The Arab world consists of 22 countries with Arabic as their official language. A majority of these countries are located in Western Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. The Arab world is known for its rich history, stunning culture and magnificent cities.
The eastern part of the Arab world is known as the Mashriq while the western part is known as the Maghreb. Some of the most popular cities in the Arab world are Mecca, Cairo, and Casablanca. Here are the Top 10 Largest Cities in the Arab World by Population.
Khartoum is the capital of Sudan. With a population of 5,274,321, its metropolitan area is the largest in Sudan. Khartoum is located at the confluence of the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile, flowing west from Lake Tana in Ethiopia.
Khartoum was founded in 1821 as part of Ottoman Egypt, north of the ancient city of Soba. It is an economic and trade centre in Northern Africa, with rail lines from Port Sudan and El-Obeid. It is served by Khartoum International Airport, with another airport, Khartoum New International Airport, under construction. Several national and cultural institutions are located in Khartoum and its metropolitan area, including the National Museum of Sudan, the Khalifa House Museum, the University of Khartoum, and the Sudan University of Science and Technology.
Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai. Located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is a business hub in Western Asia. It is also a major global transport hub for passengers and cargo.
According to government data, the population of Dubai is estimated at around 3.4 million. It is the 9th largest city in the Arab world. Dubai is a city of skyscrapers, ports, and beaches. It is a relatively crime-free place where administrative efficiency and openness to business have encouraged astounding growth.
Oil revenue helped accelerate the development of Dubai, which was already a major mercantile hub. The city has been a center for regional and international trade since the early 20th century, The city’s economy relies on revenues from trade, tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial services.
Casablanca is the largest city of Morocco. Located in the central-western part of Morocco, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Casablanca is the largest city in the Maghreb region and the eighth-largest in the Arab world. The city is Morocco’s chief port and one of the largest financial centers in Africa.
According to the 2019 population estimate, the city has an urban population of about 3.71 million and over 4.27 million in Greater Casablanca. Casablanca is considered the economic and business center of Morocco, although the national political capital is Rabat.
Many leading Moroccan companies and international corporations have their headquarters and main industrial facilities in Casablanca. The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest artificial ports in the world, and the second largest port of North Africa.
Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. The city is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria. Algiers is the capital and chief seaport of Algeria. It is the political, economic, and cultural center of the country.
The population of Algiers at the 2011 Census was estimated to be around 3,500,000. As of 2020, the population of Algiers is estimated at over 4 million inhabitants. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5.1 million.
Ranked as the 7th largest Arabian city by population, Algiers is also the second largest city in North Africa behind Cairo and Alexandria.
Amman is the capital and largest city of Jordan. It is the country’s economic, political, and cultural center. With a population of just over 4 million, Amman is the largest city in the Levant region and the sixth-largest city in the Arab world by population.
East Amman is predominantly filled with historic sites that frequently host cultural activities, while West Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the city. The city is among the most popular locations in the Arab world for multinational corporations.
Amman has a fast growing economy, it was named one of the Middle East and North Africa’s best cities according to economic, labor, environmental, and socio-cultural factors. The city is also one of Jordan’s most visited location. Over two million visitors arrived in Amman in 2019, which made it the 90th most visited city in the world and the 5th most visited city in the Arab world.
Jeddah is a city in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia and is the country’s commercial center. With a population of about 4 million people, Jeddah is the largest city in the Makkah Province, the second-largest in Saudi Arabia, and the 5th most populous in the Arab world. Jeddah’s Islamic Port is the second-largest and the second-busiest seaport in the Arab world.
Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam. Economically, Jeddah is focused on developing investments in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. Previously perceived as the most open city in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah was named a Beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network.
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic center. With a population of over 5.2 million, Alexandria is the largest city on the Mediterranean, the sixth-largest city in the Arab world, and the ninth-largest in Africa.
This magnificent Arabian city is a popular tourist destination and an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines. Alexandria was the intellectual and cultural center of the ancient Mediterranean world. It was at one time the largest city in the ancient world before being eventually overtaken by Rome.
The city was a major center of early Christianity and was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world.
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq and one of the largest cities in the Arab world. Located along the Tigris, Baghdad was founded in the 8th century and became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Within a short time, the city grew to become a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual center in the Muslim world.
Baghdad was the largest city in the world for much of the Abbasid era during the Islamic Golden Age. With the recognition of Iraq as an independent state in 1932, Baghdad became prominent as a significant center of Arabic culture, with a population estimated at over 7 million.
The city has often faced severe infrastructural damage, most recently due to the United States-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent Iraq War. As of 2020, Baghdad was listed as one of the least hospitable places to live, ranked by Mercer as one of the worst city for quality of life.
Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and the largest city on the Arabian Peninsula. Located in the center of the an-Nafud desert, the city receives more than 16 million tourists each year, making it the 2nd most visited city in the Arab world. Riyadh has a population of over 7.6 million people, making it the most populous city in Saudi Arabia, the 2nd most populous in the Arab world and the 38th most populous city in Asia
Riyadh is the political and administrative center of Saudi Arabia. The city hosts 112 foreign embassies. Riyadh also holds great economic significance, as it hosts the headquarters of many banks and major companies, such as the National Commercial Bank and the Saudi Arabian British Bank. Riyadh has been designated a global city, It is one of the world’s fastest-growing cities in population, and is home to many expatriates.
Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Its metropolitan area has a population of over 20 million people and is ranked as the largest in Africa, the Arab world, the Middle East, and the 6th-largest in the world. The city however, has a population of over 9 million.
A popular tourist destination, Cairo is home to the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis. This magnificent Arabian city has long been a center of the region’s political and cultural life, and is titled “the city of a thousand minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture.
The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East and 43rd globally. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city. The Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.