Riyadh: Background

Scene of Riyadh

The history of Riyadh and its growth from a relatively small settlement into a great modern city is inextricably involved with the rise of the Saudi state. With Riyadh as the capital of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom which Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud (Ibn Saud) founded, it was inevitable that the city would grow. By 1955 (1375 AH), all ministries and government offices had been moved to or established in Riyadh. In the same year, a Royal Decree was issued raising the status of the municipality of Riyadh to that of mayoralty. Its scope of responsibility was greatly enlarged and its resources increased to enable it to cope with its growing size and population.

In the midst of the city’s extraordinary growth, the history of the city has not been forgotten. Preservation orders now ensure the survival of the Masmak fort which Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) scaled in 1902 (1319/20 AH), a fitting reminder of a turning point in the history of the city and, indeed, the Arabian Peninsula.

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