Saudi Arabia Guide

Saudi Arabia Guide

Saudi Arabia – country information

Country name Saudi Arabia
Official name Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Capital Riyadh
Continent Asia
Area 2,149,690 km2
Population 29,994,272 (2013)
Foundation of a state 23/09/1932
The highest mountains Jabal Sauda 3133 m
State system absolute theocratic monarchy
The biggest cities Jeddah 2,250,000, Riyadh (Capital) 2,100,000, Mecca 950,000
Official language Arabic
Ethnicity/National Composition Saudi Arabs 81%, Yemenis 9.5%, other Arabs 4.5%, other 5%
Religious affiliation Muslims (mostly Wahhabi Sunnis) 99%, Christians and others 1%
Currency 1 Saudi Riyad (SAR) = 100 halal
gross domestic product (GDP) US$30,477 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 75.67 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 6%, oil extraction and processing 35%, industry 9.5%, construction 9%, services 40.5%

Saudi Arabia – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Iraq Baghdad 438,317 km2 34,035,000
Yemen San’a 527,968 km2 25,235,000
Jordan Amman 89,342 km2 6,558,900
Catarrh Doha 11,000 km2 2,045,239
Kuwait Kuwait 17,818 km2 3,065,850
Oman Maskat 309,500 km2 3,957,000
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 83,600 km2 8,264,070

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Saudi Arabia, whose name comes from the ruling royal dynasty of the Saudis, is the largest country in the Middle East, occupying most of the Arabian Peninsula. It has a 3,000 km long coastline and is bordered by Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait to the north, Qatar on the Persian Gulf coast, the United Arab Emirates and Oman to the southeast, and Yemen to the south.

Country data

Location: Middle East

Time zone: CET + 2 (during summer time: CET + 1)

Total area: 2,149,690 km²

Land area: 2,149,690 km²

Water area: 0 km²

Length of the state border: 4,431 km

Bordering countries:
Iraq: 814 km
Yemen: 1,458 km
Jordan: 744 km
Qatar: 60 km
Kuwait: 222 km
Oman: 676 km
United Arab Emirates: 457 km

Coastline: 2,640 km

Capital: Riyadh

Provinces: 13
Al Bahah, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah, Al Jawf, Al Madinah, Al Qasim, Ar Riyad, Ash Sharqiyah, Asir, Ha’il, Jizan, Makkah, Najran, Tabuk

Electric current: 110, 220 V / 60 Hz

Telephone code: 00 966 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Jabal Sawda 3,133 m


Population: approx. 27.3 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.5% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 13

Life expectancy: 73 (male), 77 (female)

Official language: Arabic

Religions: 100% Muslim


Saudi Arabia


  • dry hot desert climate
  • in summer over 40 ° C during the day and at least 25 ° C at night
  • in winter around 25 ° C during the day and 0 ° C at night
  • very low humidity
  • hardly any rainfall

Area along the Red Sea:

  • Temperature in summer between 22 ° C and 40 ° C
  • Temperature in winter between 15 ° C and 30 ° C
  • year-round high humidity
  • isolated cyclones in summer

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Saudi riyal (SAR)

Classification: 1 riyal = 20 qurush = 100 halala

ATMs: There are very few ATMs.

International credit cards: These are accepted by some large hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

A declaration is required from an equivalent value of 60,000 SAR.

The import of Israeli currency is prohibited.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 600 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

There is an import ban for:

  • alcohol
  • Food containing pork
  • all kinds of pornographic articles

Many articles and objects are cleared when entering the country. However, if you do this again within 90 days, you can request repayment of the customs amount when you leave the country.

The customs controls are very precise and the regulations must be strictly observed.

Travel advice

Travel to the border area with Yemen and travel to Qatif district in the Eastern Province is not recommended.

Behavioral advice

There have been isolated attacks on tourists. You should therefore not wear money and jewelry in plain sight.

It is recommended to register at the embassy after entering the country. You should save your planned travel routes and stopover points there. This means that any consular assistance that may be required can be provided more quickly.


The second largest oil reserves on earth are in Saudi Arabia. The country has grown enormously rich through exports.

The service sector and the tourism industry are other important pillars of the economy.

Industries: building materials, chemistry, services, oil and gas extraction, tourism

Natural resources: iron ore, natural gas, precious oil, gold, copper

Land use:

  • Usable land: 2%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 56%
  • Forests: 1%
  • other: 41%


A large part of the country consists of desert areas with only isolated oases. Mainly dates and many different types of shrub and grass grow in these areas.

To stop the desert migration, several million trees have been planted in recent years. These now serve as a natural protective wall against the masses of sand.


Only a few large animals live on land. Most of the species are already extinct here because they have lost their green habitat to humans.

Many different, sometimes rare, species of fish still live in the Red Sea in particular.

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