Name: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia |
History: Saudi Arabia is also called land of two holy mosques (Mecca and Medina). It is centre of first Arab Empire. From 1517 it was under Turkish rule, present state was founded by Abdul Aziz ibn Saud at the age of 22 in 1902. His successes were favored by vast reserves of oil which were discovered in March 1938.
Area: 2,200,000 sq km. It is worlds fourteenth largest Nation and occupies 80% of the Arabian Peninsula.
Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the North Sea Yemen.
Coastline: Total – 2,640 km. narrow coastline on Persian Gulf and Red Sea.
Borders: Jordan on the north east, Iraq on the north and north east, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on South east, Yemen on South with Persian Gulf in the north and Red Sea in the west.
Currencies: Rial (SAR)
Population: 27,019,731 (2006 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 2.18% (2006 est.)
Birth Rate: 29.34 births/ 1000 population (2006)
Infant Mortality: 12.81 deaths/ 1000 live birth
Life Expectancy: 75.67 years – total population, 73.66 years – male and 77.78 years – female.
Religions: Islam – 96% Muslims, 3% Shiite and 1% Christian.
Terrain: Sand Desert, with large oasis one of which contains the capital of Riyadh. In south is Rub al Khat, the empty Quarter which is also the sandy desert. In eastern tracts lie world largest petroleum deposits. Land suitable for cultivation is just 2% of the total area.
Climate: Hot dry except for the coastal plain which are hot and humid. Weather has great temperature extremes. Rainfall in south west area is 12 – 20 inches per year; rest of the country has much less rainfall.
Ethnic Groups: Arab 90%, Afro Asian 10 %
Literacy: Total population – 78.8%, Male – 84.7% and Female – 70.8% (2003 est.)
Independence: 23 September 1932 (unification of the kingdom)
National Holiday: 23 September
Governments: Absolute Monarchy
Constitution: Governed according to Sharia Law, the basic law that articulates the government’s rights and responsibilities was introduced in 1993.
Legal Systems: Based on Sharia Law.
Executive: The Monarch is both chief of the state and the head of the government. It has no political party.
Legislative: Consultive Council or Majlis al Shura 120 members and a chairman appointed by the Monarch for 4 year term.
Judiciary: Supreme Council of Justice.
National Flag: It was designed in twentieth century and is associated with Al Saud family which established the kingdom. Flag has green colour (colour of Islam) with the Shahada or Muslim creed written in large white Arabic script which means “There is no one but god, Muhammad is the messenger of god” above the horizontal saber with its tip pointing to the hoist side.
National Anthem: Aash Al Maleek (long live the king).
Motto: La ilaha illa – llahu; Muhammadun rasulu – llahi which means “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of god.
Coat of Arm: It has 2 swords and a palm tree which represents the Saudi main tree and 2 swords represent 2 houses which founded modern day Saudi Arabia they are Houses of Wahab and Houses of Saud.
Time Zones: UTC+ 3
Internet TLD: .sa
Calling Code: +966
Economy: Saudi Arabia is the world leading producer and exporter of oil. It has 25% of the worlds proven petroleum reserves. Oil has provided economic stability and prosperity to Saudi Arabia and a great deal of leverage in international community. It accounts for more than 75% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP and 90% of export earrings. Country imports most of the food products as the agriculture is poor. Government is trying to promote private sectors and foreign participation in new industries like power generation, telecom, natural gas and petrochemical industries. According to 2006 est. industrial growth rate is 1.9%.
Natural Resources: Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold and copper.