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Peoples Vision of Saudi Arabia Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 24th, 2019

A monarch that comprises of members of the Al Saud, the ruling family rules Saudi Arabia. The king is the imperial ruler who appoints ministers and consultative councils. The monopoly encourages dictatorship and corruption. This portrays Saudi Arabia in a bad light to the international community. The laws that govern the state of Saudi Arabia are based on the Muslim religion. These are the Islamic laws.

These laws are conservative customs and practices of a social nature. They deny other people the freedom deemed as a human right. They also deny women basic human rights. The modern infrastructure and magnificent tourist attractions in Saudi Arabia are not fully utilized by tourists due to the fear of the Islamic laws they have.

In the modern world, there are many misconceptions about the people of Saudi Arabia. For a long time, people around the world based conception of the Saudi Arabia nation on the influence brought in by the media. In current years, there has been a growing interest in international news. The news portrays Arab nations on their strict provision of Islamic laws and their negligence of human rights.

Travel advisory has been placed by many nations against the republic of Saudi Arabia due to their breach of human rights. The media portrays the negative aspects of the laws imposed on Saudi Arabia and breach of their human rights. It is portrayed that the nation abuses its prisoners and detains people incommunicado.

The press also emphasizes that the nation gags the media and restricts speech, peaceful assembly and change of government. Other religions presented in the region are oppressed. Many workers and women rights are suppressed.

The global image of Saudi Arabia was tainted by its strict implementation of Islamic laws, breach of human and women’s rights, corruption and torture allegations. The September 11 terrorist attack in the New York City further dampened the image of Arabic nations Saudi Arabia included. Before the 9/11 attacks, Saudi Arabia was known for its Islamic religious shrines and its oil reserves.

It was the most stable country in the Arab league with strong international relations. The United States believed in their reforms. After the attacks, Saudi Arabia appeared to support the religious act behind the attacks and these dampened relations with the west. It further portrayed itself negatively to the public.


The aim is to examine the perception of Saudi Arabia. The aim is to establish the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Saudi Arabians in the management of their national image. The paper seeks to examine views and opinions of Saudi Arabians.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of this follow-up survey include the following:

  • Explore the opinion of people on the image portrayed by Saudi Arabians.
  • To identify modes of perception of image portrayed.
  • Develop recommendations about priority interventions needed to address the urgent situation.


This research is based on a web-based survey. The design of the study comprised of two mutually reinforcing data collection methods. The two are aimed at collecting mainly qualitative data. Selected literature on perception of people on Saudi Arabia was reviewed to derive generalized experiences.

The study also used purposive sampling to interview using a structured questionnaire with open and closed questions used for the interview. The purpose of the interviews was to determine the perception of people on Saudi Arabia. Interviews were conducted with key informants.

Literature reviews

For Saudi Arabia to go back to its lost glory, it has to rebuild its image among its citizen and the worldwide public at large. The Saudi Arabian nation has to improve the international relations with the wider society and delink itself from the oppressive culture. The state must engage in various international activities that involve public communication, media diplomacy and management of their image.

They should restrict the Islamic laws to Muslims in the state and encourage freedom of religion to others. The scholars in the communication field suggest the use of freedom of expression of members of the Arabic nation as a means of improving trust amongst other nations. The word of the people is stronger than the word of a single representative of the government (Gifford, 2000).

The questions of issues that affect the ordinary Saudis must be poised. The government should also learn to collect views of average citizens’ conception of the government and domestic economies. They should also look into attitudes towards the religion being extreme. These factors immensely influence on how people depict the nation (Martin, 1998).

The acceptance of the system of the current monarch rule makes an enormous impact on the long and short-term stability of Saudi Arabia. The government is weary of the reactions of the public to its initiatives and should avoid suppression of its control. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not use opinion polls. This means that the opinion of public belief is centered upon the view of the government representatives of the people (Janin & Besheer, 2003).

This survey helps analyze the picture of the Islamic nation of Saudi Arabia. The public views the state of Saudi Arabia judging on the country’s political and social issues portrayed by the media. The media show that Saudi Arabians try portraying their views. These views on corruption and breach of human rights, but the government suppresses them.

They also suppress the view on religious extremism. Contrary to misconceptions by the west on the state, the government places such grievances’ last on the list of their agenda of the state (GVU, 1998).

The western governments show that there is high terrorism threat in Saudi Arabia. The westerners are frequently warned against the nation as the terrorists and the governments will target them if any eventuality was to occur. These advisories paint a grief image of the nation of Saudi Arabia.

Since 9/11, terrorist are thought to be planning abductions in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. Although the Saudi authorities have tried to take action on the terrorist, their effort of improving the image of Saudi is constantly tainted by terrorist threats (UCLA, 2000).

Terrorist attacks in the state have taken various forms from time to time. These attacks include bombing, kidnapping, shootings and attacks on consulates. These attacks occur frequently despite the government efforts. The government arrested a number of terrorists and killed many others disrupting terror terrorist cells. The persistence of the terrorist belittles government efforts hence portraying an unfavorable image on government negligence on the matter in the public arena (GVU, 1998).

Study Type

This survey was an assessment for the 30 individuals. The studies were designed to provide data. The major advantage of this design of separate independent random samples is that, the situation for a specific individual can be measured. This improves the possibility of better understanding the dynamics and possible determinants of detected changes.

Sample Size

The sample size of 30 individuals was calculated using the formula to determine the significance of changes.

Data Collection Instruments

The data collection instruments used in included questionnaires.

Data Computerization and Verification

I entered the data. Data was entered into Key Informant Questionnaire (KHI) files. Quality control was conducted by systematic checking for outliers, coding errors, and impossible results. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for data analysis.

Sample Sizes

Despite difficulties during survey implementation, it was possible to collect data for all the survey elements. The completion rate of interviews was very high with over 100% overall.

Data cleaning

At the end, of the data collection Manual data cleaning of questionnaires’ conducted. All queries and concerns were harmonized to ensure uniformity as prepared to develop the data entry screen.

Data entry screen

Data entry and manipulation was to be done in the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). The screen merged and harmonized into one master sheet. Data entry was conducted. All the entered data was merged into one data set master sheet.

Data analysis

The data analysis was both manual and electronic. The initial exercise of the data analysis started with the harmonization of dummy tables required to guide on the variables for electronic manipulation. Frequencies of identified variables were run in SPSS some of which were exported to Microsoft Excel for generation of graphs and charts. Various variables were also summarized manually in tables to assist in the analysis.

Ethical Consideration

Ethical consideration has been made in considering the target population excluding those whom do not want to take part in the study due to the nature of the study, thus would be counterproductive resulting to provide initiated disclosure which is not an endpoint of the study.

To maintain confidentiality, neither the name of the participant nor other personal identifying information will appear on the questionnaire. Participant’s data will be restricted to selected elements. Database will be passing and protected so that only authorized persons will have access. Returned questionnaires will be locked in a file cabinet awaiting the analysis of the data.


The results are based on the questionnaire posted on the web. This section tabulates and tables the findings of the survey. Results include reviews from thirty participants of various ages and sex.

What is your age?
Response count Response percentage
Less than 18 years 1 3
Above 18 years 25 97
What is your gender?
Response count Response percentage
Female 14 40
Male 16 60
What is your marital Status?
Response count Response percentage
Single 25 83.7
Married 5 16.3
Divorced 0 0
Separated 0 0
Widowed 0 0
What do you think are some of the main misconceptions that foreigners have of KSA?
Response count Response percentage
Saudis sponsor terrorism. 10 33.3
Saudis live in tents in the desert and ride camels. 5 16.7
Saudi Arabia is an undeveloped country. 5 16.7
All Saudis are rich. 5 16.7
Saudi Arabia is not safe for working foreigners for any kind of abuse. 5 16.7
As a Saudi abroad, do you experience any difficulties because of this misconception?
Response count Response percentage
Yes 10 33.3
No 20 67.7
Which of the following conceptions of KSA most offends/annoys you?
Response count Response percentage
Saudis sponsor terrorism. 15 50
Saudis live in tents in the desert and ride camels. 5 16.7
Saudi Arabia is an undeveloped country. 5 16.7
All Saudis are rich. 5 16.7
Why do you think these misconceptions exist?
Response count Response percentage
Ignorance 16.7 5
Media influence 33.3 10
Experience 16.7 5
All the above 16.7 5
Don’t know 16.7 5
Do you think Saudis themselves are the cause of some / all of these misconceptions?
Response count Response percentage
Yes 15 50
No 5 16.7
Don’t know 10 33.3
How do you think these misconceptions can best be eliminated?
Response count Response percentage
Increasing tourism 5 16.7
Saudi media 0 0
Saudi development 5 16.7
All the above 15 50
Don’t know 5 16.7


According to the results, the male members of the society participated more than the female. The difference was significantly low. Majority of the respondents were above 18 years of age and single.

The main misconception is the fact that Saudi Arabians sponsor terrorism. Majority of the people who took the survey believe the media has fueled the misconception. Many respondents believe that Saudis abroad have trouble because of these misconceptions. They also believe that Saudi development, Saudi media and increasing tourism can best eliminate these misconceptions.


According to the results, we find out that aspects that the terrorists’ cells are disruptive of the nature bring about the negative perception of the world. The media is the main protagonist of the issue. Many respondents blame the media for the image portrayed. They also believe that the media is the way out for the Saudis.

The misconception propagated is widely based on the media that generally portrays news of negative images of Saudi and base fewer facts on the positive aspects. Many respondents have a dim image about the nation Saudi. They believe that Saudis are rich and live in tents despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is a developed nation.

Some also believe that Saudi is under developed and the Saudis ride on camels. This is true to some level, but it is not the whole picture. Saudis ride camel for leisure and not as a means of transport. Saudi Arabia is a developed country and the media should assist the world to get more information.


This report presents changes in key indicators that will be useful in planning and designing options in the improvement of perception of Saudi Arabia. This requires that the data be fed into the government management cycle.

The stakeholders find it beneficial to disseminate the results for all concerned parties, including the media, decision makers in government and humanitarian agencies, and the people affected by the opinions portrayed. This survey results reveal the urgency for immediate strict interventions in most areas to avoid further deterioration.

There are bits of the results that require more investigation as the scope of the perception assessments is not suited to investigate the underlying causes or they have not been conclusive.

The recommendation for action states that participation of all stakeholders who use or protect resources and their state is required, and further attention is required to improve the role of people in the area, particularly the women, who are often excluded from decision-making. The Saudi government needs to develop and mobilize human resources to advancements in knowledge, more effective.


Gifford, A. P. (2000). Design and Conducting Survey Research. New York: Bass Publishers.

GVU. (1998). User Survey. Retrieved from

Janin, H., & Besheer, M. (2003). Saudi Arabia. New York: Marshall Cavendish.

Martin, J. (1998). Women and the Internet. New York: IRISS.

UCLA. (2000). Internet Report: Surveying the Future. Web.

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