Saudi Arabia
in Western Asia
Asia

Location Summary
Currency and Currency Code:
Rial - SAR
Spoken languages:
Arabic
Local electricity:
230 V - 60 Hz (plugs: G)
Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G
ISO 2-Letter code:
SA
Internet top level domain:
.sa
Country phone prefix:
+966
Local Time (capital):
Timezone:
UTC/GMT offset: hours
Current travel safety evaluation for Saudi Arabia in Western Asia

Safety Score: 2,5 of 5.0 based on data from 6 authorites. Meaning we advice caution when travelling to Saudi Arabia.

Travel warnings are updated daily. Source: Travel Warning Saudi Arabia. Last Update: 2018-12-18 07:19:02

Explore Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia with its capital Riyadh is located in Asia (Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea). It covers some 2,149,691 square kilometers (slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US) with 28,571,800 citizens. Arabic is the official language used in Saudi Arabia. Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Yemen are bordering countries.

Saudi Arabia is a Middle Eastern country that occupies most of the Arabian peninsula and has coastlines on the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea. Saudi Arabia is one of three countries named for their royal families, along with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and also Liechtenstein. Entertainment in Saudi Arabia is very family-oriented. There are few activities for just couples or singles. Single men are not allowed in family areas: family beaches are partitioned from the bachelor beaches, for example. Women are expected to be accompanied by a male relative in public, although single women may be admitted into family areas.

Impressions from the Saudi or Saudi Arabian capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what New Delhi is like. We have selected more pictures from New Delhi on our dedicated gallery page.

Popular Destinations in Saudi Arabia

Administrative regions of Saudi Arabia

About the country

Website: Saudi Arabia Tourism

Kindi Center, D.Q.
PO Box 66680
Riyadh 11586
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Phone: +966 480 8855
Fax: +966 480 8844
Mail: info@sct.gov.sa

The topography is mostly sandy desert. The average density of population is about 13 per km². The climate in Saudi Arabia can be described as harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes. Potential natural disasters are despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar frequent sand and dust storms

To reach someone Saudi Arabia dial +966 prior to a number. The local cellular networks are operated on 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G, 4G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".sa". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery chaarger), keep in min the local 230 V - 60 Hz (plugs: G). The sign for the locally used currency Rial is SAR.

Green, a traditional color in Islamic flags, with the Shahada or Muslim creed in large white Arabic script (translated as "There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God") above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); design dates to the early twentieth century and is closely associated with the Al Saud family which established the kingdom in 1932; the flag is manufactured with differing obverse and reverse sides so that the Shahada reads - and the sword points - correctly from right to left on both sides.

Flag of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina. The king's official title is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The modern Saudi state was founded in 1932 by ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman Al SAUD (Ibn Saud) after a 30-year campaign to unify most of the Arabian Peninsula. One of his male descendants rules the country today, as required by the country's 1992 Basic Law. 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. The continuing presence of foreign troops on Saudi soil after the liberation of Kuwait became a source of tension between the royal family and the public until all operational US troops left the country in 2003. Major terrorist attacks in May and November 2003 spurred a strong ongoing campaign against domestic terrorism and extremism. From 2005 to 2015, King ABDALLAH incrementally modernized the Kingdom. Driven by personal ideology and political pragmatism, he introduced a series of social and economic initiatives, including expanding employment and social opportunities for women, attracting foreign investment, increasing the role of the private sector in the economy, and discouraging businesses from hiring foreign workers. Saudi Arabia saw protests during the 2011 Arab Spring but not the level of bloodshed seen in protests elsewhere in the region. Shia Muslims in the Eastern Province protested primarily against the detention of political prisoners, endemic discrimination, and Bahraini and Saudi Government actions in Bahrain. Riyadh took a cautious but firm approach by arresting some protesters but releasing most of them quickly and by using its state-sponsored clerics to counter political and Islamist activism. The government held its first-ever elections in 2005 and 2011, when Saudis went to the polls to elect municipal councilors. In December 2015, women were allowed to vote and stand as candidates for the first time in municipal council elections, with 19 women winning seats. King SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud ascended to the throne in 2015 and placed the first next-generation prince, MUHAMMAD BIN NAIF bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, in the line of succession as Crown Prince. He designated his son, MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, as the Deputy Crown Prince. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a coalition of 10 countries in a military campaign to restore the government of Yemen, which had been ousted by Huthi forces allied with former president ALI ABDULLAH al-Salih. The war in Yemen has led to civilian casualties and shortages of basic supplies, which has drawn considerable international criticism. In December 2015, Deputy Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN announced Saudi Arabia would lead a 34-nation Islamic Coalition to fight terrorism (it has since grown to 41 nations). In January 2016, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people on charges of terrorism, including Shia Muslim cleric NIMR al-Nimr. Iranian protesters overran Saudi diplomatic facilities in Iran to protest al-NIMR’s execution and the Saudi government responded by cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran. The country remains a leading producer of oil and natural gas and holds about 16% of the world's proven oil reserves as of 2015. The government continues to pursue economic reform and diversification, particularly since Saudi Arabia's accession to the WTO in 2005, and promotes foreign investment in the Kingdom. In April 2016, the Saudi government announced a broad set of socio-economic reforms, known as Vision 2030. Low global oil prices throughout 2015 and 2016 significantly lowered Saudi Arabia’s governmental revenue. In response, the government cut subsidies on water, electricity, and gasoline; reduced government employee compensation packages; and announced limited new land taxes. In coordination with OPEC and some key non-OPEC countries, Saudi Arabia agreed cut oil output in early 2017 to regulate supply and help elevate global prices.

Geography

Area
Total (World Rank: 14) 2,149,690sq km
Land (World Rank: 14) 2,149,690sq km
Forest (World Rank: 5) 79.10%
Comparative slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US
Coastline
2640
Landborder
4272
Elevation
Highest point (World Rank: 61) 3,133m
Agricultural land
Total (World Rank: 6) 80.70%
Arable (World Rank: 191) 1.50%
Permanent crops (World Rank: 182) 0.10%
Permanent pastures (World Rank: 5) 79.10%
Irrigated land (World Rank: 33) 16,200sq km
Map reference
Middle East
Environment
Issues
  • - coastal pollution from oil spills
  • - depletion of underground water resources
  • - desertification
  • - the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities
Agreement party
  • - Biodiversity
  • - Climate Change
  • - Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • - Desertification
  • - Endangered Species
  • - Hazardous Wastes
  • - Law of the Sea
  • - Marine Dumping
  • - Ozone Layer Protection
  • - Ship Pollution
Hazzards
  • - despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar
  • - frequent sand and dust storms
Location
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Climate
harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
Terrain
mostly sandy desert

People

Population
Total (World Rank: 47) 28,571,800
Deathrate (World Rank: 217) 0.34%
Birthrate (World Rank: 93) 1.83%
Growthrate (World Rank: 79) 1.45%
Migration rate (World Rank: 93) -0.05%
Fertility rate (World Rank: 105) 2.09%
Median age
Male (World Rank: 128) 28.20
Female (World Rank: 145) 26.70
Age structure
0 14 male (World Rank: 52) 3,825,240
0 14 female (World Rank: 53) 3,631,970
15 24 male (World Rank: 40) 2,842,820
15 24 female (World Rank: 48) 2,462,060
25 54 male (World Rank: 35) 7,559,250
25 54 female (World Rank: 44) 5,829,660
55 64 male (World Rank: 51) 783,673
55 64 female (World Rank: 61) 653,404
65 x male (World Rank: 66) 498,830
65 x female (World Rank: 72) 484,871
Health
Infant mortality rate (World Rank: 108) 1.32%
Life expectancy total (World Rank: 103) 76years
Life expectancy female (World Rank: 113) 78years
Life expectancy male (World Rank: 95) 73years
Physicians per 1000 (World Rank: 57) 2.57
Hospital bed per 1000 (World Rank: 100) 2.10
Sanitation access total (World Rank: 5) 100.00%
Obesity adult (World Rank: 14) 35.40%
Drinking water access (World Rank: 93) 97.00%

Energy

Electricity
Production (World Rank: 11) 318,000,000,000kWh
Consumption (World Rank: 13) 292,800,000,000kWh
Source fossil (World Rank: 24) 99.90%
Source renew (World Rank: 160) 0.10%
Crude oil
Production (World Rank: 2) 10,460,000bbl / day
Exports (World Rank: 1) 7,273,000bbl / day
Proved reserves (World Rank: 2) 266,500,000,000bbl
Refined products
Production (World Rank: 8) 2,221,000bbl / day
Consumption (World Rank: 6) 3,237,000bbl / day
Export (World Rank: 5) 1,621,000bbl / day
Import (World Rank: 16) 486,900bbl / day
Natural gas
Production (World Rank: 8) 102,300,000,000
Consumption (World Rank: 13) 102,300,000,000
Carbon footprint
594000000

Nation

Budget
Education (World Rank: 64) 5% of GDP
Military (World Rank: 3) 10% of GDP
Health (World Rank: 153) 5% of GDP
Surplus (World Rank: 199) -13% of GDP
National symbol
palm tree surmounting two crossed swords
National colours
white
Adjective
Saudi or Saudi Arabian
Noun
Saudi(s)
Background
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina. The king's official title is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The modern Saudi state was founded in 1932 by ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman Al SAUD (Ibn Saud) after a 30-year campaign to unify most of the Arabian Peninsula. One of his male descendants rules the country today, as required by the country's 1992 Basic Law. 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. The continuing presence of foreign troops on Saudi soil after the liberation of Kuwait became a source of tension between the royal family and the public until all operational US troops left the country in 2003. Major terrorist attacks in May and November 2003 spurred a strong ongoing campaign against domestic terrorism and extremism. From 2005 to 2015, King ABDALLAH incrementally modernized the Kingdom. Driven by personal ideology and political pragmatism, he introduced a series of social and economic initiatives, including expanding employment and social opportunities for women, attracting foreign investment, increasing the role of the private sector in the economy, and discouraging businesses from hiring foreign workers. Saudi Arabia saw protests during the 2011 Arab Spring but not the level of bloodshed seen in protests elsewhere in the region. Shia Muslims in the Eastern Province protested primarily against the detention of political prisoners, endemic discrimination, and Bahraini and Saudi Government actions in Bahrain. Riyadh took a cautious but firm approach by arresting some protesters but releasing most of them quickly and by using its state-sponsored clerics to counter political and Islamist activism. The government held its first-ever elections in 2005 and 2011, when Saudis went to the polls to elect municipal councilors. In December 2015, women were allowed to vote and stand as candidates for the first time in municipal council elections, with 19 women winning seats. King SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud ascended to the throne in 2015 and placed the first next-generation prince, MUHAMMAD BIN NAIF bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, in the line of succession as Crown Prince. He designated his son, MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, as the Deputy Crown Prince. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a coalition of 10 countries in a military campaign to restore the government of Yemen, which had been ousted by Huthi forces allied with former president ALI ABDULLAH al-Salih. The war in Yemen has led to civilian casualties and shortages of basic supplies, which has drawn considerable international criticism. In December 2015, Deputy Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN announced Saudi Arabia would lead a 34-nation Islamic Coalition to fight terrorism (it has since grown to 41 nations). In January 2016, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people on charges of terrorism, including Shia Muslim cleric NIMR al-Nimr. Iranian protesters overran Saudi diplomatic facilities in Iran to protest al-NIMR’s execution and the Saudi government responded by cutting off diplomatic ties with Iran. The country remains a leading producer of oil and natural gas and holds about 16% of the world's proven oil reserves as of 2015. The government continues to pursue economic reform and diversification, particularly since Saudi Arabia's accession to the WTO in 2005, and promotes foreign investment in the Kingdom. In April 2016, the Saudi government announced a broad set of socio-economic reforms, known as Vision 2030. Low global oil prices throughout 2015 and 2016 significantly lowered Saudi Arabia’s governmental revenue. In response, the government cut subsidies on water, electricity, and gasoline; reduced government employee compensation packages; and announced limited new land taxes. In coordination with OPEC and some key non-OPEC countries, Saudi Arabia agreed cut oil output in early 2017 to regulate supply and help elevate global prices.
Flag description
green, a traditional color in Islamic flags, with the Shahada or Muslim creed in large white Arabic script (translated as "There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God") above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); design dates to the early twentieth century and is closely associated with the Al Saud family which established the kingdom in 1932; the flag is manufactured with differing obverse and reverse sides so that the Shahada reads - and the sword points - correctly from right to left on both sides

Economy

Gdp
Purchasing power parity (World Rank: 15) 1,756,000,000,000USD
Real growth rate (World Rank: 146) 1.70%
Per capita purchasing power parity (World Rank: 20) 55,300USD
Source agriculture (World Rank: 156) 2.70%
Source industry (World Rank: 15) 43.40%
Source service (World Rank: 156) 54.00%
Labourforce
Total (World Rank: 48) 12,020,000
Products
Industries
  • - ammonia
  • - basic petrochemicals
  • - caustic soda
  • - cement
  • - commercial aircraft repair
  • - commercial ship repair
  • - construction
  • - crude oil production
  • - fertilizer
  • - industrial gases
  • - metals
  • - petroleum refining
  • - plastics
  • - sodium hydroxide
Agriculture
  • - barley
  • - chickens
  • - citrus
  • - dates
  • - eggs
  • - melons
  • - milk
  • - mutton
  • - tomatoes
  • - wheat
Exports
  • - petroleum
  • - petroleum products
Imports
  • - chemicals
  • - equipment
  • - foodstuffs
  • - machinery
  • - motor vehicles
  • - textiles

Communication

Phone
Landline total (World Rank: 39) 3,637,440
Landline per 100 (World Rank: 123) 13.00
Mobile per 100 (World Rank: 13) 170.00
Assessment 0
Internet
Users (World Rank: 31) 20,768,500
Population (World Rank: 66) 73.80%

Transport

Air
Airports paved (World Rank: 29) 82.00
Airports unpaved (World Rank: 29) 132.00
Heliports (World Rank: 19) 10.00
Rail
Total length (World Rank: 36) 5,410
Road
Total length (World Rank: 23) 221,372
Paved length (World Rank: 48) 47,529
Unpaved length (World Rank: 12) 173,843