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Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia,[lower-alpha 4] officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA),[lower-alpha 5] is a country in West Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula and has a land area of about 2150000 km2 (830000 sq mi), making it the fifth-largest country in Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world, and the largest in West Asia and the Middle East. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the west; Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait to the north; the Persian Gulf, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the east; Oman to the southeast; and Yemen to the south. Bahrain is an island country off its east coast. The Gulf of Aqaba in the northwest separates Saudi Arabia from Egypt and Israel. Saudi Arabia is the only country with a coastline along both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland, steppe, and mountains. Saudi Arabia's capital and largest city is Riyadh; the kingdom also is the location of Islam's two holiest cities of Mecca and Medina.

Quick facts: Kingdom of Saudi Arabiaالمملكة العربية السعود...
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
المملكة العربية السعودية (Arabic)
Al-Mamlakah al-ʿArabīyah as-Suʿūdīyah
Motto: لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله، مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوْلُ ٱلله
"Lā ʾilāha ʾillā Llāh, Muḥammadur rasūlu Llāh"
"There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God."[1][lower-alpha 1] (Shahada)
Anthem: ٱلنَّشِيْد ٱلْوَطَنِي ٱلسُّعُوْدِي
"an-Našīd al-Waṭanīy as-Suʿūdī"
"National Anthem of Saudi Arabia"
and largest city
24°39′N 46°46′E
Official languagesArabic[5][6]
Ethnic groups 90% Arab
10% Afro-Arab
  • 4.4% Christianity
  • 1.1% Hinduism
  • 0.7% unaffiliated
  • 0.3% Buddhism
GovernmentUnitary Islamic absolute monarchy
Mohammed bin Salman
Legislaturenone[lower-alpha 3]
13 January 1902
23 September 1932
24 October 1945
31 January 1992
2,149,690[5] km2 (830,000 sq mi) (12th)
 Water (%)
 2022 census
Increase 32,175,224[12] (46th)
15/km2 (38.8/sq mi) (174th)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
Increase $2.300 trillion[13] (17th)
 Per capita
Increase $67,019[14] (27th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
Increase $1.061 trillion[15] (18th)
 Per capita
Increase $29,922[16] (43rd)
Gini (2013)Steady 45.9[17]
HDI (2021)Increase 0.875[18]
very high · 35th
CurrencySaudi riyal (SR) (SAR)
Time zoneUTC+3 (AST)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (AH)
Driving sideright
Calling code+966
ISO 3166 codeSA
Internet TLD

Pre-Islamic Arabia, the territory that constitutes modern-day Saudi Arabia, was the site of several ancient cultures and civilizations; the prehistory of Saudi Arabia shows some of the earliest traces of human activity in the world.[19] The world's second-largest religion,[20] Islam, emerged in what is now Saudi Arabia. In the early 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad united the population of the Arabian Peninsula and created a single Islamic religious polity.[21] Following his death in 632, his followers rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory (from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to parts of Central and South Asia in the east) in a matter of decades. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun (632–661), Umayyad (661–750), Abbasid (750–1517), and Fatimid (909–1171) caliphates, as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of mainly four distinct historical regions: Hejaz, Najd, and parts of Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa) and South Arabia ('Asir).[22] The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by King Abdulaziz (known as Ibn Saud in the West). He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia has since been an absolute monarchy, where political decisions are made on the basis of consultation among the King, the Council of Ministers, and the country's traditional elites that oversee a highly authoritarian regime.[23][24][25] The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam was described as a "predominant feature of Saudi culture" until the 2000s.[24][26] In 2016, the Saudi Arabian government made moves that curtailed the influence of the Wahhabi religious establishment and restricted the activities of the morality police, launching the economic programme of Saudi Vision 2030 in an attempt to enhance and revive social development and build a more robust and effective society.[27][28][29] In its Basic Law, Saudi Arabia continues to define itself as a sovereign Arab Islamic state with Islam as its official religion, Arabic as its official language, and Riyadh as its capital.

Petroleum was discovered in 1938 and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province.[30][31] Saudi Arabia has since become the world's third-largest oil producer and the world's largest oil exporter, controlling the world's second-largest oil reserves and the sixth-largest gas reserves.[32] The kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy and is the only Arab country to be part of the G20 major economies.[33][34] The state has attracted criticism for a variety of reasons, including its role in the Yemeni Civil War, alleged sponsorship of Islamic terrorism and its poor human rights record, including the excessive and often extrajudicial use of capital punishment.[35][36]

Saudi Arabia is considered both a regional and middle power.[37][38] The Saudi economy is the largest in the Middle East; the world's eighteenth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the seventeenth largest by PPP. As a country with a very high Human Development Index,[39] it offers a tuition-free university education, no personal income tax,[40] and a free universal health care system. Saudi Arabia is home to the world's third-largest immigrant population. It also has one of the world's youngest populations, with approximately 50% of its population of 32.2 million[41] being under 25 years old.[42] In addition to being a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia is an active and founding member of the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Arab League, Arab Air Carriers Organization and OPEC. Saudi Arabia is a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.