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Saudi Arabia History Timeline

1900s continued
  • (1964) Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud became king after family coup deposed King Saud
  • (1970) Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) was founded in Jeddah
  • (1972) Saudi Arabia gained 20% of Aramco oil company
  • (1973) Saudi Arabia and other Arab states held oil boycott against western countries that had supported Israel in war against Egypt and Syria; oil prices quadrupled
  • (1975) King Faisal shot to death by his nephew
  • (1975) Khalid Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud became king
  • (1975) At OPEC gathering in Vienna, Saudi Oil Minister, Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani and other OPEC ministers were kidnapped, three people killed, 11 taken hostage
  • (1979) Grand Mosque in Mecca was seized by over 200 armed men and women, denounced monarchy, demanded end to corrupting modernization and foreign ways
  • (1979) Security forces overran seized Grand Mosque and regained control
  • (1979) Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Egypt
  • (1980) 63 people were beheaded for their role in the 1979 raid on the Grand Mosque
  • (1980) Saudi Arabia took full control of Aramco oil company
  • (1981) Saudi Arabia was founding member of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
  • (1982) King Khalid died of heart attack, Crown Prince Fahd Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud became king
  • (1984) Gulf Cooperation Council members agreed to create a two-brigade Peninsula Shield Force to be based in Saudi Arabia near Kuwait and Iraq borders
  • (1985) Britain's Prime Minister Thatcher signed $80 billion, 20-year contract with Saudi Arabia to provide 120 fighter jets, other military equipment
  • (1986) King Fahd added title to his name of "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques"
  • (1987) Iranian pilgrims and riot police clashed in Mecca, 402 people were killed
  • (1987) Diplomatic relations with Egypt were renewed
  • (1990) About 1,400 Muslim pilgrims were suffocated or trampled to death in stampede in pedestrian tunnel leading to Mecca
  • (1990) Saudi Arabia condemned the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq , allowed Kuwaiti citizens, government officials and foreign troops to stay in country
  • (1990) U.S. President Bush ordered troops and warplane to Saudi Arabia to guard against possible Iraqi invasion
  • (1990) Egypt and Morocco sent troops to help U.S. forces prevent Iraqi attacks
  • (1992) King Fahd announced "Basic System of Government" outlining the duties and responsibilities of the ruler
  • (1993) Saudi Arabia divided into thirteen administrative divisions
  • (1993) Consultative Council established, consisted of chairman and 60 members appointed by the king
  • (1994) Osama Bin Laden, an Islamic dissident, stripped of Saudi nationality
  • (1995) Car bomb in Riyadh at military training facility killed seven, including five Americans, injured at least 60
  • (1995) Crown Prince Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud ran the country on a day-to-day basis after King Fahd suffered a stroke
  • (1996) King Fahd recovered from his stroke, resumed control of state affairs
  • (1996) Bomb explosion at U.S. military complex near Dhahran killed 19, injured over 300
  • (1997) 343 Muslim pilgrims died, 1290 were injured in a fire caused by cooking gas canisters outside Mecca
  • (1997) Membership of Consultative Council increased from 60 to 90
  • (1998) 2.3 million Muslims made the pilgrimage to Mecca, over 150 died at the "stoning of the devil" ritual during a stampede on the last day
  • (1999) Saudi women attended Consultative Council session for first time
2000s
  • (2000) Saudi Arabia and Yemen signed agreement ending years of border disputes
  • (2000) Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia's treatment of women was "untenable"
  • (2001) Several British workers were arrested following a series of blasts which killed a British national and an American in Riyadh

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.