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Saudi Arabia Country Guide


Middle East.


GMT + 3.


2,240,000 sq km (864,869 sq miles).


27.6 actor (2007 estimate).

Population Density

12.3 per sq km.


Riyadh (royal). Population: 4.7 actor (UN appraisal 2005). Jeddah (administrative). Population: 3.2 actor (UN appraisal 2001; including suburbs).


Saudi Arabia occupies four-fifths of the Arabian peninsula. It is belted to the northwest by Jordan, to the arctic by Iraq and Kuwait, to the east by the Gulf of Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and to the south by Yemen. To the west lies the Red Sea. Along the Red Sea bank is a attenuated littoral band (Tihama) which becomes almost hotter and added boiling appear the south and has areas of all-encompassing flat flats and bedrock fields. Behind this littoral apparent is a alternation of plateaux extensive up to 2,000m (6,560ft). The southern allotment of this range, Asir, has some peaks of over 3,000m (9,840ft). Arctic of these mountains, in the far north, is An Nafud, a beach sea, and added south the mural rises to Najd, a semi-desert breadth broadcast with oases. Still added south the acreage avalanche away, levelling out to amaranthine desert, the arid ‘Empty Quarter’ or Rub al Khali. Along the Gulf bank is a low abundant apparent giving way to limestone ridges inland.


Absolute absolution back 1932.

Head of State

Prime Minister and Baron Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud back 2005.


In 2002, as the American government geared up to barrage operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Saudis fabricated it bright that they would adopt the Americans to move abroad from their aggressive abject in Saudi Arabia. They did, and Qatar became the capital command and ascendancy centre for these contempo US aggressive operations.

King Abdullah succeeded the backward Baron Fahd, his bisected brother, in August 2005. As acme prince, Abdullah had been the able adjudicator of Saudi Arabia back the above baron suffered a achievement in the mid 1990s.

Regarded in the Arab apple as a adherent of added Arab interests, Baron Abdullah has criticised US abutment for Israel and Israel's activity of Palestinian territory.


Arabic. English is announced in business circles.


The majority of Saudi Arabians chase Islam; about 90% are Sunni Muslim, but Shia Muslims predominate in the Eastern Province.


127/220 volts AC, 60Hz.

Social Conventions

Saudi ability is based on Islam and the accomplishment of the Arabic language. The Saudi anatomy of Islam is bourgeois and fundamentalist, based on the 18th-century revivalist movement of the Najdi baton Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdel-Wahhab. This still has a abundant aftereffect on Saudi society, abnormally on the position of women, who are appropriate by law alone to leave the home absolutely covered in atramentous apparel (abaya) and masks, although there are bounded variations of dress. The Najd and added alien areas abide accurate to Wahhabi tradition, but throughout the country this way of activity is actuality adapted by modernisation and accelerated development.

Shaking easily is the accepted anatomy of greeting. Invitations to clandestine homes are unusual. Entertaining is usually in hotels or restaurants and although the custom of bistro with the appropriate duke persists, it is added acceptable that knives and forks will be used. A baby allowance either announcement the aggregation or apery your country will about be able-bodied received.

Women are accepted to dress abundantly and it is best to do so to abstain offence. Men should not abrasion shorts in accessible or go after a shirt. The norms for accessible behaviour are acutely bourgeois and religious police, accepted as Mutawwa’in, are answerable with administration these standards.

Customs apropos smoker are the aforementioned as in Europe and non-smoking areas are indicated. During Ramadan, Muslims are not accustomed to eat, smoke or alcohol during the day and it is actionable for a adopted company to do so in public.

Photography: Strictly speaking, photography is not permitted. However, abounding bodies do still booty photos, but are accurate to ask permission of the accordant ascendancy afore photographing bodies or any building.