Teach English Abroad   Country Information

Get to know more about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its geographical features, cultural and political life, economy and communications.
 
Country Information

country-information• Official Name: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
• Area: 2,250,000 sq km (868,730 sq mi)
• Population: 23.6 million (est. 2006)
• Official Language: Arabic
 Capital: Riyadh (royal) with population of 4.7 million people  (est. 2005). Jeddah (administrative) with 3.2 million people (est. 2001)
• Government: Absolute Monarchy (since 1932) with Council of Ministers and Consultative Council
• Head of the State: Prime Minister and King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud (since 2005)
• Constitution: The Holy Qur'an (Governed according to Islamic Law), Shari’a, and the Basic Law
• Administrative divisions: 13 provinces
• Political parties: None

Geography and Climate

- Climate: harsh, dry desert with great extremes of temperature; humidity and temperature are both high along the coast
- Terrain: primarily desert with rugged mountains in the southwest
- Borders: Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait (on the north); the Gulf, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (on the east); the Sultanate of Oman and Yemen (on the south); the Red Sea (on the west)
- Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
- Natural hazards: frequent sand and dust storms

People

- Population density: 12.3 per sq km
- Growth rate: 3.39% (approx)
- Life expectancy: 70.55 years
- Ethnicity: Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%
- Languages: Arabic (official), English (spoken in the official circles)
- Literacy: 62.8%
- Religion: Islam (90% - Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim predominate in the Eastern Province)

Economy

- GDP: $186 billion (approx.)
- GDP – Real Growth Rate: -10.8% (approx.)
- Labour force: 7 million
- Labour force by occupation: government 40%, industry, construction, and oil 25%, services 30%, agriculture 5%
- Agricultural products: wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
- Export: petroleum and petroleum products
- Import: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
- Trading Japan, South Korea, Singapore, US, UK, Germany, Italy

Communications and Transport

- Telephones: 1.46 million
- Radios: 5 million
- Television broadcast stations: 117
- Railways: 1,390 km
- Highways: 162,00 km (paved 69,174 km; unpaved 92,826 km
- Airports: 205 (with paved runways – 70; with unpaved runways – 135)
- Pipelines: crude oil 6,400 km; petroleum products 150 km; natural gas 2,200 km
- Ports and harbours: Ad Dammam, Al Jubayl, Duba, Jiddah, Jizan, Rabigh, Ra's al Khafji, Mishab, Ras Tanura, Yanbu' al Bahr, Madinat Yanbu' al Sinaiyah