ThePlace: Riyadh, home to more than 6 million people and a central spot in the Arabian Peninsula

AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj
Updated 12 May 2018
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ThePlace: Riyadh, home to more than 6 million people and a central spot in the Arabian Peninsula

  • Riyadh combines historical landmarks, archaeological sites and contemporary architecture, preserving its heritage while also developing as a global city.
  • Riyadh’s skyline has come a long way since Saudi Arabia was founded, taking on a more urban, modern ambiance as skyscrapers line its streets. 

Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital city and its most populated area, home to more than 6 million people and a central spot in the Arabian Peninsula.

The city combines historical landmarks, archaeological sites and contemporary architecture, preserving its heritage while also developing as a global city.

Its sites include Masmak fort, a remnant of the old oasis town that was Riyadh, and Murabba Palace, the palace of Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz, which is now known as the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center.

Riyadh’s skyline has come a long way since Saudi Arabia was founded, taking on a more urban, modern ambiance as skyscrapers line its streets. 

The Kingdom Center won the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2002 for its “design and functionality.” The tower has 99 levels and is considered the third tallest building in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s second tallest building, Burj Rafal, is also in the capital.

The first skyscraper to take shape in Saudi Arabia, Burj Al-Faisaliyah, or Al-Faisaliyah Center, has 44 floors and is a monument to the city as it holds several world brands and a hotel in its premises.

The capital city hosts many of Saudi’s football championship league matches at the King Fahd International Stadium, as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Riyadh maintains links with its history and heritage through its museums and historic memorabilia. The National Museum of Saudi Arabia, for example, has the “Camel’s Hump” meteorite fragment among its collection, while the Royal Saudi Air Force Museum houses a collection of Royal Air Force aircraft.


US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

Updated 21 October 2018
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US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.