Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies the largest part of the Arabian peninsula. It is composed of narrow valleys at the red sea coast (Tihamah valleys) followed toward the east by mountain ranges extending along the country (Hijaz & Aseer mountains. Their height exceeds 2000m). Then there are deserts and rocky plateaus in the middle (90% of the general area); the biggest of them is Al-Nufouz desert in the north and Al-Rub’ Al-Khali in the south. As for the east and along the Arabian gulf coast, there are wide coastal plains.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lies in the western south of Asia. It is bordered by the red sea from the west, the Arabian gulf, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar from the east, Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan from the north, and Yemen and Oman from the south.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies four fifths of the Arabian peninsula with an area of more than 2.000.000 square kilometers.
The geographic features:
The kingdom reliefs vary because of its wide area. Along the red sea, there is Tihamah coastal plain whose height is about 1100 kilometers and its width extends to reach to 60 kilometers in the south and narrows towards the north at gulf of Aqaba. From this plain arising Al-Srowat steep mountain range which height ranges between 9000 feet in south and declines gradually towards the north till it is 3000 feet. Large valleys descend from these mountains and spread in east and west like Jazan valley, Najran valley, Tathleeth valley Bisha valley, Al-Hemd valley, A-Rumma valley, Yanbu’ valley, and Fatima valley. These mountains are followed from the east with Nejd plateau and its heights which end at the east with Al-Dahnaa dunes and Al-Samman desert and it ends at the south with a region penetrated by Al-Dwaser valley and aligns with Al-Rub’ Al-Khali desert. From the north extending Nejd plains to Hael region till they are connected to Al-Nufouz large desert and then to Iraq and Jordan borders. There are some mountain heights like Twaiq, Al-Ared, Aja, and salma mountains. As for Al-Rub’ Al-Khali desert, it represents the south eastern part of the kingdom. It is a large desert region whose area is 640000 square kilometers composed of sandy dunes and marches. As for the eastern coastal plain, it is height is about 610 kilometers and composed of saline marches and sandy areas.
The kingdom climate differ from one region to another due to its different reliefs and it lies under the tropical high. In general, the kingdom climate is continental; hot in summer and cold in winter and the rain falls in winter. The climate becomes moderated on the western and south western heights. As for the middle areas, their summer is hot and dry and their winter is hot and dry. The temperature and humidity increase at coasts and the rain falls in winter and spring. The rain is scarce in most part of the kingdom except the south western heights as their rains are seasonal, summery, and more abundant than the other regions. As for the relative humidity, it increases at coasts and western heights in most times of the year and decreases toward the inside.
Agriculture has developed notably in the recent years. It has double nature; on one hand the Bedouins with their very low productivity and capitalism and on the other hand the modern constructions and equipments which required huge investments.
The most important agricultural production:
Grains 4.75 million tons (the most important of them is wheat as large portion of it is exported to the world countries and a portion of it is given to the Arab countries), Dates 548.000 tons, Tomato 390.000 tons, watermelon 461.000 tons, melon 320.000 tons, grapes 100.000 tons, onion, potato, barley, citrus, fig, white corn, and sesame seeds.
Cattle: cows 216.000 heads, camels 419.000 heads, sheep 1.8 million heads, goats 3.4 million heads, and fishing 50.000 tons (pearl).
About 2100 plants were recorded in kingdom of Saudi Arabia; nearly 35 types of them are endemic plants i.e. about 2% of total plants. As for the place distribution, the plants are concentrated in the dry areas of the kingdom primarily in the low areas like meadows, valleys, low places, and the lands with floods and winds sediments where water gathers after rains. As for the perennial plants which represent from 35 to 40% of the desert types and which give the desert areas their vegetal appearance in most times of the year, they are usually available in limited areas like edges of meadows, valleys, low places, and the lands with floods and winds sediments. These plants are available also on the sandy dunes and marches. In the high lands in the west and south west of the Arabian peninsula, savanna forests and grass grow like those in the north east of Africa. As for the low desert areas of this region, there are plant types similar to savanna such as acacia and other types of the tropical trees
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contains various groups of animals which their existence returns to the high ability of adaptation to live in such a dry environment. In the kingdom, there are many wild mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and spiders which adapt to the desert environment. The numbers of these animals decreased especially the big of them like gazelles since the fifties of the fourteenth century AH because of the oppressive hunting but establishing natural reserves in many places of the kingdom contributed to increasing some animals threatened to be extinct like Oryx, gazelles, and others. This is in addition to the tame animals like: camels, cows, sheep, and goats and the transportation animals like: horses, donkeys, and others.
The country wealth is based upon the natural gas and petroleum. The most important resources: petroleum production 424.7 million tons, reserve 35.6 billion tons, natural gas production 35.9 billion square meters, and reserve 5250 billion square meters.
Industry in kingdom of Saudi Arabia is related to petroleum and natural gas: refinement and petrochemical industry. The most important industrial products are: cement, tar, steel bars, ethylene, fodder, ethylene glycol, industrial ethanol, dichloroethylene, Setiarin, caustic soda, nitrogen, citric acid, oxygen, and melamine. There are also sea water desalination and foodstuffs industry. Extracting the salt from sea water consumes about 100 million square meters of water per year. This quantity is incomparable to the 9500 million square meters which are secured by the groundwater annually and which are consumed in agriculture. In parallel with that, the kingdom witnesses nowadays great growth in the field of agricultural-food industries and consumption materials industry based on the private capitals.
The rank in the world: the first in petroleum production and reserve, the fifth in natural gas reserve, and the tenth in natural gas production. Thousands of pilgrims visit kingdom of Saudi Arabia each year to perform the pilgrimage in Mecca and medina. This motivated the country to secure enough houses, food, and medicines for this huge number.
Population: 27.136.977 people according to population and houses count statistics in 1431H.
Population density: 7.9 persons for each square kilometer.
Capital: Riyadh 5.188.286 people according to population and houses count statistics in 1431H.
The most important countries: Jeddah 3.430.697 people and Mecca 1.534.731 people according to population and houses count statistics in 1431H.
Language: Arabic (formal)
Currency: Saudi riyal
The kingdom national day:
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates its national day in the first day of Libra corresponding to 23 September every year to immortalize the anniversary if uniting the kingdom and establishing it at the hands of his majesty king Abdul-Aziz bin Abdul-Rahman Aal Saud –may Allah rest his soul- who declared the establishment of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1351H (1932D).
The kingdom flag:
The flag of kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a rectangle as its width equals two thirds of its length. Its background is green and at the middle of it written (there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah) in thuluth script. Under it, there is an Arabian sword and its handle is on the side of the flagstaff and drawn in white. The flag should not be put at half-mast or touch the ground or the water as a respect for the shahada written on it.
National anthem lyrics:
Hasten to glory and supremacy,
Glorify the Creator of the heavens!
And raise the flag, green
Carrying the written Light,
Repeat: God is the greatest! O my country!
My country, Live as the glory of Muslims!
Long live the King for the flag and the country!.
The kingdom slogan:
The slogan of kingdom of Saudi Arabia is composed of two curved and intersected Arabian swords with a palm tree above then. The two swords symbolize strength, power, and sacrifice and the palm tree symbolizes vitality, growth, and prosperity.
The kingdom currency:
The primary unit of the kingdom currency is the Saudi riyal. It is covered with gold and could be changed to foreign currencies. It equals 100 halalas. The currency categories are:
Paper categories: one riyal, five riyals, ten riyals, twenty riyals, fifty riyals, one hundred riyals, two hundred riyals, and five hundred riyals.
Coins: one riyal, fifty halalahs, twenty five halalahs, ten halalahs, and five halalahs.One American dollar equals 3.76 riyals (three riyals and seventy six halalahs).
Measurements and scales:
The kingdom depends in measuring on the metric system and in the weight on the kilogram.
Formally, kingdom of Saudi Arabia depends on the Muslim calendar which is based on the immigration of Allah’s prophet from Mecca to Medina. The lunar hijri year is 354 days divided into twelve months.
The formal holidays in the kingdom are as follows:
The weekend holiday: Thursday and Friday.
Lesser Bairam holiday (Eid Al-Fitr): starting from the twenty fifth of Ramadan to the fifth of Shawwal. Its period is from ten days to two weeks according to its correspondence with the weekend holiday.
Greater Bairam holiday (Eid Al-Adha): starting from the fifth of zul-Hejja to the fifteenth of it.
The governmental offices and associations do not work in these holidays.
The military branches: ground force (army), navy, air forces, air defense force, national guards, and interior ministry forces (civil defense forces).
The military age: 17 years military employment.
The military expenses: 18.1 billion (FY97) dollars of military expenses.
The most important cities in the kingdom:
City of Mecca lies at latitude 21° and 25 minutes and longitude 39° and 49 minutes. It is the location of Mecca principality and includes the Kaaba, the holy mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Haram), post of Abraham – peace be upon him, the holy sites (Mena, Arafat, Al-Muzdalefa), and Umm Al-Qura university which is the headquarter of the Islamic conference organization.
Medina lies in the north western of the kingdom at latitude 24° and 27 minutes from north and longitude 39° and 36 minutes from east. It is the headquarter of Medina principality and includes the holy prophet mosque, the prophet grave, and king Fahd compound for printing the holy Quran.
Riyadh city lies in the middle of the Arabian peninsula at latitude 24° and 39 minutes and longitude 46° and 43 minutes. It is the headquarter of Riyadh principality. It is the capital of kingdom of Saudi Arabia and includes all ministries, embassies, foreign consulates, Al-Yamama palace, Shoura council, conferences palace, king Khalid international airport, King Fahd international stadium, television complex, diplomatic district, king Saud university, Imam Muhammad bin Saudi Islamic university, regiment palace area, king Fahd security college, king Abdul-Aziz military college, king Faisal air college, the specialized hospital, king Khalid university hospital, king Khalid eyes hospital, and king Fahd hospital for national guards.
City of Jeddah lies at the eastern coastal plain of the red sea which represents natural extension of the coastal plain known as “Tihama” between latitude 21° and 30 minutes and longitude 39° and 10 minutes.
It is a major port and so its primary and historical role was being port and gate of the holy territories and a point for passing the commercial movement. This makes it nowadays the most important center for import and distribution in the kingdom. Therefore it controls most of the economic activity in it because of the seaport and airport.
City of Al-Baha lies at the south western part of the kingdom at latitude 20° and 0 minutes and longitude 41° and 28 minutes. It is the headquarter of Al-Baha region principality. It is touristic attraction region with quiet nature, steep mountains, heavy forests, and moderate weather. It has many plants because its ground is fertile and has twent five markets during six days of the week except Fridays.
City of Barida lies in the middle of the Arabian peninsula at the left edge of Al-Rumma valley at latitude 26° and 20 minutes and longitude 43° and 57 minutes. It is the headquarter of Al-Qaseem region principality. It is famous for agriculture and includes king Fahd specialized hospital, Barida water tower, king Khalid cultural center, king Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz athletic city, and various factories producing cement, brick, sponge, furniture, ceramic, and plastic.
City of Tabuk lies in the south western of the kingdom at latitude 28° and 24 minutes and longitude 36° and 33 minutes. It is the headquarter of Tabuk region principality.
Tabuk is considered one of the agricultural cities as there are many important agricultural projects in it producing wheat, fruits, chicken, and eggs. It is famous for flowers implantation and export. It has many Islamic monuments like Al-Touba mosque in which the prophet – peace be upon him – prayed before Tabuk foray.
City of Jazan lies in the south of the kingdom at latitude 16° and 35 minutes and longitude 42° and 33 minutes. It is the headquarter of Jazan region principality. The region includes Jazan valley dam which is one of the biggest dams in the kingdom as its store capacity is 7 millions square meters. It is rich with its agricultural production. It also includes ancient historical monuments like Athr city, and Abou Areesh castle. It has also Jazan port at the red sea coast, the third port in the kingdom in terms of capacity and the main gate of the kingdom imports from the south western part
City of Dammam lies in eastern region at latitude 26°and 26 minutes and longitude 50° and 6 minutes. It is the headquarter of the eastern region principality.
The region is famous for the oilfields and it includes ARAMCO Saudi company, Al-Jubail industrial city, king Abdul-Aziz port, the general association for Saudi Arabia railways, king Fahd park, king Fahd international airport, Dammam cornice, king Fahd university for petroleum and minerals, king Faisal university, and aviation institute.
City of Skaka lies at the northern end of Al-Nofoud Al-Kabeer at latitude 29° and 59 minutes and longitude 40° and 12 minutes. It is the headquarter of Al-Jawf region principality. It is agricultural city and considered one of the richest regions with the historical monuments which represent different historical eras like Za’bal fort, Al-Sa’y hill, Rjajeel pillars, Al-Twair castle, Mared castle, and Omar bin Al-Khattab mosque.
City of Arar lies at northern borders region at latitude 30° and 58 minutes and longitude 41° and 0 minutes. It is the headquarter of borders region principality. It is geographically important as it is a meeting point of important roads: Iraq – Al-Jawf, Medina, Qurayyat, and Hafr Al-Baten, and the pipeline tapline crosses by it.
City of Najran lies at the south western part of the kingdom at latitude 17° and 32 minutes and longitude 44° and 13 minutes. It is the headquarter of Najran region principality.
It is famous for agriculture and it includes Najran valley dam which is considered one of the biggest dams established in the kingdom with store capacity of 85 million square meters. There is many palm trees there and the most famous places in it are the groves region which was mentioned in the holy Quran.