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Information on living and working in Saudi Arabia

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About Saudi Arabia

Riyadh

Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a region with a population of close to 7 million people. The city is divided into 15 municipal districts, managed by Riyadh Municipality headed by the mayor of Riyadh, and the Riyadh Development Authority, chaired by the Governor of Riyadh Province, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz. The current mayor of Riyadh is Abdul Aziz ibn Ayyaf Al-Miqrin, appointed in 1998. Riyadh has the largest female university in the world, the Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University.

It is now the country's capital city as well as its financial and administrative centre, as such it has all of the world's Embassy's and head offices of international companies bringing many more expats in to the community.

Riyadh is considered conservative, cautious and sober, yet the Kingdom's capital boasts handsome hotels, fabulous fine-dining and cosy cafés. It's also got considerable culture, including a National Museum that numbers among the best in the region.

Jeddah

Jeddah is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The population of the city currently stands at 3.2 million. It is an important commercial hub in Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, which able-bodied Muslims are required to visit at least once in their lifetime. It is also a gateway to Medina, the second holiest place in Islam.

Jeddah is one of the most cosmopolitan, diverse, and tolerant of all Saudi Arabian cities, hosting expatriates from all over the world who have made Jeddah their home. Economically, Jeddah is focusing on further developing capital investment in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. Jeddah was independently ranked 4th in the Africa / Mid-East region in terms of innovation in 2009 in the Innovation Cities Index.

Jeddah has developed this coastal area and you can now walk along the Corniche where many families meet for picnics and walks late in to the night - watching the lights of the city and the anchored ships further out to sea. There are some lovely restaurants in this area allowing you to sit by the water and watch the sun go down.

Dammam and Al Khobar

These cities are located in the Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia and were originally small fishing and pearl gathering villages prior to the discovery of oil in the 1930s and 1940s.

Dammam is the capital of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, the most oil-rich region in the world. The judicial and administrative bodies of the province and several government departments are located in the city. Dammam is the largest city in the Eastern Province and third largest in Saudi Arabia, after Riyadh and Jeddah. It is an important commercial hub and port.

Dammam, and the rest of the Eastern Province, is served by the King Fahd International Airport (KFIA), the largest airport in the world in terms of land area (approximately 780 km2), about 20 km to the northwest of the city.

Dammam's King Abdul Aziz Sea Port is the largest on the Persian Gulf. Its import-export traffic in the country is second only to Jeddah's port.

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