Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015 and the third wealthiest head of state in the world. He was also the custodian of Two Holy Mosques during his reign and served as the Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers and Commander of the National Guard. Born as one of the many sons of Saudi Arabia's founding king, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, he developed a profound respect for religion, history and the Arab heritage from an early age. He was chosen by King Faisal to command the National Guard and later became the Second Deputy Prime Minister upon the succession of King Khalid. When King Fahd ascended the throne, Abdullah was named Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, next in the line of throne. After King Fahd suffered a massive stroke in 1995, Abdullah assumed the role of the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia until ascending the throne a decade later, after King Fahd’s death.
After ascending the throne in 2005, King Abdullah initiated a large-scale infrastructure development in Saudi Arabia including the creation of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
He supervised the ventures to expand the Two Holy Mosques and several other welfare projects. He also established two major libraries in the Muslim world, one in Riyadh, and another in Casablanca, Morocco.
In April 2012, King Abdullah received a gold medal from United Nations for his contributions to intercultural understanding and peace initiatives.
In December 2012, he was ranked at the seventh position on the Forbes list of the ‘World's Most Powerful People’ for 2012. He was the sole Arab in the top ten.
He was conferred an honored knight of the strictly Roman Catholic Order of the Golden Fleece.