Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the largest Arab state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest geographically in the Arab world. Neighboring countries are Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Yemen, and Bahrain. The capital of Saudi Arabia is Riyadh.
Fast Facts about Saudi Arabia
1. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to the religion’s holiest shrines, Mecca and Medina.
2. Saudi Arabia is the world’s second largest oil producer and largest exporter, and controls the world’s second largest hydrocarbon reserves.
3. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. The Qur’an and the Sunnah (the traditions of Muhammad) are declared to be the country’s constitution.
4. Saudi Arabia has 83,000 square miles (2,149,690 square km) in total area, which makes it the 13th largest country in the world. It is the largest country in the Middle East.
5. Saudi Arabia has one of the most advanced banking systems on earth. It doesn’t collect taxes from the populace. It provides free public health care. It also pays every student enlisted in a public university a monthly stipend.
6. Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest airport.
7. Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires that all citizens be Muslims.
8. Saudi Arabian dress strictly follows the principles of hijab (the Islamic principle of modesty, especially in dress). In public women are required to wear a black abaya or other black clothing that covers everything under the neck with the exception of their hands and feet, although most women cover their head in respect for their religion. This requirement applies to non Muslim women too and failure to abide will result in police action.
9. A dish consisting of a stuffed lamb, known as khūzī, is the traditional national dish.
10. The flag of Saudi Arabia has a green field with large white Arabic writing above a white horizontal sword (the tip of the sword points to the hoist side of the flag). The Arabic writing is the Islamic statement of faith, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet.” Green is the traditional colour of Islam.