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He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud.

Saudi Arabia has since been an absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamic lines.

For much of the 10th century the Isma'ili-Shi'ite Qarmatians were the most powerful force in the Persian Gulf.

2300 BC) discovered in a door-socket: "The ships of Dilmun brought him wood as tribute from foreign lands Thamud is the name of an ancient civilization in the Hejaz known from the 1st millennium BC to near the time of Muhammad.

More than 9,000 Thamudic inscriptions were recorded in south-west Saudi Arabia. 100, gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Arabia and Syria, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea.

Its inclusion expresses the view that the country is the personal possession of the royal family.

In ancient times the Arabian peninsula served as a corridor for trade and exhibited several civilizations.

Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam.

The state has a total population of 28.7 million, of which 20 million are Saudi nationals and 8 million are foreigners.

Following the unification of the Hejaz and Nejd kingdoms, the new state was named al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah as-Suʻūdīyah (a transliteration of المملكة العربية السعودية in Arabic) by royal decree on 23 September 1932 by its founder, Abdulaziz Al Saud (Ibn Saud).

Although this is normally translated as "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in English, The word "Saudi" is derived from the element as-Suʻūdīyah in the Arabic name of the country, which is a type of adjective known as a nisba, formed from the dynastic name of the Saudi royal family, the Al Saud (آل سعود).

The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz, Najd and parts of Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa) and Southern Arabia ('Asir).

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