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Last updated : Nov 2009
Saudi Arabia General Info
Saudi Arabia General Information -

2,240,000 square kilometres (864,869 square miles)


23,370,000 people (the official estimate for 2002).

Population Density

10.4 people per square kilometre


Riyadh (royal).

Jeddah (administrative).

Population of Riyadh

4,761,000 (UN estimate for 2002, including suburbs).

Population of Jeddah

3,192,000 (UN estimate for 2001, including suburbs).


Some key geographical facts:

Saudi Arabia occupies 4 5ths of the Arabian peninsula.

 Saudi Arabia is bordered to the north west by Jordan, to the north by Iraq and Kuwait, to the east by the Gulf of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and to the south by Yemen.

To the west lies the Red Sea, along the Red Sea coast is a narrow coastal strip (Tihama) which becomes moderately hotter and more humid towards the south and has areas of extensive tidal flats and lava fields.

 Behind this coastal plain is a series of plateaux reaching up to 2, 000 metres (6560 feet).

 The southern part of this range, Asir, has some peaks of over 3, 000 metres (9840 feet).

 North of these mountains, in the far north, is An Nafud, which is a sand sea, and further south the landscape rises to Najd, a semi desert area scattered with oases.

 Still further south the land falls away, levelling out to continuous desert, the uninhabited ‘Empty Quarter’ or Rub al Khali.

  Along the Gulf coast is a low fertile plain giving way to limestone ridges inland.


Saudi Arabia has maintained an absolute monarchy since 1932.

The Head of State and Government is King Fahd Ibn Abd al-Aziz Al-Sa'ud since 1982.


The main language is Arabic. English is spoken in business circles.


The majority of Saudi Arabians follow Islam, around 85 % are Sunni Muslim, however Shia Muslims dominate in the Eastern Province.

Time Zone

Greenich Mean Time (GMT) + 3


127 / 220 volts AC, 60 Hz.
Useful travel links
CIA Factbook - Saudi Arabia information on the geography, people & maps