Saudi Arabia dominates the Arabian Peninsula with the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east. Saudi Arabia is surrounded by neighbors with Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen and Bahrain sharing land and water borders. Saudi Arabia is also home to Islam’s two most important Holy places, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.
Saudi Arabia - Facts and Figures
- Official name is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The terrain is mostly sandy desert. Much of it is uninhabited.
- Climate is harsh and dry, typical of a desert with extremes temperature. Hot at daytime and cold at nights.
- Its land boundaries are 4,415 kilometers, of which 2,640 is coastline.
- Area: 1,960,582 sq km.
- Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam in the seventh century. It became Saudi Arabia in the 20th Century with the Ottomans being overthrown by the Saud family.
- Population is 27 million with Arabs making up 90% and Afro-Asians comprising 10%.
- The official language is Arabic.
- Saudi Arabia is 100% Muslim.
- Capital is Riyadh. Other large cities include Jeddah and Mecca.
- Major exports are petroleum and petroleum products.
- The local currency is the riyal.
- Agricultural products are wheat, barley, tomatoes, melon, dates, citrus fruits, mutton, chickens, eggs and milk.
- Major trading partners include United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Germany.
- Sharia Law was introduced in 1992. Previously, it was an absolute monarchy.