Al Yamamah University (YU) was established in May 2001 as a single college by the Al-Khudair family. This marked their second major contribution to education in Saudi Arabia, having pioneered the establishment of the first private schools in Riyadh in 1957. Authorized as an institution of higher learning by the Ministry of Higher Education, Al Yamamah College opened its doors to male students in September 2004 and to female students in September 2006. In 2008, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, may Allah protect him, issued a royal decree approving the elevation of Al Yamamah College to university status, the culmination of eight years of planning and hard work to establish a distinctive, modern Saudi educational institution that provides both undergraduate and postgraduate education. Since its inception, the University has established itself at the forefront of the competition among private higher education institutions in the Kingdom using English as a medium for instruction.