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Saudi Arabia by Eric Lafforgue

Themed Collections

12 June 2018

Posted by Philip Mowbray

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; reclusive and highly-conservative, is in the midst of a period of tremendous reform, led by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salaman. 

The country is once-again set to dominate the world's media in less than two weeks time, when between the 23rd and 24th June, the Kingdom will allow the right for women to drive for the first time. 

In other recent high-profile reforms, a 35-year ban was lifted on cinemas and Hollywood films, and although still in the making, Saudia Arabia is also set to release tourist visas for foreigners to visit the country without the need of invitation; another first in the Kingdom's history.

Picfair contributor, Eric Lafforgue; a renowned documentary photographer, has travelled extensively around some of the world's most impenetrable areas, including Somalia, Iran and also, duly, Saudi Arabia. 

His photographs provide a rare glimpse into this enigmatic, but also profoundly beautiful land, and cast a softer light on a country, which for many, remains highly controversial.

We've selected some of our highlights below, and you can see more of Eric's remarkable Saudi portfolio here.

Saudi Arabia is a relatively young country. The median age is around 21 for males and 22 for females ; and children younger than 14 represent 38% of the total population.

Saudi Arabia is a relatively young country. The median age is around 21 for males and 22 for females ; and children younger than 14 represent 38% of the total population. Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Old Jeddah is considered a cultural and tourist landmark. This is because of its unique cultural and architectural heritage that reflects the original identity of the Kingdom. S... Read more

Old Jeddah is considered a cultural and tourist landmark. This is because of its unique cultural and architectural heritage that reflects the original identity of the Kingdom. Surrounded by walls, Old Jeddah, had grown vertically through the ages and the dense blocks of houses, merchants palaces, mosques and minarets, had shaped it. Small yards and squares and narrow streets separate these dense blocks of buildings. The Old City is divided into three parts and is protected by a wall facing the land. The three parts are: Mahelat ( the place of ) Ash' shan: Is in the northwestern part of the city. The merchants and the well to do lived in this part because it was characterized by mild weather due to the northwestern wind. This area is also close to the sea and many terraces were built at the front of buildings to take advantage of the water views. Mahelat ( the place of ) al Madhloom: This is the oldest place in Old Jeddah. It is located in the northeastern part of the city. It used to be the most populated area of the city. In this part, there are many mosques and old market places. Greater Jeddah's oldest mosque - al Shafei Mosque - is located here. Mahelat al Bahr ( the place of the sea ): It is in the southwestern part and is considered part of Mahelat al Yemen since it lies in the south. Historic Jeddah represents a unique example of a comprehensive urban fabric reflecting the characteristics of the Red Sea Coast urban heritage, like the one you can find in Massawa, Eritrea: multiple floors and architectural detailing on its elevations especially the wooden screening and balconies elements or “MASHRABIYAH” with distinctive designs are examples of these buildings. In 1970, the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural affairs suggested the preservation of 537 buildings, from amongst those in good condition. Nowadays, most of the buildings host somalis refugees people, yemenis, and pakistanis. Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Camel market in riyad, Saudi arabia

Camel market in riyad, Saudi arabia Read less

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Tourists in madain saleh archaeologic site, Saudi arabia

Tourists in madain saleh archaeologic site, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Bin hamsan house decoration, Asir area, Saudi arabia

Bin hamsan house decoration, Asir area, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Al faifa, Saudi arabia

Al faifa, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Al faifa mountains, Saudi arabia

Al faifa mountains, Saudi arabia Read less

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Camels in nafoud desert, Saudi arabia

Camels in nafoud desert, Saudi arabia Read less

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Cup of cofee, Saudi arabia

Cup of cofee, Saudi arabia Read less

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Riyad souk, Saudi arabia

Riyad souk, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Rijal alma village, Saudi arabia

Rijal alma village, Saudi arabia Read less

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Al aan palace in najran, Asir, Saudi arabia

Al aan palace in najran, Asir, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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National museum of riyad, Saudi arabia

National museum of riyad, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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The Al Faisaliyah Center is a commercial skyscraper located in the business district of Riyadh. It is the second tallest building in KSA after the Kingdom Centre.The tower was ... Read more

The Al Faisaliyah Center is a commercial skyscraper located in the business district of Riyadh. It is the second tallest building in KSA after the Kingdom Centre.The tower was designed by UK architect Foster and built by the famious Bin Laden group. At the top, you can smoke cigars (but without alcohol) with a nice view of the town. Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Kingdom center, Riyadh, Saudi arabia

Kingdom center, Riyadh, Saudi arabia Read less

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Camel oil, Riyadh souk, Saudi arabia

Camel oil, Riyadh souk, Saudi arabia Read less

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Rijal Alma village. The whole village has been turned into a tourist attraction. Most of the people have left the old houses, mud or stones ones, mainly because they had an eas... Read more

Rijal Alma village. The whole village has been turned into a tourist attraction. Most of the people have left the old houses, mud or stones ones, mainly because they had an easier access to water in this area. The village of Rijal Almaa is located in the Tihama part of the Aseer (or Asir) Province. It is 45km west of the tourist city of Abha. The village is only 500 m from the main road that connects the city of Mahayel Aseer and Darb Bani Shubah. It is located near other tourist sights in Abha. It was the capital of the principality of Hala during the reign of Mossa al Kenani in 732 H. 50,000 tourists a year visit this locality. The village is famous for the Assouda Tourist Cable Car that descends from the heights of Assouda Mountains to an area near the village. High stone buildings that often reach 7 storeys characterize the architectural legacy of the area. Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Al masmack palace entrance door, Riyad, Saudi arabia

Al masmack palace entrance door, Riyad, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Al ula old town, Saudi arabia

Al ula old town, Saudi arabia Read less

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Old jeddah, Saudi arabia

Old jeddah, Saudi arabia Read less

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Old jeddah, Saudi arabia

Old jeddah, Saudi arabia Read less

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Beduin in sakakah desert, Saudi arabia

Beduin in sakakah desert, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Najran style architecture, Saudi arabia

Najran style architecture, Saudi arabia Read less

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Riyadh's Camel Market is one of the largest of its kind in the Middle East. 

Riyadh's Camel Market is one of the largest of its kind in the Middle East.  Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Omar ibn al-khattab mosque - saudi arabia

Omar ibn al-khattab mosque - saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Madain saleh archaeologic site, Saudi arabia

Madain saleh archaeologic site, Saudi arabia Read less

by Eric Lafforgue

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Al ula old town, Saudi arabia

Al ula old town, Saudi arabia Read less

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Qaseer al fareed, Madain saleh archaeologic site, Saudi arabia

Qaseer al fareed, Madain saleh archaeologic site, Saudi arabia Read less

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