Geography

eography
Area: 2,149,690 sq. km. (829,995 sq. mi.), slightly more than one-fifth the size of the continental United States. Cities (2009 est.): Capital--Riyadh (pop. 4.7 million). Other cities--Jeddah (3.2 million), Makkah, (1.5 million), Dammam/Khobar/Dhahran, (1.6 million). Terrain: Primarily desert with rugged mountains in the southwest. Climate: Arid, with great extremes of temperature in the interior; humidity and temperature are both high along the coast.

 

 

People and Economy

People
Nationality: Noun--Saudi(s). Adjective--Saudi Arabian or Saudi.
Population (July 2011 est.): 26.1 million (20.5 million Saudis, 5.6 million foreign nationals).
Annual population growth rate (2011 est.): 1.536%.
Ethnic groups: Arab (90% of native pop.), Afro-Asian (10% of native pop.).
Religion: Islam.
Language: Arabic (official).
Education: Literacy--total 78.8% (male 84.7%, female 70.8%).
Health: Infant mortality rate (2011 est.)--16.16 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--male 72 years, female 76 years.
Work force: 7.3 million, about 80% foreign workers (2010 est.); industry--21.4%; services(including government)--71.9%; agriculture--6.7%.

Economy
GDP (2010 est.): $622 billion.
Annual growth rate (2010 est.): 3.7%.
Per capita GDP (2010): $24,200.
Natural resources: Hydrocarbons, gold, uranium, bauxite, coal, iron, phosphate, tungsten, zinc, silver, copper.
Agriculture: Products--dates, grains, livestock, vegetables. Arable land--1.76%.
Industry: Types--petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, fertilizer, light industry.
Trade (2010 est.): Exports--$238 billion: petroleum and petroleum products. Imports--$88 billion: manufactured goods, transportation equipment, clothing and textiles, processed food products. Major trading partners--China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, U.K., U.S.

 

 

Government

Government
Type: Monarchy with Council of Ministers and Consultative (or Shura) Council.
Unification: September 23, 1932.
Constitution: The Holy Qur'an (governed according to Islamic Law), Shari'a, and the Basic Law.
Branches: Executive--King (chief of state and head of government; rules under the title Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques). Legislative--a Consultative (or Shura) Council with advisory powers was formed September 1993. Judicial--Supreme Court, Supreme Judicial Council, Islamic Courts of First Instance and Appeals.
Administrative divisions: 13 provinces.
Political parties: None; formal political parties are not recognized by the government and have no legal status.

 

 

Saudi Arabia

U.A.E. Becomes First Arab Nation to Open a Nuclear Power Plant (Sat, 01 Aug 2020)
The launch is raising concerns about the growing number of nuclear programs in the volatile Middle East.
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Scorching Temperatures Bake Middle East Amid Eid al-Adha Celebrations (Fri, 31 Jul 2020)
Record high temperatures were recorded in Baghdad and Damascus, and experts warned of the effects of prolonged heat waves as the planet warms.
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Saudi Arabia Withdraws Bid to Buy Newcastle United (Thu, 30 Jul 2020)
The proposed takeover of a Premier League club had drawn criticism from human rights groups and an important television partner.
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Pilgrims, Fewer and Socially Distanced, Arrive in Mecca for Annual Hajj (Thu, 30 Jul 2020)
The coronavirus pandemic has curtailed the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, limiting the number of people and barring people from outside the kingdom.
>> Read more

Strange Bedfellows: Iran’s Ex-President Woos Saudi Crown Prince as Pen Pal (Sun, 26 Jul 2020)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known in the West for his Holocaust denial and disputed re-election in 2009, writes a warm letter to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, calling him a man of peace.
>> Read more

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