Overview of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is a sovereign country located in the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula
Geography: Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, covering an area of approximately 2.15 million square kilometers (830,000 square miles). It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, and Yemen to the south. The Red Sea lies to the west, and the Arabian Gulf (Persian Gulf) is to the northeast.
Capital: Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is located in the central region of the country.
Population: Saudi Arabia has a population of over 34 million people as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021. The majority of the population is Saudi Arabian, with a significant expatriate community. Islam is the predominant religion, and Arabic is the official language.
Government: Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy ruled by the Al Saud royal family. The country follows a conservative interpretation of Sunni Islam and implements Islamic law (Sharia) in its legal system. The King is the head of state, and important decisions are made in consultation with religious leaders and the royal family.
Economy: Saudi Arabia has one of the largest economies in the Middle East. It is heavily dependent on oil exports and is known for its vast reserves of petroleum. The country has been diversifying its economy through its Vision 2030 program, aimed at reducing reliance on oil, promoting private sector growth, and developing non-oil sectors such as tourism, entertainment, and renewable energy.
Culture: Saudi Arabian culture is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions and Bedouin heritage. The society is conservative, and adherence to Islamic customs and values is highly respected. The culture values hospitality, family, and community. Traditional arts, such as calligraphy, poetry, and traditional music and dance (such as the Ardha), hold significance.
Religion: Islam is the official religion of Saudi Arabia, and the country is home to the two holiest cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina. The annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam, attracting millions of Muslims from around the world.
Tourism: Saudi Arabia has been making efforts to develop its tourism sector and promote the country’s historical and natural attractions. The country has opened up to international tourists and has been granting tourist visas. Tourists can visit iconic sites such as the Kaaba in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the ancient Nabatean city of Al-Ula, and the Red Sea coastline, known for its coral reefs and marine life.
It’s important to note that Saudi Arabia’s cultural and social norms are conservative, and visitors are expected to respect local customs and abide by local laws and regulations. The country has specific rules regarding dress code, public behavior, and religious practices that visitors should be aware of before traveling.