Riyadh - Oil Sheiks


At the founding of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 Riyadh was a crumbling town of mud-brick buildings with a population of around 20´000. The town was a resting stop for caravans from the Arabian Sea to the rich cities of Mesopotamia, where the roads were dusty and money short. How things changed: Today Riyadh is the richest city in the world and counts over 4 million people, while the metro boasts more than 7 million. An unbelievable number for a town in the middle of the desert, where around 60 years ago the only form of transport known was a donkey or for the rich a camel. Today huge 4-WDs race down King Fahd Road the main artery of the city, while deeply covered women shake their American Express cards in the brand new mega malls.

The name of the game is "Oil". Nowadays Saudi Arabia is the largest producer and the rewards are unbelievable. The national Saudi Arabian Oil Company is by far the most valuable company in the world with an estimated value of more than 7000 billion dollars: Bill Gates could be their bellboy. In Riyadh this is visible, although beside that the King of Saudi Arabia already bought probably half of the world - like the rulers of Baghdad some decades ago. How fast things always change…