Perhaps it's because they weren't elected--when the people haven't chosen their leader, their leader has to convince the people to love him.
Perhaps it's because he's the only guy in the Kingdom that'll let his photo get plastered on an 80 foot billboard...
Whatever the reason, if you're traveling in the Middle East, you're going to see large-and-in-charge photos of the monarchs of whatever Kingdom you're in. They will be on the side of the road with words of greeting and benevolence
Or leering at you from their ridiculously large gilded frame as you commute to work
Other times they're staring off into the distance through their Ray Bans from the back of a Dodge Charger
Even though I'm pretty sure that the last one was actually a self-portrait of the driver, whether you're in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or Bahrain, you're going to be surrounded by the faces of monarchs and sheikhs. They are faces that seem to say, "I see what you're doing. And I'm disappointed."
Unless, of course, you're King Abdullah. That guy is always smiling!
I can't say that I mind this appreciation the PR department of the King's staff has decided to impart on his people. It helps me to know who is in charge of the country I'm currently in, and thanks to the giant font on the signs in Saudi Arabia, gives me a chance to practice reading Arabic!