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

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.


Dr. Mishaal Al-Sulami, vice president of the Saudi Shoura Council

Updated 1 min 5 sec ago

Dr. Mishaal Al-Sulami, vice president of the Saudi Shoura Council

Dr. Mishaal Al-Sulami has been appointed as vice president of the Saudi Shoura Council by royal decree.

King Salman issued a number of royal decrees, including the restructuring of the Council of Senior Scholars, the Shoura Council, and the Supreme Court, in the process appointing 20 people to the country’s highest religious body and around 150 new members to the consultative assembly.

Al-Sulami gained a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in Jeddah in 1996, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in comparative ideology from Exeter University in the UK, in 2000 and 2002, respectively.
He began his career in the education sector as an assistant teacher at KAU after obtaining his bachelor’s degree and on completion of his higher education returned to the university in 2002 as an assistant professor in its Islamic studies department.
Alongside his teaching post, Al-Sulami served for three years as the departmental secretary of council and in 2007 became an adviser to the office of the deputy for KAU branches’ affairs. The following year he was made an associate professor.
He has been a member of several other councils and committees including KAU’s restructuring of health sciences faculties committee and the university’s coordinating council with Jeddah’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Between 2002 and 2004, he was a member of the Islamic studies depart- ment’s planning committee respon- sible for higher education curriculums and was a coordinator of part-time courses in the same department.
Al-Sulami was also a member of the information communication committee for the establishment of universities and in 2005 was head of a constituency in the municipal elections of Jeddah governorate.