The Bedouin poem in the vernacular for the legacy of the ancient Arab Bedouin poem continued in present-day Saudi Arabia, while the literature today is cultivated in the cities. Here the older generation dominates. Poetry is traditional in form and content, e.g. at Abdallah al-Faysal, who writes singable poems, and at Hassan Abdallah al-Qurashi. Ghazi al-Qusaybi creates a freer form of conventional love poetry. A social and political commitment is evident only with writers outside the country, especially with the novelist Abdarrahman Munif, among others. in “The Middle East” (1977; not in Swedish translation), “Closed” (1978; not in Swedish translation) and “Stories from the sand cities” (1988; not in Swedish translation).

Saudi Arabia Population Pyramid

  • Countryaah: Population and demographics of Saudi Arabia, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.


In Saudi Arabia there has been no strong art tradition in Islamic times. The traditional arts and crafts have mainly been focused on textile arts, for example. saddlebags as well as tissues, leather works and utensils adorned with abstract decor. In the cities, there have traditionally been silver crafts, mainly in the manufacture of jewelry with engraved decor, corals and inlaid stained glass, as well as weapons forging. An emerging contemporary art has been developed following Western role models.


In Saudi Arabia’s older building tradition, buildings were erected with thick walls of unburned clay tile, clay reinforced with wood and fibers from tamarisk and palm, natural stone as well as coral stone coasts. The clay architecture, which requires constant maintenance, is preserved only to a very limited extent. Preserved clay architecture in monumental format can be found, among other things. in the ruin city ad-Dir迂iyah and in the Masmak Palace (19th century) in the medina (the old city) in Riyadh. This older city center has been preserved with the help of cultural protection measures and is today surrounded by modern settlement in Western tradition. In the Jeddah, since the 16th century, multi-storey houses have been built in coral stone with bay wood, so-called raushan. The large mosques in Mecca and Medina, founded in the 600’s, were expanded in Turkish style during Ottoman times and have been expanded to large complexes during the Saudi dynasty.

Today, Saudi Arabia’s larger cities are dominated by Western tradition architecture, often inspired by local traditions; The Foreign Ministry in Riyadh (1979-84) designed by Henning Larsen is an example. An awareness of local features (especially the Bedouin tent) is also evident, e.g. in the Hajj Terminal (1981-82) at Jidda Airport, designed by the American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and in 1983 awarded with the Architectural Award of the Aga Khan Foundation. An interesting facility is the King Feisal Center in Riyadh (1976), with new ideas regarding the design of the mosque.


The music in Saudi Arabia belongs to the musical cultural circle that encompasses the entire Arabic-speaking area of North Africa and West Asia; watch Arabic music. The great importance of the Arabian peninsula in Arabic and Islamic history has no counterpart in music, which includes is connected to this strictly applied, restrictive Islamic cultural view of public music practice. Characteristic of music in Saudi Arabia are the Bedouin culture, associated with the tradition of poetry, popular, vocal forms of expression.

Saudi Arabia Arts and Literature