Purpose-Environmental degradation is recognized as a serious problem globally, and hence, Saudi Arabia is no exception. This paper aims to focus on the economy of Saudi Arabia to identify the determinants of environmental degradation. Design/methodology/approach-Time series data spanning from 1971 to 2014 is used and analyzed using the recently developed autoregressive distributed lag modeling approach. Findings-The obtained results reflected that natural resources, per person income and urbanization, have impacted environmental degradation both positively and significantly in the long run. Similarly, an insignificant negative relationship is established between trade openness and environmental degradation. Moreover, energy consumption has positively but insignificantly affected environmental degradation. In the short run, only per capita income has positively influenced environmental degradation while the rest of the variables have lost either significance levels or their direction of relationship has reversed. Originality/value-As this is a pioneering study on the economy of Saudi Arabia, therefore, the authors assume that policymakers will find the findings of the current study very useful while formulating and implementing policies to control environmental degradation.