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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) occupies 80 % of the Arabian Peninsula and is the world's 14th largest state (2,149,690 km2 in area). Saudi Arabia has a population of 27,601,038 in 2007. Saudi Arabia's economy is petroleum-based (world's leading petroleum exporter); roughly 75% of budget revenues and 90% of export earnings come from the oil industry. About 23% of the population is made up of foreign nationals living in Saudi Arabia.
Islam is the main religion. Public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited. Saudi Arabian dress follows strictly the principles of hijab (the Islamic principle of modesty, especially in dress). Woman's clothes are decorated with tribal motifs, coins, sequins, metallic thread, and appliques. Women are required to wear an abaya or modest clothing when in public. Islamic dietary laws forbid the eating of pork and the drinking of alcohol.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan on the northwest, Iraq on the north and northeast, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the southeast, and Yemen on the south. The Persian Gulf lies to the northeast and the Red Sea to its west.
From the western coastal region (Tihamah), the land rises from sea level to a peninsula-long mountain range (Jabal al-Hejaz) beyond which lies the plateau of Nejd in the center. The southwestern 'Asir region has mountains as high as 3,000 m and is known for having the greenest and freshest climate in all of the country, one that attracts many Saudis to resorts such as Abha in the summer months. The east is primarily rocky or sandy lowland continuing to the shores of the Persian Gulf. The geographically hostile Rub' al Khali ("Empty Quarter") desert along the country's imprecisely defined southern borders contains almost no life.
Extreme heat and aridity are characteristic of most of Saudi Arabia. It is one of the few places in the world where summer temperatures of 51.7 °C being, the highest ever, recorded. Lowest ever recorded temperature is -12.0 °C recorded at Turaif. The average winter temperature range is 8° to 20 °C in January in interior cities such as Riyadh and 19° to 29 °C in Jeddah on the Red Sea coast. The average summer range in July is 27° to 43 °C in Riyadh and 27° to 38 °C in Jeddah.
Riyal (SAR) and is subdivided into 100 halala. 1 U.S.D = 3.75 Saudi Riyal.
Al Bahah, Al Jawf, Ha'il, Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Dammam, Qatif, Ta’if, Buraydah, Khamis Mushait, Tabuk, Najran, Jizan
Places to Visit
Mecca is the major Muslim pilgrim centre, which attracts milliions of pilgrims during the Haj season. KSA is called "The Land of The Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam.
The International airports are King Fahd International Airport at Dammam, King Abdulaziz International Airport at Jeddah, King Khalid International Airport at Riyadh, Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport at Medina. Saudi has 204 domestic airports. Saudi Arabian Airlines is the National flag carrier.
ISD codes & International time