Prince Abdullah was born in Riyadh in 1924, and received his early education at the royal court. Influenced by his father, founder of the modern Kingdom King Abdulaziz Al Saud, he developed a profound respect for religion, history and the Arab heritage. His years spent living in the desert with Bedouin tribes taught him their values of honor, simplicity, generosity and bravery, and instilled in him the desire to assist in the development of his people.
As Crown Prince, he traveled widely throughout the Kingdom. During the course of 2004, he inaugurated a number of projects not only in the capital city of Riyadh, but in Makkah and in Taif, as well as in the Eastern Province. Always mindful of the interests of the people, in 2005 he closely monitored the ongoing election process for the country's municipal councils.
Crown Prince Abdullah’s State visits overseas include France in 2005, Austria in 2004, Russia in 2003, and Germany in 2001, in addition to travels within the Arab and Islamic worlds. In 2000, following the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York, he traveled to Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela; and in 1998, in a world tour that included the United States, he visited Britain, France, China, Japan, South Korea, and Pakistan.
As head of Saudi delegations, Crown Prince Abdullah addressed many conferences, such as the Summit meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Malaysia in October, 2003; the Arab-U.S. Summit in Sharm Al-Shaikh in June , 2003; and the Summit of the League of Arab States in Beirut in March 2002. His participation in this international diplomacy reflects the Kingdom's leadership role in defense of Arab and Islamic issues and for the achievement of world peace, stability and security. Peace in the Middle East and the plight of the Palestinians are of particular concern to him, and the initiative on these that he presented at the Beirut Arab Summit in 2002 has been adopted by the League of Arab States, as has his forward-looking strategy for a unified Arab stance on international issues.
On the issue of terrorism, King Abdullah has been unwavering in his condemnation of the taking of innocent lives, and in his denunciation of deviant groups that falsely claim to be Islamic. At the Counter-Terrorism International Conference in Riyadh in February, 2005, he urged international cooperation to fight this global scourge.
Throughout his life, King Abdullah has retained a love of the desert, along with a love of horsemanship. He is a breeder of pure Arabian horses, and founder of the equestrian club in Riyadh. Another life-long passion is reading, to which he attributes great importance. He has established two libraries, the King Abdulaziz Library in Riyadh, and one in Casablanca , Morocco.
In 1962, Prince Abdullah was chosen by King Faisal to command the National Guard, which was formed from descendents of those who were King Abdulaziz' followers. The National Guard and its Commander are renowned for their efforts to preserve and celebrate the country's cultural heritage. The National Heritage and Culture Festival, established in 1985 and held at Jenadriyah each year, is a major part of these efforts.
While maintaining charge over the National Guard, Prince Abdullah was appointed Second Deputy Prime Minister in 1975 on the succession of King Khalid, and when King Fahd came to the throne in 1982, he was named Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister. In the latter capacity, he presides over cabinet meetings and governs the country as deputy to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz.
The King's first official visit to the United States was as Prince Abdullah in 1976, when he met with President Gerald Ford. His second visit was in October 1987, as Crown Prince, when he met with President George H.W. Bush before attending the Arab summit in Amman.
In September 1998, Crown Prince Abdullah made a state visit to the United States, meeting in Washington, DC with President Bill Clinton and top American officials. He met again with President Clinton in September 2000 while attending the Millennium event at the United Nations in New York.
On April 25, 2002, and again on April 25, 2005, Crown Prince Abdullah was received by President George W. Bush at the presidential ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was proclaimed sixth King of Saudi Arabia on August 1, 2005.