Riyadh City Guide

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Riyadh is the capital and largest city in Saudi Arabia. It is located in Najd the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. This capital is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and the largest Arab city in terms of space as well as the largest Saudi cities. About 5 million people live in this city, almost a quarter of the population of the Kingdom. The percentage of foreigners is more than 34% of total population.

Riyadh name means gardens and the name is derived from the nature of the low land produced by the flood water where the green spread the scent of roses. Hence the name of the capital city of Riyadh Saudi Arabia, which built on the rubble and ruins of the historical city named "Hejr Al Yamama" dating back to the era of tribes "Tasm" and "Jedase". Those tribes built forts & palaces in the same place of Riyadh. It was said that residues of such forts & palaces were observed in the beginning of the fourth hijra century, and then the place was occupied by Arab tribes and spread in the valley and their city prospered during the pre-Islam era, and adopted by the Arab famous markets getting happier by the buying and selling where also poetry and literature was narrated in such markets. Yaqout Al Hamawi in his history book "Mojaam Al Buldan" that the name of Hejr is due to that Obeid Al Hanafi ,the area ruler at that time, put thirty palaces and thirty gardens in his retention for hinself and called it "Hejr" and that the area was called also by Al-Yamamah.

By the appearance of Islam in the Hijaz and its spread in the Arabian Peninsula, the tribes of Al Yamamah came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, showed their belief in Islam, but they announced, with some other tribes, their apostasy after the death of the prophet. Khalifa Abu baker, may Allah be pleased for him, fought them until they acquiesced and returned to Islam. With the shift in the Islamic caliphate outside the Arabian Peninsula and the emergence of rich Muslim provinces, Al Yamamah, its cities & villages got less attention and care. Accordingly, it was greatly troubled, Humbugs and ignorant people emerged in Al Yamamah which put an impact on the stability, growth and development.

And near Riyadh arose the city of Dir'iya where its governor, Prince Mohammed bin Saud supported Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahab in his call to return to the Quran and Sunnah and what the Messenger of God - peace be upon him and his friends - and the renunciation of shirk and innovations and superstitions prevalent at the time. Dir'iya flourished and received people from every direction. Hostility & wars broke out between Dir'iya & Riyadh for a period of twenty-eight years, until complied with its prince to the call. Riyadh became a belonged to Dar'iyyah, the capital of the First Saudi State, which influence & power extended to most of the Arabian Peninsula and the edges of Iraq and Sham.

In 1233 H (1818G) Dir'iya was destroyed and the first Saudi state was eliminated by Ibrahim Pasha, son of Egypt governor Muhammad Ali Pasha, an ethnic Albanian. This resulted in control of the Hijaz by the Ottomans. But the Ottomans state was unable to stay longer in Najd because of continued attacks against its forces and withdrew. Al Saud family regained rule in (1240 H (1825 G). Riyadh became the capital of the state after the destruction and desolation of Dir'iya. and built the City Mosque, the Prince's palace and a secured wall. Since that time, Riyadh remained the capital of the second Saudi state, then the modern Saudi state (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) after King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Faisal opened Riyadh after Riyadh Opening Battle. Then, dashed to unite and build the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Modern Riyadh includes many gardens, wide roads, bridges, towers & malls. There is also Riyadh Zoo in Malaz Area. Riyadh is getting good care from the government. The High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh was established. The Commission exerted all efforts and made a remarkable change in the city of Riyadh especially in the Governorate area and the surrounding quarters using the modern building designs side by side to the heritage architectural designs.

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