Riyadh is Saudi Arabia's largest city and the country's capital. The city of Riyadh was once known as Hajr al-Yamamah. Additionally, Riyadh serves as the provincial capital and administrative hub for the Riyadh Governorate.


It is the largest city on the Arabian Peninsula and is located in the an-Nafud desert, on the eastern side of the Najd plateau. It is the most visited city in the Middle East, drawing an estimated 18 million visitors annually to its 600-meter (2,000-foot) average altitude above sea level. In 2022, Riyadh had a population of 7,538,000 people, making it the most populated city in Saudi Arabia, the third most populous in the Middle East, and the sixteenth most populous in Asia.


In 1590, a first-century Arab scribe first used the term "Riyadh" to refer to the city.

Riyadh is Saudi Arabia's political and administrative capital. The city is home to numerous government institutions, including the Consultative Assembly (also called the Shura or Shura Council), the Council of Ministers, the King, and the Supreme Judicial Council.


The city is divided into fifteen districts that are overseen by the Riyadh Municipality, led by the mayor of Riyadh, and the Riyadh Development Authority, led by Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, the governor of Riyadh Province.

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