Market Trends

Saudi Arabia Cities: A Guide to the Kingdom’s Urban Centers

Saudi Arabia is a country in the Middle East with a population of over 34 million. It is known for its vast oil reserves and its Islamic heritage. Saudi Arabia is also home to many cities with unique history and cultures.

Table of Contents

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has 13 provinces and 286 municipalities. The capital city, Riyadh, has over 4.2 million people. Other major cities in Saudi Arabia include Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Dammam, and Taif. Each town has its distinct character, combining traditional and modern architecture, bustling markets, and cultural landmarks.

Saudi Arabia is an Arab country with a rich history and culture. Its cities reflect the country’s diversity and offer visitors a glimpse into its past and present. Each town has something unique to offer, from the holy city of Mecca to the modern metropolis of Riyadh. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or modern amenities, Saudi Arabia’s cities will surely leave a lasting impression.

Geography and Climate

Major Regions

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia encompasses most of the Arabian Peninsula. Its borders are as follows: to the west is the Red Sea; to the south are Yemen and Oman; to the east is the Persian Gulf; to the northeast are Qatar and the United Arab Emirates; and to the north are Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait.. The country is divided into 13 provinces, each with its own capital city.

Saudi Arabia’s geography is dominated by deserts, including the famous Rub’ al Khali, or Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert in the world. The country also has mountains, including the Hijaz Mountains in the west and the Sarawat Mountains in the southwest. The eastern province of Saudi Arabia contains the world’s largest oil reserves, and the country’s oil industry plays a significant role in its economy.

Climate Variations

Saudi Arabia’s climate is hot and dry, with summertime highs of up to 50°C (122°F). The country has three main climatic zones: desert, steppe, and a small area of humid and mild temperature in the highlands.

The desert zone covers the entire country except the western highlands and the coastal areas along the Red Sea. The steppe zone is located along the west of the highlands and is characterized by a strip of land less than 100 miles wide in the north but almost 300 miles wide at the latitude of Mecca. The highlands in the country’s geographic heartland, known as Najd, experience a mild and humid climate with long summers.

The country generally experiences very little rainfall, most occurring during the winter. The coastal areas along the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden experience slightly more rainfall than the rest of the country, but it is still relatively low.

Saudi Arabia has a rich history and culture, with numerous historic places and landmarks to explore despite the country’s harsh environment. Its cities feature a distinctive fusion of modern and traditional building styles, and visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and camel riding.

Saudi Arabia Cities

Demographics and Population

Population Statistics

In terms of population, Saudi Arabia ranks fourth in the Arab world, with 32,175,224 as of 2022.. The country has a diverse population, with people from various ethnicities and nationalities residing in its cities. Saudi Arabia has four cities with over a million people, 20 cities between 100,000 and 1 million people, and 45 cities between 10,000 and 100,000 people. The largest city in Saudi Arabia is Riyadh, with a population of 4,205,961 people.

Saudi Arabia’s population density is 17 people per km², calculated on a total land area of 2,149,690 km². The population growth rate is 1.62% per year. The 2020 population census used March 17th as the reference date.

Cultural Diversity

Saudi Arabia’s official language is Arabic, and the country’s primary religion is Islam. The country’s culture is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions and values. The majority of the population is Muslim, and the country’s laws and customs reflect this fact. Saudi Arabia also has a significant expatriate population, with people from various countries residing in its cities.

Saudi Arabia’s culture is characterized by hospitality, generosity, and respect for tradition. Family values are paramount in Saudi Arabia, and people take great pride in their heritage and ancestry. The country’s cuisine is also essential to its culture, with traditional dishes such as Kabsa and Shawarma being popular among locals and expats.

To summarize, Saudi Arabia is a multicultural nation with a burgeoning population and a rich cultural legacy. Its cities are home to people from various ethnicities and nationalities, making it a melting pot of cultures and traditions.

Economic Centers

Saudi Arabia is home to several economic centers that serve as critical drivers of the country’s economy. These centers offer investors and businesses various benefits, including access to top talent, world-class infrastructure, and sector-specific planning.

Oil and Industry

Oil significantly contributes to Saudi Arabia’s economy, and the country has some of the world’s largest oil reserves. The Eastern Province, which includes cities such as Dammam, Khobar, and Dhahran, is home to many of the country’s oil and gas companies, including Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company. These cities are important hubs for the country’s oil and gas industry, with many businesses and industries relying on the sector for their operations.

Business Metropolises

Riyadh, Jeddah, Yanbu, and Jubayl are some of the critical business metropolises in Saudi Arabia, each offering unique advantages to businesses and investors. Riyadh, the country’s capital, is a major center for finance and commerce, with many of the country’s largest banks and financial institutions headquartered in the city. On the other hand, With its port acting as a gateway to the rest of the world, Jeddah is a major hub for trade and commerce. Yanbu and Jubayl, located on the country’s western coast, are important centers for petrochemicals and other heavy industries.

In addition to these cities, Saudi Arabia has also established several economic cities and special economic zones, each designed to unlock critical segments of the country’s economic potential. These cities, such as King Abdullah Economic City, offer a safe and modern business environment, unparalleled logistics networks, and exceptional quality of life.

Overall, Saudi Arabia’s economic centers offer a range of advantages to businesses and investors, making the country an attractive destination for those looking to expand their operations in the region.

Administrative Divisions

Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 governorates, provinces, or regions. Each governorate is further divided into municipalities responsible for local administration. The following are some of the significant governorates and municipalities in Saudi Arabia:

Governorates and Municipalities

Riyadh

Riyadh is the capital and biggest city of Saudi Arabia. It is located in the governorate of Riyadh, the most populous governorate in the country. The governorate is divided into 20 municipalities: Al-Malaz, Al-Olayya, and Al-Bathaa.

Jeddah

Jeddah is the capital of the Makkah Governorate and the second-biggest city in Saudi Arabia. The governorate is divided into 14 municipalities: Jeddah, Makkah, and Taif.

Mecca

Mecca is the holiest city in Islam and the capital of the Makkah Governorate. The governorate is divided into 14 municipalities: Mecca, Jeddah, and Taif.

Medina

Medina is the second-holiest city in Islam and the capital of the Medina Governorate. The governorate is divided into seven municipalities: Medina, Al-Ula, and Badr.

Dammam

Dammam, the third-largest city in Saudi Arabia, is the Eastern Province’s capital. The Eastern Province is the largest governorate in the country and is divided into eight municipalities, including Dammam, Khobar, and Al-Ahsa.

Tabuk

Tabuk is a city in the Tabuk Governorate, located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. The governorate is divided into five municipalities: Tabuk, Haql, and Duba.

Najran

Najran is a city in the Najran Governorate, located south of Saudi Arabia. The governorate is divided into nine municipalities: Najran, Sharurah, and Habuna.

Abha

Abha is the capital city of the Asir Governorate, located southwest of Saudi Arabia. The governorate is divided into 16 municipalities, including Abha, Khamis Mushait, and Al-Namas.

Khobar

Khobar is a city in the Eastern Province and part of the Dammam Metropolitan Area. It is located in the Al-Khobar Governorate, which is divided into six municipalities, including Al-Khobar, Dammam, and Dhahran.

Al Kharj

Al Kharj is a city in the Riyadh Governorate, located south of the capital. The governorate is divided into 20 municipalities, including Al Kharj, Rumah, and Thadiq.

Khamis Mushait

Khamis Mushait is a city in the Asir Governorate, located southwest of Saudi Arabia. It is the governorate’s third-largest and part of the Khamis Mushait Metropolitan Area.

Burayda

Burayda is the capital of the Al-Qassim Governorate, located in the center of Saudi Arabia. The governorate is divided into 13 municipalities, including Burayda, Unaizah, and Al-Rass.

Hafar Al-Batin

Hafar Al-Batin is a city in the Northern Borders Governorate, north of Saudi Arabia. The governorate is divided into four municipalities: Hafar Al-Batin, Arar, and Rafha.

Ta’if

Ta’if is a city in the Makkah Governorate, located west of Saudi Arabia. The governorate is divided into 14 municipalities, including Ta’if, Jeddah, and Mecca.

Buraidah

Buraidah is a city in the Al-Qassim Governorate, located in the center of Saudi Arabia. The town is the governorate’s second-largest and part of the Buraidah Metropolitan Area.

Sultanah

Sultanah is a city in the Tabuk Governorate, located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. It is the second-largest city in the governorate and is part of the Tabuk Metropolitan Area.

Al Hufuf

Al Hufuf is a city in the Eastern Province and part of the Al-Ahsa Metropolitan Area. It is the largest city in the Al-Ahsa Governorate, divided into nine municipalities, including Al Hufuf, Al-Mubarraz, and Al-Qarah.

Al Mubarraz

Al Mubarraz is a city in the Eastern Province, part of the Al-Ahsa Metropolitan Area, and the second-largest city in Al-A.

Historical and Religious Significance

Islamic Heritage

Saudi Arabia boasts two of Islam’s holiest cities: Mecca, the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, and Medina. It is the site of the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam, which Muslims around the world face during their daily prayers. On the other hand, Medina is the city where the Prophet Muhammad migrated and established the first Islamic community. It also houses the Prophet’s Mosque (Al-Masjid an-Nabawi), the second holiest site in Islam.

The Islamic heritage of Saudi Arabia is deeply rooted in the country’s history. The government is the birthplace of Islam and has been the center of the Islamic world for over a thousand years. The Islamic heritage of Saudi Arabia is reflected in its architecture, art, and culture. The country is home to some of the most beautiful mosques in the world, which are a testament to the country’s rich Islamic heritage.

Pilgrimage Cities

Mecca and Medina are also pilgrimage cities because the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, drawing millions of Muslims worldwide to these places each year. Every Muslim who is financially and physically capable must perform it at least once in their lives.

The Hajj is a journey of faith and devotion, and it is a time when Muslims from all over the world come together to worship Allah. Millions of Muslims go on a spiritual journey to Mecca and Medina every year. It is a time when Muslims join together to commemorate their religion and reaffirm their dedication to Allah. In conclusion, Saudi Arabia has enormous historical and theological significance and is home to Mecca and Medina, two of the holiest locations in Islam. These cities are not only important to Muslims but also to the world at large. The Islamic heritage of Saudi Arabia is deeply rooted in the country’s history, and it is reflected in its architecture, art, and culture. The pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina is a time when Muslims from all over the world come together to celebrate their faith and renew their commitment to Allah.

Urban Development and Infrastructure

The past few decades have seen a tremendous expansion in urbanization in Saudi Arabia, which has raised the demand for contemporary infrastructure and urban development. The nation has significantly invested in infrastructure development, especially in Jeddah, the largest city, and Riyadh, the capital.

Transportation Networks

Saudi Arabia’s transportation network has undergone significant modernization in recent years. The country has invested in new highways, bridges, and tunnels to improve connectivity between cities and towns. The government has also invested in public transportation systems like the Riyadh Metro to reduce traffic congestion and improve transportation efficiency.

Modern Architecture

Saudi Arabia has also invested in developing modern architecture in its cities. The country has several notable skyscrapers, including the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, one of the tallest buildings in the world. The government has also developed several large-scale urban projects, such as the King Abdullah Economic City, a metropolis built from scratch on the Red Sea coast.

The country has also focused on developing green spaces in its cities, such as King Abdullah Park in Riyadh. This large park features gardens, fountains, and walking paths and is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike.

In conclusion, in recent years, Saudi Arabia has significantly invested in developing its infrastructure and urban areas. The country has focused on modernizing its transportation networks and creating modern architecture while investing in green spaces and metropolitan projects. These developments have contributed to the country’s economy’s growth and improved its residents’ quality of life.

Tourism and Recreation

Saudi Arabia is a beautiful country with many historical and cultural sites visitors can enjoy. The government has been working hard to develop its tourism industry. As a result, Today, it is the location of some of the world’s most stunning natural settings and cultural landmarks.

Cultural Attractions

One of the most popular cultural attractions in Saudi Arabia is the Al-Ula heritage site. This site is home to many ancient ruins and historic buildings dating back to the Nabatean civilization. In addition to discovering the region’s rich history, visitors can tour the remains. The UNESCO-designated Al-Balad area in Jeddah is another well-liked cultural destination. Here, guests can experience the region’s historic buildings and traditional architecture.

Natural Landscapes

Saudi Arabia is also home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. For those who like to discover the breathtaking coral reefs and pristine waters, travelers frequently travel to the Farasan Islands, which are situated in the Red Sea. The mountains of Al-Baha are another popular destination for tourists who wish to explore the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the area. The country is also home to many beautiful gardens and parks, such as King Abdullah Park in Riyadh, an excellent place for families to enjoy a picnic or a day out.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia has a lot to offer tourists who want to explore its beauty. The country has something for everyone, from its rich cultural heritage to its beautiful natural landscapes. You can explore ancient ruins, relax on a beautiful beach, or hike through the mountains.

Environmental Concerns and Initiatives

Climate Change Impact

Due to its desert location, Saudi Arabia is highly susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. The country has experienced a significant increase in temperature over the past few decades, leading to severe droughts, sandstorms, and other environmental challenges. These changes have also impacted the country’s economy, as the desertification of agricultural land has led to a decrease in food production.

Conservation Efforts

The Saudi government has launched several initiatives to address these challenges and promote environmental conservation and sustainability. One such project is Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to preserve natural resources while revolutionizing the nation’s economy and society. The government has set aggressive goals for boosting renewable energy sources, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and advancing sustainable development as part of this agenda.

Another initiative is the implementation of green, sustainable, and innovative city projects, which aim to enhance urban development in Saudi Arabia. These projects include the construction of eco-friendly buildings, the application of waste management methods and the utilization of renewable energy sources. One example is the Neom project, which aims to create an eco-city in a nation where the desert predominates by planting billions of trees.

Saudi Arabia also promotes a circular economy, which aims to reuse resources instead of using them once. This concept is part of Saudi Vision 2030, which includes developing waste management and protecting the environment.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia is taking significant steps to address its environmental challenges. The government’s initiatives promote ecological conservation and sustainability while transforming the country’s economy and society. These efforts are crucial in ensuring that Saudi Arabia remains a sustainable and prosperous country in the face of climate change.

Local Cuisine and Gastronomy

Saudi Arabia is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional Arabic cuisine. The spice trade has influenced the country’s cuisine, with various spices and herbs used in their dishes.

Traditional Dishes

Saudi Arabian cuisine is known for its rich and flavorful dishes, with various meat-based and vegetarian options. Some of the most famous traditional dishes include:

  • Jalamah: A stew of lamb meat cooked with onion, fat, and traditional spices such as cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, and black pepper. It is typically served with flatbread or rice to soak up the broth.
  • Gursan is a soup dish made using paper-thin sheets of bread, vegetables, and meat chunks. Its broth is full of multiple spices and juices.
  • Shakshouka is a famous dish made of poached eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions to give them a new taste.

Culinary Influences

Influenced by centuries as the center of the spice trade, the flavors of Saudi Arabian cuisine are as diverse as the land itself. The culinary influence of the Arabian Peninsula on the world is immeasurable, with lemons, oranges, and pomegranates all cultivated here dating back at least to the 13th century.

Saudi Arabia’s cuisine has also been influenced by its diverse population, with dishes from all over the world available. The country’s cuisine reflects its rich cultural heritage and is a must-try for anyone visiting Saudi Arabia.

Education and Research

Saudi Arabia has been investing heavily in education and research in recent years. The country’s Vision 2030 plan aims to create a knowledge-based economy and develop a highly skilled workforce. As a result, the government has seen a significant increase in universities and research institutions.

Universities and Colleges

Saudi Arabia has several universities and colleges that offer a wide range of courses in various fields. Some of the most prominent universities in the country include King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. These universities offer undergraduate and graduate engineering, medicine, business, and law programs.

In addition to traditional universities, Saudi Arabia has also invested in establishing new universities focused on specific fields. For example, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a research university focused on science and technology. The university partners with leading universities worldwide and offers computer science, energy, and environmental science programs.

Scientific Institutions

Saudi Arabia has also established several research institutions focused on various fields. The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) is one of the most prominent research institutions in the country. KACST is focused on research and development in fields such as energy, water, and information technology. The institution has partnerships with leading universities and research institutions around the world.

Another critical research institution in Saudi Arabia is the King Abdullah Institute for Nanotechnology (KAIN). KAIN is focused on nanotechnology research and has partnerships with leading universities and research institutions worldwide.

Overall, Saudi Arabia’s investment in education and research is helping to develop a highly skilled workforce and create a knowledge-based economy. With the establishment of new universities and research institutions, the country is well-positioned to continue growing its knowledge economy in the years to come.

Arts and Entertainment

Saudi Arabia has a thriving arts and entertainment scene that is rapidly gaining recognition on the global stage. The country is home to various cultural institutions, festivals, and events that showcase the best of Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage.

Music and Performing Arts

Saudi Arabia has a vibrant music and performing arts scene that is deeply rooted in the country’s cultural traditions. The government is home to several world-class venues, such as the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Dhahran, where visitors can enjoy various performances, from classical music and opera to theater and dance.

The country is also home to several music festivals, such as the Jeddah World Fest and the Riyadh Season, attracting top international performers and attracting large crowds of music lovers worldwide.

Visual Arts and Museums

Saudi Arabia has a rich and diverse visual arts scene that is rapidly gaining recognition on the global stage. The country is home to several world-class museums, such as the National Museum in Riyadh and the Misk Art Institute in Jeddah, which showcase the best of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage.

The country is also home to several contemporary art galleries, such as Athr Gallery and Hafez Gallery in Jeddah, which showcase the work of some of the country’s most talented artists. Visitors can also explore the country’s vibrant street art scene, rapidly gaining popularity in cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia’s arts and entertainment scene is a testament to its rich cultural heritage and commitment to promoting cultural exchange and dialogue on the global stage. Whether you’re a music lover, a theater enthusiast, or an art aficionado, Saudi Arabia has something to offer everyone.

Sports and Athletics

Saudi Arabia has recently made significant strides in promoting sports and athletics. The country has invested heavily in building state-of-the-art sports facilities and hosting international competitions. This section will explore the most popular sports in Saudi Arabia and the country’s participation in international competitions.

Popular Sports

Football is by far the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia, with a large following among the population. The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) governs the sport and organizes the Saudi leagues and the Saudi Arabian Cup. The country’s national football team has participated in six FIFA World Cup competitions and has produced several talented players who have gone on to play in Europe.

In addition to football, other popular sports in Saudi Arabia include basketball, volleyball, and tennis. The country has also seen a rise in interest in combat sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA), with several Saudi fighters making a name for themselves on the global stage.

International Competitions

Saudi Arabia has recently hosted several international sports events, including the Formula E electric car racing series and the Dakar Rally. The country will host the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2022 Dakar Rally.

Moreover, the country has made significant efforts to promote mass participation in sports and athletics. In 2019, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee established several new federations, spreading awareness around more than 50 sports. As a result of these new engagement opportunities, mass participation and activity levels increased by 23 percent, up 13 percent from 2015.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia has made impressive strides in promoting sports and athletics, focusing on building state-of-the-art facilities and hosting international competitions. The country’s efforts to encourage mass participation in sports have also yielded positive results, with more and more people taking up sports and leading active lifestyles.

Healthcare System

Saudi Arabia has a national healthcare system that provides free universal healthcare coverage to all its citizens through government agencies. The private sector is also playing a growing role in providing healthcare services. The healthcare system in Saudi Arabia is a fundamental right of Saudi citizens, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) is the major government agency entrusted with the delivery of preventive, curative, and rehabilitative healthcare through a network of healthcare centers.

Hospitals and Clinics

Saudi Arabia has several public and private hospitals and clinics, most of which are in major cities. Some notable hospitals in the country include King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, King Fahd Medical City in Jeddah, and King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh. These hospitals provide various medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and specialized treatments.

In addition to hospitals, numerous clinics in Saudi Arabia provide primary healthcare services. These clinics are usually run by the MOH and are located in various parts of the country. They offer services such as vaccinations, health screenings, and treatment for minor illnesses.

Public Health Initiatives

The government of Saudi Arabia has implemented several public health initiatives to improve the health of its citizens. One of these initiatives is the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020, which aims to improve the quality of healthcare services in the country.

The NTP 2020 includes several projects, such as establishing new hospitals and clinics, upgrading existing healthcare facilities, and implementing electronic health records. The program also aims to increase the number of healthcare professionals in the country, including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers.

Another public health initiative in Saudi Arabia is the National Health Information Center (NHIC), which collects and analyzes health data in the country. The NHIC provides valuable information to policymakers and healthcare professionals, helping them make informed decisions about healthcare policies and practices.

In conclusion, the healthcare system in Saudi Arabia is a fundamental right of its citizens, and the government is committed to providing high-quality healthcare services to all. With the growing role of the private sector and the implementation of public health initiatives, the healthcare system in Saudi Arabia is expected to continue improving in the coming years.

Technology and Innovation

Tech Startups

Saudi Arabia’s strategic location, thriving economy, and strong government support have attracted diverse funding partners keen on assisting startups and entrepreneurs. The Kingdom has one of the highest technology spending in the Middle East and North Africa, approximately 2.5 times that of other countries. The government has also launched several initiatives to support the growth of tech startups in the country. For instance, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has established a dedicated unit to help startups and entrepreneurs in the country. Additionally, the government has launched the “Vision 2030” plan, which aims to diversify the country’s economy and reduce its dependence on oil by investing in sectors such as technology and innovation.

Several notable tech startups have emerged in Saudi Arabia in recent years. For example, Careem, a ride-hailing app, was founded in Dubai but has a significant presence in Saudi Arabia. Uber acquired the company in 2019 for $3.1 billion. Another notable startup is Noon, an e-commerce platform founded in 2017 by Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar. The company has raised over $1 billion in funding and is valued at over $2 billion.

Research and Development

Saudi Arabia is committed to investing in research and development (R&D) to drive innovation and economic growth. The country has established several research institutions and universities to support R&D activities. One such institution is the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), established in 2009. The university is focused on research in areas such as energy, water, and food security. It has attracted top researchers worldwide and has established partnerships with leading universities and research institutions.

The government has also launched several initiatives to support R&D activities in the country. For example, the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Plan (NSTIP) was launched in 2018 to promote innovation and R&D in the country. The plan aims to increase the number of patents filed by Saudi Arabian inventors and increase the country’s ranking on the Global Innovation Index.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia is committed to investing in technology and innovation to drive economic growth and diversification. The country has established several initiatives to support tech startups and R&D activities, and notable startups and research institutions have emerged in recent years.

International Relations

Diplomacy

Saudi Arabia has been actively engaging in diplomatic relations with other countries worldwide. The country’s foreign policy is focused on cooperation with the oil-exporting Gulf States, the unity of the Arab World, Islamic solidarity, and support for the United Nations. In practice, relations with the US have been the primary concern in recent years.

In November 2020, former US Secretary of State Pompeo met with Mohammed bin Salman in Neom, a futuristic planned city in Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk province. Neom is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on oil. The city is expected to cover 10,230 square miles and is planned to be a $500 billion futuristic megacity.

Trade Agreements

Saudi Arabia has been actively pursuing trade agreements with other countries. The country’s main trading partners are China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. In recent years, Saudi Arabia has signed several trade agreements with other countries, including Japan, South Korea, and Russia.

Saudi Arabia is also a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries. The GCC aims to promote economic cooperation and integration among its members. In 2015, the GCC signed a free trade agreement with the European Union, which has helped to increase trade between the two regions.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia has actively engaged in diplomatic relations and pursued trade agreements with other countries. The country’s foreign policy is focused on cooperation with the oil-exporting Gulf States, the unity of the Arab World, Islamic solidarity, and support for the United Nations. The country’s main trading partners are China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Germany, and it is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Security and Defense

Military Strength

Saudi Arabia is one of the largest military spenders in the world. In 2023, its defense budget was $69 billion, which accounts for approximately 7.4% of the country’s GDP. The government has a well-equipped and well-trained military force, which includes the Royal Saudi Land Forces, the Royal Saudi Air Force, and the Royal Saudi Navy.

The Saudi Arabian military has been involved in various conflicts in the Middle East, including the Yemeni Civil War and the Syrian Civil War. The country has also played a significant role in the fight against terrorism, particularly in the campaign against ISIS.

Internal Security

Internal security is a top priority for the Saudi Arabian government. The country has a well-established security apparatus, which includes various agencies such as the Ministry of Interior, the General Intelligence Presidency, and the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

The security forces are responsible for maintaining law and order, protecting the country’s borders, and preventing terrorist attacks. The government has also invested heavily in cybersecurity, with an estimated $110 billion spent by 2030.

Overall, Saudi Arabia’s security and defense capabilities are among the strongest in the Middle East, and the country’s military strength and internal security measures are critical factors in maintaining stability in the region.

Legal System and Governance

Judiciary

The legal system in Saudi Arabia is based on Islamic law, also known as Sharia law. The judiciary is composed of religious scholars and judges appointed by the king. The Supreme Judicial Council is the highest judicial authority in the country. It is responsible for administering justice and supervising the courts.

The Saudi Arabian legal system is known for its strict interpretation of Islamic law. Punishments for crimes can be severe and include amputations and beheadings. The country has been criticized for its human rights record, particularly about the treatment of women and minorities.

Law Enforcement

The law enforcement agencies in Saudi Arabia are responsible for maintaining law and order. The Ministry of Interior is responsible for the police force, while the General Directorate of Prisons is responsible for the country’s prisons.

The police force is divided into several departments, including the Criminal Investigation Department, the Traffic Police Department, and the Special Security Forces. The police force is known for its strict law enforcement and for using surveillance cameras and other high-tech equipment to monitor criminal activity.

The Saudi Arabian government has modernized its legal system and recently improved its human rights record. These efforts have included establishing specialized courts to handle commercial and labor disputes and introducing new laws to protect the rights of women and minorities.

Overall, the legal system and governance in Saudi Arabia are complex and heavily influenced by Islamic law. While the country has made some progress in recent years, there are still concerns about human rights abuses and the treatment of minorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the major cities in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has several major cities, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Dammam, Taif, and Tabuk. These cities are known for their rich cultural heritage, modern infrastructure, and economic significance.

Which cities in Saudi Arabia have the highest population?

Riyadh is the most populous city in Saudi Arabia, with over 8 million people. Jeddah comes in second place, with a population of over 3.5 million. Other cities with high population numbers include Mecca, Medina, and Dammam.

Can you list the states and their capitals in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 administrative regions, each with its capital city. The regions and their capitals are as follows:

  • Riyadh (Riyadh)
  • Makkah (Mecca)
  • Madinah (Madinah)
  • Al-Qassim (Buraidah)
  • Eastern Province (Dammam)
  • Aseer (Abha)
  • Tabuk (Tabuk)
  • Hail (Hail)
  • Northern Borders (Arar)
  • Jazan (Jazan)
  • Najran (Najran)
  • Al-Bahah (Al-Bahah)
  • Al-Jouf (Sakaka)

What are the wealthiest cities in Saudi Arabia?

Riyadh and Jeddah are considered the wealthiest cities in Saudi Arabia. With a high standard of living and a strong economy, these cities are home to many of the country’s top businesses and industries.

How does the size of Saudi Arabian cities compare by land area?

Saudi Arabian cities vary in size, with some being quite large and others being relatively small. Riyadh is the largest city in Saudi Arabia by land area, covering over 1,500 square kilometers. Jeddah is the second-largest city, with an area of around 1,200 square kilometers.

How many states are there in Saudi Arabia, and what are their names?

There are 13 states in Saudi Arabia, each with its own unique culture and history. The states and their names are listed above in the answer to the question about the states and their capitals.

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