What is the Capital of Saudi Arabia?

Riyadh is the largest city and capital of Saudi Arabia. The city is also the center of the Riyadh Region and is located in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula.

The city is divided into 15 municipal districts headed by the Riyadh Development Authority, headed by the Mayor of Riyadh and the Governor of Riyadh Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud. Riyadh has been declared a global city due to its developments in different fields.

When did Riyadh Become the Capital?


The Ottoman Sultan Selim I defeated the Mamluk army in Battle of Ridaniya in 1517, and the entire Arabian peninsula came under Turkish rule. However, since there was no economic and political significance of Riyadh and its surroundings, there was no need to establish a garrison in the region.

However, the political situation changed in the 19th century. Beginning in 1791 in Central Arabia, Wahhabism began to threaten the lands of Hedjaz, especially Mecca, Medina and Taif, starting from 1803, and mobilized Mahmud II administration (1808-1839). An army under the command of Ibrahim Pasha was sent to Hedjaz and Najd, which was ordered to end the rebellion and threat in the region. With the conquest of Riyadh, the center of Wahhabis in 1818, Turkish rule in the region was re-established.

In 1902, when the Wahhabis leader conquered Riyadh with an army he gathered in Kuwait, the Ottoman state was rebuilt as Riyadh, the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire, who was afraid of an Arab uprising from Hedjaz, tried to keep Saudi leader Abdulaziz bin Saud with him. In 1915, he was declared “Riyadh District Governor” with a command. Indeed, despite the Arab uprising in Hedjaz in 1916, Abdulaziz bin Saud remained loyal to the Ottoman Empire until the end of the war.

With the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire from Hedjaz at the end of the First World War, de facto Turkish sovereignty in Riyadh ended.

Features of Riyadh


Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, has a population of 6.85 million as of 2018. The surface area is 1,798 km².

Although the climate in Arabia is generally hot due to its soil, it is cool in high regions. In general, the only natural source of the Arabian territory is palm. Many varieties of medjool are grown. Along with a wide range of plants, rare plant species such as senna, tamarindus indica, khat tree and gum arabi are grown in the region of Yemen and Amman, as well as in Hedjaz and Najd regions.

Riyadh has the world’s largest women’s university, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. Riyadh is largely the administrative center of the kingdom. According to research, most large companies in the country are establishing a single, general directorate or a large office in this city. For this reason, there has been a marked growth in the high-growth developments in all parts of the city. The most notable of these is the King Abdullah Financial District, which has quickly become the city’s most important trading center.

Important Places to See in Riyadh

Royal Saudi Air Force Museum

Although the laws of Saudi Arabia are strict, you may be ready to see different and interesting places to visit this city if you have prepared your conditions for how to get to your destination and who to go to. Riyadh, with its geographic texture and its palaces, museums and natural parks, will give you the opportunity of a different trip. Among the must-see places in Riyadh are; Masmak Fort, National Museum of Saudi Arabia and Royal Saudi Air Force Museum.