What's the capital of Saudi Arabia?
And the answer: Riyadh.
Home to more than six million people, Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and the most populous city on the Arabian peninsula. Riyadh is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and gets its name from the Arabic word meaning gardens or meadows.
Riyadh is a capital city with vitality to spare. From the air, the city resembles the gardens of its namesake – with glittering buildings and wide streets peppered with pedestrians, color is abundant in this Saudi city. In fact, the ability to travel on foot in Riyadh is one of its greatest strengths. Visitors from across the globe flock to the souks, or marketplaces, of the city while navigating through Riyadh's efficiently arranged grid of shopping malls, residences, mosques, and more.
Riyadh has experienced a boom in population in recent years. Coupled with the economic growth of the 1970s and '80s, urban development and living has increasingly held the interest of Saudi Arabians, with now an estimated 1 rural dweller for every 3 urban residents. However, the rising population has hardly affected the steadfast ideals held by Riyadh residents and officials. Each day in Riyadh begins with the Muslim call to prayer, which is repeated four times throughout the day at the location of the practitioner's discretion.
Riyadh is considered to be the cultural capital of the Arab world by UNESCO, thus the city holds several integral cultural centers. In addition to a historical center, the National Museum and National Library can be found in Riyadh. What's more: Al-Jinādiriyyah, a national heritage and culture festival, is a major event held annually near Riyadh each year. The event features panelists, exhibitions, shopping, shows, and even camel races!
Learn more about Riyadh here.