The name Riyadh is derived from an Arabic word meaning meadows or place of gardens and trees. Fittingly, Riyadh is a fertile area located in the Arabian peninsula’s heartland.
In addition, there are over 4,000 mosques in or close to Riyadh.
Given the city’s stifling heat and dry climate, it should come as no shock that the world’s largest water desalination company has its headquarters in Riyadh. The Saline Water Conversion Corporation produces 1.2 billion US gallons (4.6 million cubic meters) of desalinated water.
Riyadh is a place where many other Guinness World Book Records have been set. At 124 feet 8 inches high (38 meters), the world’s tallest temporary stage was built for an electronic music festival MDL Beast Fest in Riyadh on December 21, 2019. Another world record was achieved in Riyadh on May 28, 2019 when 565,798 items were donated to the Ehtwa’a Organization resulting in the all-time largest donation of clothing-related goods.
Saudi Arabia ranked among the world’s 25 top exporters in 2019, shipping an estimated US$251.8 billion worth of goods around the globe. The most valuable exports from Saudi Arabia is crude oil at 62.1% of its total. In second place were refined petroleum oils (8.9%) trailed by ethylene polymers (3.8%), polymers of propylene or other olefins (2.3%), ethers (1.5%), acyclic alcohols and derivatives (1.2%) and cyclic hydrocarbons (1.1%).
Capital Facts for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Kingdom Centre Tower, Al Faisaliyah Centre (Star Dome) and Tuwaiq Palace
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, astronaut & air force colonel (born Jun. 27, 1956)
- $kinny, hip-hop artist & producer (born Mar. 16, 1988)
- Samir Khan, Inspire magazine editor & publisher (born Dec. 25, 1985)
- Hunter Maats, actor (born Jun. 2, 1981)
- Momo Dione, actor (born Feb. 13, 1986)
- Amr Salama, actor, writer & director (born Nov. 22, 1982)
- Ameera al-Taweel, princess (born Nov. 6, 1983)
- Ahmed Alhatti, developer & president of Cayan Group (born 1968)
- Sawman, Saudi Arabian king (born Dec. 31, 1935)
- Osama bin Laden, global terrorist (born Mar. 10, 1957)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonyms for Saudi Arabia: Saudis, Saudi Arabians
Population: 7,205,961 (Riyadh) at July 10, 2020
Density: 10,383 people per square mile (4,008 per square kilometer)
Population: 34,830,000 (Saudi Arabia) at July 10, 2020
Density: 42 people per square mile (16 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Saudi Arabia: 31.8 years old
GDP: US$1.899 trillion in 2019 (Saudi Arabia)
GDP per person: $55,704
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Riyadh: Saudi riyal
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Middle East: Saudi Arabia.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
Guinness World Records, Largest water desalination company.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Official Government Website, Alriyadh Municipality.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Riyadh Region.
Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia.
WorldOMeter, Saudi Arabia Population.
Saudis celebrate Unification of the Kingdom as a public holiday each September 23.
The surface area of Riyadh measures 694 square miles (1,798 square kilometers) within which 7.2 million people lived in July 2020.
At the country level, Saudi Arabia’s land area covers 830,000 square miles (2,149,690 square kilometers). The national population count was 34.8 million inhabitants as of July 10, 2020.
Population density is much more concentrated within Saudi Arabia’s capital city with an average 10,383 people per square mile (4,008 per square kilometer).
Density level diluted to an average 42 people per square mile (16 per square kilometer) for the massive plateau area located on the Arabian Peninsula known as the Riyadh Region.
Zooming out to Saudi Arabia’s overall land boundaries, the nation’s population density dilutes to an average 42 inhabitants per square mile (16 per square kilometer).