A Brief History of Saudi Arabia
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, host to the two most revered and blessed sites in the Muslim world; Makkah and Medina, besides countless others; is an Arab country in the Middle East, covering a substantial amount of land mass, consisting mostly of rough and rugged desert terrain. It shares neighbors with Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Yemen, Iraq and Jordan, furthermore it is connected with the archipelago of Bahrain via a causeway in the Eastern province. Also, it is separated from the oil-rich Iran, by the Persian Gulf, a major shipping destination. Saudi-Iran relations are very tense, as the former severed diplomatic ties with the Iranian government over burning of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran.
Initially, Saudi Arabia was ruled by several faction and the current ruler dynasty, the Sauds, were in exile in Kuwait, after facing defeat in several maiden attempts to form a unified Arab territory, which later found success in 1932, after Hejaz and Najd regions were merged and a unified Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, led by Abdul Aziz al Saud was formed.
Saudi has had a pivotal position throughout times, initially during the early days, as it was from here that Islam started and flourished and later, in the early 1940-50s after discovery of oil, which introduced and distinguished it as the most oil rich country in the world, with several billion barrels of oil in the Eastern region. Post the discovery of oil, wealth started pouring in due to hundreds and billions of dollars’ worth of foreign investments in different sectors.
Modern Saudi Arabia boasts modern infrastructure, roads, communication system and is on the forefront of modern trade, until recent times, which has forced it to rethink its strategy after plummeting global oil prices. Under the patronage of Deputy Crown Prince, Muhammad Bin Salman, the monarch has set on an ambitious journey of transformation from an oil-based to diversified economy. Besides oil, Saudi relies on its income from the two Holiest Muslim sites in the world; Makkah and Medina, which is the center of Muslim activity throughout the year.
Also, Saudi gains a plethora of revenue from Hajj, where millions of pilgrims set off to perform the obligatory pilgrimage in Makkah, with cheap Hajj packages, while others use standard and luxury packages to make their journeys. Besides that, Ramadan is also an important Islamic month which sees millions of Muslims heading to Medina and Makkah to perform Umrah, with Umrah Ramadan packages to fulfil their religious duties, gain virtues and please Allah, the pilgrims choose Ramadan for Umrah under the Prophet’s words that performing Umrah in Ramadan holds equal value to that of Hajj.