Petroglyphs of ostrich family on rocks near Riyadh ⁄ Early bronze age rock carving, Cornwall


First Saudi Archaeology Convention 2017
A three–conference was held from November 7th to 9th at the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center and the National Museum in Riyadh, to present recent discoveries and research in the field of Saudi archaeology.

It was opened by HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage. Archaeologists from countries including the UK, Italy, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia took part, sharing discoveries which confirm the role of Saudi Arabia as a cross–roads for civilisations throughout history.

Further details here:
bullet point  Press release 06.11.17: How digging into Saudi Arabia’s past is helping drive its future
bullet point  Press release 08.11.17: Technology brings Saudi Arabia’s past alive for a new generation
bullet point  Press release 09.11.17: New archaeological discoveries demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s rich past

26th SEPTEMBER 2017
The Society is sad to announce that Sir James Craig passed away on 26 September.
Sir James was Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1979 to 1984. An academic and brilliant Arabist, his warmth and wit and wisdom were treasured by his colleagues and his many, many friends in the UK and across the Arab world.
He was one of the founders of the Saudi British Society. In 2014 he received the Rawabi Prize for his contribution to Saudi British relations. He will be greatly missed.

The photograph below, taken at an SBS meeting a couple of years ago, shows Sir James Craig seated in the middle.

At the back: Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles
At the back: Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles
Front, left to right: Sir Alan Munro, Sir James Craig, Sir Derek Plumbly.

10th JULY 2015
The Society is sad to announce the death of Prince Saud al Faisal, the Kingdom's Foreign Minister until 2 months ago.

To read an obituary in The Guardian, CLICK HERE.

MARCH 2015
Caroline Montagu, a member of the Saudi-British Society’s Committee, gave a paper recently at Chatham House entitled ‘Civil Society in Saudi Arabia: The Power and Challenges of Association’.
To read the report, CLICK HERE.

3rd MARCH 2015

Ambassador Charles Freeman
Ambassador Charles Freeman gives a review of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s important contribution to the development and standing of Saudi Arabia in conversation with SUSRIS (the Saudi–US Relations Information Service).

Please click here to read it.

23rd JANUARY 2015

The Saudi–British Society announces with sadness the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud.

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27th OCTOBER 2014

Saudi businessman Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel has been awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth for his philanthropic activities and developing arts and culture in the United Kingdom, the British Embassy in Riyadh announced Monday.

HE Dr. John Jenkins, the British ambassador, congratulated Jameel on the award. “Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel’s association with the UK began many years ago. His business successes are well documented, as are his philanthropic activities. This award is in recognition of his contributions to strengthen the role of the arts and culture in society and his work with the UK’s Victoria & Albert Museum is one example of his strong contribution in this area. I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Follow this link for more information:

Facebook Saudi-British Society on Facebook: December 2013

The Society has a new Facebook page. You don't have to be a member of Facebook yourself to visit the page, which will give up-to-date information about events of interest to members and those with an interest in Saudi Arabia.
Have a look at:

29th January 2013: Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing
MPs take evidence on UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

The Society’s former Chairman, Sir Alan Munro, gave his views to the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs investigating the relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia, partly in his capacity as Hon. Vice–President of the Society.

To read the (uncorrected) transcription of his evidence, click here.

21st November 2012

It was with great sadness that the Society announced the death on 21st November 2012 of The Lord Charles Denman, former Chairman of the Society.

The Rt Hon Lord Denman The Rt Hon Lord Denman was born on the 7 July 1916 in Cumberland, England, and was Senior Advisor to the Merchant Bridge & Co. Ltd. until his death.

The Rt Hon Lord Denman joined the Territorial Army in 1936 and remained there until 1945. He served in the United Kingdom, India, Iraq, Egypt, North Africa and Dodecanese Islands. During his military service he attended Staff College and attained the rank of Major.

On demobilisation he joined C Tennant & Sons Merchants and became Director. This company was bought by Consolidated Goldfields (London & South Africa) and Lord Denman remained Director until 1985. Meanwhile he was also a Director of Marine and General Mutual Life Assurance Society from 1983 till 1985. He was a Chairman of Goldfields Mahd adh Dhahab, which developed the Saudi Gold mine of that name and a Director of British Water and Wastewater Ltd, which modernised the Cairo water and sewage services. In 1990 he became Director of Al Baraka International Bank and the Saudi British Bank.

Towards the end of his life, Lord Denman was Chairman of the Trustees at the Arab British Chamber Charitable Foundation, a Governor of Windlesham House School and President of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of World Traders and a Member and Chairman of the Committee for Middle East Trade and of the Committee on Invisible Exports. He was also Vice-President of the Middle East Association and the Saudi British Society.

6th August 2012 at the Olympics

Bronze medalCongratulations to the Saudi Equestrian Show-Jumping team who won bronze
at Greenwich Park.

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Flag Raising at Olympic Village for Saudi Athletes

The flag of Saudi Arabia was raised at the Olympic Village in London on 22nd July as athletes from the Kingdom prepare for the opening of the Summer Games on 27th July.

The 17 men and 2 women who make up the country team will compete in equestrian, track and field ("athletics"), weightlifting, and judo, over the course of the July 27–August 12 Olympic Games. The addition of Sarah Attar (800m) and Wodjan Shaherkani (judo) to the team was announced earlier this month following speculation about the inclusion of women on the Saudi country team. Equestrian competitor Dalma Rushdi Malhas was thought to be a likely team member but she was forced to withdraw from consideration in June when her horse was injured and unable to compete.

Saudi Ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, expressed his support for the team and the games according to a press statement today that noted the embassy will host the Kingdom’s Olympic media center.

Click for more info

New British Ambassador in Riyadh

Sir John Jenkins KCMG LVO took up his appointment as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in June 2012. He suceeded Sir Tom Richard Vaughan Phillips KCMG who is retiring from the Diplomatic Service. Sir John joined the FCO in 1980 and after studying Arabic at SOAS and elsewhere has served mainly in the Middle East and South East Asia.

On his appointment Sir John has said: "I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is our most important diplomatic position in the region. That brings great responsibilities and exciting challenges, especially in this time of change. I am greatly looking forward to working in partnership with the government of Saudi Arabia and building on our already excellent relations to promote a wide range of shared interests. I also want to encourage greater mutual understanding between Britain and the Middle East. There is no better place to do this than from Riyadh. We each have much to contribute to the world and can do so most effectively together".

Click for more info

18th June 2012: HRH Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz appointed as Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has appointed Defence Minister Prince Salman as Crown Prince and heir apparent, after the death of HRH Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

click for Reuters report

Obituary: HRH Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (1934-16.06.2012)

The death was announced on 16th June 2012 of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, 78-year-old Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, who served as the kingdom's interior minister for more than 35 years. He was member of the influential 'Sudairi Seven', and the full brother of the late Crown Prince Sultan.

click for obituaries: BBC news; The Guardian by Trevor Mostyn; The Telegraph

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Saudi British Relations Information Service

Established in 2011, the Saudi British Relations Information Service website ( has articles, interviews, special reports and reference materials relevant to the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Britain.
Those interested in receiving newsletters by email can subscribe online free, by clicking on the Subscribe button.

Obituary: Dr. Ghazi al Gosaibi (03.03.1940– 15.08.2010)

The death of Dr. Ghazi al Gosaibi, who was Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1992 to 2002, and was a poet as well as a diplomat, is announced with much regret. To read his obituary, written by Dr. Trevor Mostyn, which appeared in the Guardian Newspaper on August 24th 2010, click here.

10th Anniversary Painting and Patronage Programme: 2010

HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Khalid Al-FaisalThe launch has been announced, under the joint Presidency of HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Province, of the 10th anniversary Painting and Patronage Programme.

This two year programme, which first ran in 2000-2001,  is a cultural, artistic and educational outreach and student exchange programme.  Its purpose is to build bridges of artistic and educational understanding between the Arab world and Europe and to establish a deeper understanding of each other's distinct and diverse cultures and traditions. One of the activities of the programme will be an exchange programme for students from Saudi Arabia who will be invited to spend a year at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts.

The Society fully supports this important initiative and has been invited to participate in some way with the programme and the expected visit to the UK by HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.
There is more information on the website 
and at 


KSA Tour 2009

KSA Tour 2009

The first Society-sponsored tour of Saudi Arabia visited the Kingdom in 2009.

Click here for a summary and pictures.

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