Image: Peter Dowley
___ Saudi Arabia
Destination Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a desert country and an Arab Muslim State situated in Southwest Asia. Saudi Arabia occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Red Sea in west and the Persian Gulf in east. It is bordered by Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The country shares maritime borders with Bahrain, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran and Sudan.
Flag of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the largest state in Western Asia with an area of more than 2 million km², it is almost four times the size of Metropolitan France or somewhat larger than Mexico.
The country has a population of 31.7 million inhabitants (2016), capital and largest city is Riyadh, spoken language is Arabic. Saudi Arabia is a country with a predominantly Muslim population, state religion is Wahhabism, the ultraconservative form of Sunni Islam. 85–95% of Saudi Arabian citizens are Sunni Muslims, 10–15% are Shia. The country is home to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, and the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Kingdom is ruled by the house of Saud along traditional Islamic lines. Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the Middle East. The proven oil reserves in Saudi Arabia are the second largest in the world, estimated to be 268 billion barrels.
Saudi Arabia | Al-Arabiya as Saudiya
al-Mamlakah al-Arabiyah as-Saudiyah
Al-Mamlaka al-Arabiya as-Saudiya
local short form: Al-Arabiya as Saudiya
int'l short form: Saudi Arabia
int'l long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
ISO Country Code: sa
Actual Time: Wed-Jan-22 07:52
Local Time = UTC +3h
Country Calling Code: +966
Capital: Riyadh (pop. 4.7 million)
Jeddah, Makkah, Al Madinah, Dammam with Al Khobar and Dhahran, (capital of the Eastern Region), Taif.
Monarchy with Council of Ministers and Consultative Council.
Head of State and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques: King and Prime Minister Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 23 January 2015).
Unification: 23 September 1932.
Constitution: The Holy Qur'an (Governed according to Islamic Law)
Executive: King (chief of state and head of government)
Legislative: none; a Consultative Council with advisory powers was formed September 1993.
Judicial: Supreme Council of Justice, Islamic Courts of First Instance and Appeals.
Political parties: None.
Location: Southwest Asia, Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen.
Area: 2 million km² (868,730 sq. mi.), about one-fourth the size of the continental USA.
Terrain: Deserts, plateaus, mountains in the southwest.
Arid, with great extremes of temperature in the interior; humidity and temperature are both high along the coast.
Nationality: Noun: Saudi(s), Adjective: Saudi Arabian or Saudi.
Population: 31.7 million (2016; Saudi citizens 69%; 31% non-Saudi residents)
GNI per capita PPP: $ 13 123 (year)
Ethnic groups: Arab (90% of native pop.), Afro-Asian (10% of native pop.)
Language: Arabic (official)
Education: Literacy: male 88%, female 74%.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper.
Agriculture products: Wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk.
Industries: Crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics.
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 90% (2012 est.)
Exports - partners: China 13.2%, Japan 10.9%, USA 9.6%, India 9.6%, South Korea 8.5% (2015)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles.
Imports - partners: China 13.9%, USA 12.7%, Germany 7.1%, South Korea 6.1%, India 4.5%, Japan 4.4%, UK 4.3% (2015)
Currency: Saudi Riyal (SAR)
(Source: Saudi Arabian Information Resource and others)
Saudi Arabia in Figures
Saudi Arabia key statistical data.
In 1902 Abdul al-Aziz Ibn SAUD captured Riyadh and set out on a 30-year campaign to unify the Arabian peninsula. In the 1930s, the discovery of oil transformed the country from an underdeveloped desert kingdom to one of the wealthiest nations in the region. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Saudi Arabia accepted the Kuwaiti royal family and 400,000 refugees while allowing Western and Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation of Kuwait the following year.
A burgeoning population, aquifer depletion, and an economy largely dependent on petroleum output and prices are all major governmental concerns.
On the morning of the 1st of August, 2005, it was announced that King Fahd had died. Crown Prince Abdullah was affirmed as King and Prince Sultan appointed Crown Prince. He was King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques from 2005 to his death in 2015.
His successor is Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the former Governor of Riyadh and now King of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is a member state of the League of Arab States
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy and an Islamic theocracy. There are no political parties or national elections. The royal family dominates the political system, the King is chief of state and head of government.
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.
Official Sites of Saudi Arabia
Saudi National Portal
Saudi National e-Government Portal.
Ministry of Culture & Information
Official website of the Ministry of Culture and Information (in Arabic).
The Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia.
Ministry of Hajj
Official website of the ministry with comprehensive information about the Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saudi Arabia, provides also information about Saudi Missions Abroad and
General Authority for Statistics
National Statistical Office of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia in Figures
Saudi Arabia key statistical data.
Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME)
Weather Forecast for SaudiArabia.
Permanent Mission of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UN
Saudi Arabia's representation to the United Nations.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Royal Embassy
Map of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Political Map of Saudi Arabia.
Google Earth Saudi Arabia
Searchable map/satellite view of Saudi Arabia.
Google Earth Riyadh
Searchable map/satellite view of Riyadh Saudi Arabia's capital.
Google Earth Mecca (Makkah)
Searchable map/satellite view of Mecca, the holy city of Islam, where the Prophet Muhammad was born.
Map of Western Asia
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.
Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.
Saudi Arabia News
Official News Releases
Official News by the Ministry of Information.
A weekly Arab news magazine. (Arabic/English)
Riyadh Daily Newspaper. (Arabic)
A Middle East's English Language Daily.
National and international news. (Arabic)
Internet Edition, national and international news.
Saudi Press Agency
The Kingdom's national wire-service responsible for
the collection and distribution of local, regional,
and international news in Saudi Arabia.
King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz
King of Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 2005. Access a full account of the life of King Fahd and his outstanding contribution to the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
House of Saud
Saudi Royal Family News & Information.
International Saudi Arabia News
Bookmark/share this page
Arts & Culture
King Faisal Foundation
A global philanthropic organisation inspired by Islamic values.
King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur'an
A Leading Islamic Establishment that Serves the Qur'an and Sunnah.
King Fahed National Library
Official website of the library (in Arabic).
The National Museum, Riyadh
Representing the rich history of the Arabian Peninsula, and the eternal message of Islam on one page (in Arabic).
Al-Hajj and Al-Omra (`Umrah)
Information on the Hajj Farewell Pilgrimage, Hajj and Umrah rituals; the sacred Ka'bah and the Prophet's mosque.
Business & Economy
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Official ministry website.
Council of Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The federation for the 25 Saudi Chambers.
Saudi Arabia Information Resource with comprehensive information about Saudi Arabia.
Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp.
National Commercial Bank
Head Office, Jeddah
Head Office, Riyadh.
Saudi American Bank (SAMBA)
Site of the Samba Financial Group.
Saudi Stock Exchange -Tadawul- market and company information.
Real-time Prices from Saudi Stock Market.
The Saudi Arabia Oil Company is a global player in the petroleum industry.
Saudi Arabia business index site.
Saudi Arabia's Top 100 companies
List of Saudi Arabia's Top 100 companies.
The national carrier of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Ports Authority
The largest Port Network in the Middle East.
© Saudi Ministry of Culture & Information
Image: Najamuddin Shahwani
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Saudi Arabia Country Guides
Comprehensive information about tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Supreme Commission for Tourism
Site provides information about the tourism sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Emirate of Makkah
Official website of the Imarat Makkah Al-Mokaramah, it covers an area of 150 000 sq. km. with a population of more than 6 millions, it hosts the pilgrims from all around the world who visits the holy city in Makkah (Mecca).
King Saud University (KSU)
Founded in 1957 (1376/77 AH) as the Riyadh University, one of the first institutions of higher education in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.
King Abdul Aziz University (KAU)
Founded in 1967 (1386/87 AH), Jeddah and Madinah.
King Faisal University (KFU)
Founded in 1975 (1395 AH), Hofuf and in Dammam, Eastern Province. (Arabic only)
King Fahad University of Petrolume & Minerals
Founded in 1963 (1382/83 AH). Umm Al-Qur'a Islamic University
Founded in 1979 (1399/1400 AH), Makkah.
Islamic University of Madinah
Founded in 1961 (1380/81 AH), Faculties of Islamic Law (Shari'ah), the Holy Qur'an and Islamic Studies, Da'wa and Usul Al-Din, Islamic Traditions (Hadith) and Arabic Language.
King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST)
An independent scientific organization of the Saudi Arabian Government.
Environment & Nature
Environmental organizations Saudi Arabia
Presidency of Meteorology and Environment
Sa General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection provides some weather and environment related information.
Saudi Environmental Society
SENS is a national non-profit society for the development of the Saudi environment and improving the residents’ conditions in regions and provinces that suffer environmental problems.
National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD)
NCWCD develops and implements plans to preserve wildlife in its natural ecology and proposes the establishment of proper protected areas and reserves for wildlife in the Kingdom.
Environment and Energy | UNDP in Saudi Arabia
About the United Nations Development Programme in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA)
According to their website, the Saudi Wildlife Authority is responsible for the conservation and development of wildlife in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia - Historical and Cultural Background
History of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi royal family.
History Saudi Arabia
Internet resources on Saudi Arabian history.
SearchSaudi-Net -- Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia directory.
Sources and additional Information on Saudi Arabia
BBC Country profile: Saudi Arabia
Amnesty International: Saudi Arabia
FAO: Saudi Arabia
GlobalEDGE: Saudi Arabia
The Heritage Foundation: Saudi Arabia
Human Rights Watch: Saudi Arabia
OEC: Saudi Arabia
Reporters Without Borders: Saudi Arabia
Wikipedia: Saudi Arabia
The World Factbook -- Saudi Arabia
Other countries and territories in the Middle East
Bahrain | Cyprus | Egypt | Gaza Strip | Iran | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon
Oman | Qatar | Syria | Turkey | United Arab Emirates | West Bank | Yemen
Major Cities in the Middle East
Abu Dhabi, Aden, Alexandria, Amman, Ankara, Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul,
Jerusalem, Kuwait (City), Luxor, Manama, Mecca, Muscat, Nazareth, Nicosia, Port Said, Riyadh, Sana'a,
Sharm El Sheikh, Suez, Tehran, Tel Aviv
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