Noted for historically important archeological sites, a hot desert climate and blinding dust storms, Riyadh is the capital city for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Given the city’s stifling heat and dry climate, it should come as no shock that the world’s largest water desalination company is headquartered in Riyadh. Daily, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation produces 1.2 billion US gallons (4.6 million cubic meters) of desalinated water as of June 4, 2016.
Saudi Arabia was among the world’s 25 top exporters in 2016, shipping US$207.6 billion worth of goods around the globe. Saudi Arabia’s highest-value exports are crude and processed petroleum oils. Other Saudi exports include ethylene polymers (plastics), organic chemicals, petroleum gas, tugboats and pusher craft, aluminum and aluminum according to the International Trade Centre.
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.
Demonym for Saudi Arabia: Saudis, Saudi Arabians
Population: 4,205,961 (Riyadh city)
Density: 6,060 people per square mile (2,340 per square kilometer)
Population: 7,125,000 (Riyadh Region)
Density: 46 people per square mile (18 per square kilometer)
Population: 28,160,273 (Saudi Arabia)
Density: 34 people per square mile (13 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$163.5 billion in 2014 (Riyadh Region)
GDP per person: $22,139
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). Accessed on November 23, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on November 23, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Middle East: Saudi Arabia. Accessed on February 1, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on November 23, 2016
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on November 23, 2016
Guinness World Records, Largest water desalination company. Accessed on February 1, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 1, 2017
Official Government Website, Alriyadh Municipality. Accessed on November 23, 2016
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas – Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 23, 2016
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on November 23, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Riyadh. Accessed on November 23, 2016
Wikipedia, Riyadh Region. Accessed on November 23, 2016
Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia. Accessed on February 1, 2017
World Population Review, Population of Cities in Saudi Arabia (2016). Accessed on November 23, 2016
Land area for Riyadh city is documented at 694 square miles (1,797 square kilometers); about 4.2 million people within the city perimeter.
Alternatively called Al-Wosta and located near the center of the country, the Riyadh Region is a vast expanse covering over 156,000 square miles (404,000 square kilometers). This predominantly desert landscape is home to 7.1 million inhabitants.
At the country level, Saudi Arabia’s land area covers 830,000 square miles (2,149,690 square kilometers). The national population count was 28.2 million inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is exponentially higher within Saudi Arabia’s capital city with an average 6,060 people per square mile (2,340 per square kilometer).
The density level drops severely to an average 46 people per square mile (18 per square kilometer) for the massive plateau area located on the Arabian Peninsula known as the Riyadh Region.
For Saudi Arabia overall, national population density further drops to an average 34 inhabitants per square mile (13 per square kilometer).
Saudis celebrate Unification of the Kingdom as a public holiday every September 23.