosta, located in the center of the country. It has an area of 404,240 km² and a population of 8,216,284 (2017), making it the second-largest province in terms of both area (behind the Eastern Region) and population (behind Makkah Region). Its capital is the city of Riyadh, which is also the national capital. More than 75% of the population of the province resides within Riyadh. According to the 2004 census, 1,728,840 of the province's population is non-Saudi (approximately 31%), with 1,444,500 of those living within the provincial capital, Riyadh.

Salman of Saudi Arabia

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: سلمان بن عبد العزیز آل سعود‎ Salmān ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Su‘ūd, Najdi Arabic pronunciation: [sælˈmæːn ben ˈʢæbd ælʢæˈziːz ʔæːl sæˈʢuːd]; born 31 December 1935) has been King of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques since 23 January 2015.

He was the Deputy Governor of Riyadh and later the Governor of Riyadh for 48 years from 1963 to 2011. He was then appointed Minister of Defense. He was also named the Crown Prince in 2012 following the death of his brother Nayef bin Abdulaziz. Salman became the new King of Saudi Arabia on 23 January 2015 following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

His major initiatives as King include the Saudi intervention in the Yemeni Civil War, Saudi Vision 2030, and a 2017 decree allowing Saudi women to drive. His son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is a powerful figure within Saudi Arabia and has led many reforms within the country.

Climate data for Riyadh (1985-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.5
(88.7)
34.8
(94.6)
38.0
(100.4)
42.0
(107.6)
45.1
(113.2)
47.2
(117.0)
48.0
(118.4)
47.8
(118.0)
45.0
(113.0)
41.0
(105.8)
38.0
(100.4)
31.0
(87.8)
48.0
(118.4)
Average high °C (°F) 20.2
(68.4)
23.4
(74.1)
27.7
(81.9)
33.4
(92.1)
39.4
(102.9)
42.5
(108.5)
43.5
(110.3)
43.6
(110.5)
40.4
(104.7)
35.3
(95.5)
27.8
(82.0)
22.2
(72.0)
33.3
(91.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.4
(57.9)
17.3
(63.1)
21.4
(70.5)
26.9
(80.4)
32.9
(91.2)
35.7
(96.3)
36.8
(98.2)
36.7
(98.1)
33.5
(92.3)
28.4
(83.1)
21.5
(70.7)
16.3
(61.3)
26.8
(80.3)
Average low °C (°F) 9.0
(48.2)
11.2
(52.2)
15.2
(59.4)
20.4
(68.7)
25.9
(78.6)
28.0
(82.4)
29.3
(84.7)
29.2
(84.6)
25.9
(78.6)
21.2
(70.2)
15.5
(59.9)
10.6
(51.1)
20.1
(68.2)
Record low °C (°F) −2.2
(28.0)
0.5
(32.9)
4.5
(40.1)
11.0
(51.8)
18.0
(64.4)
16.0
(60.8)
23.6
(74.5)
22.7
(72.9)
16.1
(61.0)
14.0
(57.2)
7.0
(44.6)
1.4
(34.5)
−2.2
(28.0)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 12.5
(0.49)
8.0
(0.31)
24.0
(0.94)
28.0
(1.10)
4.9
(0.19)
3.0
(0.12)
3.7
(0.15)
4.0
(0.16)
0.1
(0.00)
0.2
(0.01)
0.9
(0.04)
14.6
(0.57)
103.9
(4.08)
Average rainy days 6.1 4.3 9.4 11.3 3.3 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.0 0.5 3.3 6.3 44.8
Average relative humidity (%) 47 36 32 28 17 11 10 12 14 20 36 47 26
Mean monthly sunshine hours 212.4 226.6 219.8 242.3 287.7 328.2 332.1 309.2 271.6 311.4 269.2 214.3 3,224.8
Percent possible sunshine 63 71 59 63 70 80 80 77 74 87 82 65 72
Source: "Jeddah Regional Climate Centre South West Asia".[27]
Riyadh
History
Landmarks
Education
Football clubs
1,000,000 and more
300,000-999,999
<300,000
Capitals of Arab countries
Capitals of Asia

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