Slavery trade was dominant in the Arabian Peninsula, and accepted by people for centuries much before the unification of the Arabian Peninsula by king AbdulAziz. It was very easy for merchants to transport imprisoned Africans from Africa through the Red Sea to trade them all over the Peninsula.
King Abdul-Aziz who was known for his compassionate and humanitarian nature, ordered the prohibition of this trade in (1936), but it was not totally eradicated, given that he was occupied by the unification and laying the foundation of the country.
After his death, and the succession of his son king Saud to the throne, social changes prevailed all over the world, which made King Saud recognize the importance of the abolition of slavery. Consequently, he ordered the formation of a committee to study the initiation of such a decree in (1960). The committee was chaired by the Minister of Interior, Prince Abdul Muhsin Bin Abdul-Aziz assisted by Sheikh Mohammed Al Harkan, Secretary General of World Islamic League and other advisors.
During that period, King Saud fell ill and traveled to the USA in (1962) for treatment where by he met with president Kennedy both in Florida and Washington, and discussed many issues, one of them was president Kennedy s request for a ten points reforms in the kingdom in return for his support for the Kingdom against their war with Egypt in Yemen. One of these reforms was the speed up the abolition of slavery. President Kennedy also discussed this issue with Crown Prince and Prime Minister Prince Faisal. When the cabinet convened after the arrival of King Saud on November 6, (1962), the decree to abolish slavery was ready to be issued as a Royal Decree no (3/1/5) among ten other reforms. In his opening statement in the newly formed cabinet, Prime minister and Crown Prince Faisal confirmed that the new law for the abolishing of slavery implemented was:” one of the measures issued by his Majesty King Saud’s Government". The ruling also prescribed government financial compensations in return for everyone who freed his slaves in order to encourage citizens to carry out that step as fast as possible.