Saudi Arabia at a Glance
Location: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lies at the far south western part of the Asian continent and occupies almost 85 percent of the Arabian Peninsula's area. It borders the Red Sea to the west; Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait to the north, the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE to the east; and Yemen and the Sultanate of Oman to the south.
Area: The total area of the Kingdom is over 2.25 million sq.kms
Administrative areas: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia consists of 13 administrative areas, and each area consists of a number of provinces as follows:
- Category A: 43 provinces.
- Category B: 61 provinces.
Constitution and Government: Based on the Holy Quran and the Prophet's administrative Sunnah (PBUH). The system of government is a royal dynasty, with the King, the Cabinet and the Shura Council constituting the executive and legislative powers in the country.
Climate: Inland - hot and dry in summer and cooler and drier in winter. It is more temperate at the Coastal and south western areas, particularly Alsarwat and Aseer mountainous areas.
Population: Recent figures as follows: 16,929,294. 12,304,835 are Saudis and the rest are expatriates.
National Day: 23 September (i.e. the date upon which the late King Abdul Aziz Al Saud united the country as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932).
Important towns: Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom, is one of the fastest growing capitals in the world. It has an area of 1600 sq kms with a population of three million people. Other important cities and towns are the two Holy cities of Makkah and Medina, Jeddah (the main sea port at the Red Sea), Dammam, Abha, Hayel, Al Baha, Khobar, Taif, Tabook, Ihsaa, Najran, Gizan and Jouf.
Time: 3 hours ahead of GMT
Work Hours: Government departments (from 0730 to 1430) Banks (from 0800 to 1200, and from 1630 to 1900) Shopping centers and markets are open until 2200.
Official Holidays: Thursday and Friday. Other Islamic holidays are: Lesser Bairam (Fitr): from 25th Ramadan to 5th Shawal; Greater Bairam (Adha): from 5th to 15th Thil Hijjah
Currency: Saudi Riyal. US$=3.75 Riyal.