Saudi Arabia is preparing to host the annual hajj pilgrimage beginning Sunday, as over 1.6 million Muslim faithful from abroad have arrived in the ultraconservative kingdom.
The pilgrimage represents one of the five pillars of Islam and is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their life. In recent weeks, the faithful have arrived in Mecca from across the world, all chanting "Labayk Allahuma Labayk," or "Here I am, God, answering your call. Here I am."Full Story
Saudi Arabia said early on Friday that it has contributed $100 million to northeast Syria for "stabilization projects" in areas once held by the Islamic State group and now controlled by U.S.-backed forces.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington said the money "will save lives, help facilitate the return of displaced Syrians and help ensure that ISIS cannot reemerge to threaten Syria, its neighbors, or plan attacks against the international community." ISIS is an alternate acronym for the militant group.Full Story
Saudi Arabia's economy pulled out of recession in the first quarter of 2018, thanks to rising oil prices and a surge in the non-crude sector, authorities said Sunday.Full Story
Saudi authorities have launched a probe after a female TV presenter wore "indecent" clothes while reporting on the end of a decades-long woman driving ban, triggering outrage on social media.
Shireen al-Rifaie, a Saudi presenter with Dubai-based Al Aan TV, appeared in a widely-circulated video wearing a loose headscarf and a partly open gown that revealed her trousers and a blouse.Full Story
Long relegated to the back seat, Saudi women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time this week in a much-awaited rite of passage, but one crucial hurdle remains -- the attitude of men.
Social media is awash with videos of women behind the wheel and men in the passenger seat, a role reversal that was unimaginable in the conservative petrostate until a royal decree last September ended a decades-long women driving ban.Full Story
Reem Farahat waited for a ride request. Her phone pinged. "I've already cried twice," she said, heading out to work as one of Saudi Arabia's first female drivers for Careem.Full Story
Every few meters someone -- a newlywed couple, a group of young girls with balloons -- stops Samar Almogren to cheer her on or flash her a thumbs-up.Full Story
The public relations blitz that has seen Saudi Arabia garner headlines this year culminates Sunday, when women take the wheel for the first time. But a draconian guardianship system remains.Full Story
The Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul, has been upgraded to the status of an emerging market by global index provider MSCI, a step expected to lure billions of dollars in foreign investments.Full Story