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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Map

Geography History
Government People
Economy Communications
Transportation Military
Financial system Major Cities
Saudi National Anthem
Government  Agencies in Saudi Arabia
Ministerial Functions and Addresses
History

The history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates back to about 1747 when the ruler of the central Arabian Peninsula, Muhammad Bin Saud, formed an alliance with the Muslim scholar and reformer Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahab, a partnership that led to the founding of the modern state.

The Al-Saud family ruled much of the Arabian Peninsula throughout the 19th century. In 1902, Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud succeeded in recapturing Riyadh from the Al-Rashid and in the following thirty years united the numerous and disparate tribes into one nation.

The foundation of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took place on September 23, 1932, a day that is commemorated as National Day.

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Geography

Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen

Geographic coordinates: 25 00 N, 45 00 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 1,960,582 sq km
land: 1,960,582 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US

Land boundaries:
total: 4,415 km
border countries: Iraq 814 km, Jordan 728 km, Kuwait 222 km, Oman 676 km, Qatar 60 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,458 km

Coastline: 2,640 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: not specified
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: harsh, dry desert with great extremes of temperature

Terrain: mostly uninhabited, sandy desert

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Arabian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 56%
forests and woodland: 1%
other: 41% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 4,885,000 hectares under cultivation, and a further 53 million hectares that could be prepared for cultivation.

Natural hazards: frequent sand and dust storms

Environment—current issues: desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: extensive coastlines on Arabian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage on shipping (especially crude oil) through Persian Gulf and Suez Canal

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People and Health Services

Population (est): 22,023,506 ( 16,662,980 Nationals est.)
note: includes 5,360,526 non-nationals (July 2000 est.)

Population: 19,895,232  
note: includes 14, 872,804 Nationals,  5,022,428 non-nationals (Year 1999)
men numbered 5,022,824. There are also 3,347,776 non-Saudi men present in the country.
Source: according to the latest census studies conducted by the Statistical Department, a subsidiary of the Planning Ministry, based on the studies of 1999.

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 4,781,695; female 4,607,038)
15-64 years: 55% (male 7,093,567; female 4,969,848)
65 years and over: 2% (male 309,638; female 261,720) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.28% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 37.47 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 6.02 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.36 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.43 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.18 male(s)/female
total population: 1.24 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 52.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.77 years
male: 66.11 years
female: 69.51 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.3 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Saudi(s)
adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian

Ethnic groups: Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%

Religions: Muslim 100%

Languages: Arabic

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 62.8%
male: 71.5%
female: 50.2% (1995 est.)

Health Services:
T
he number of the hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia amounted to 314 and the total number of beds at these hospitals amounted to 45,730 - 27,800 at the hospitals of the health ministry and 8,761 beds at the hospitals of the private sector. In addition to these, the Kingdom has 1,756 health centers (Press Statement by  Minister of Health Dr Usama Shobokshi Oct 2001)

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Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
conventional short form: Saudi Arabia
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
local short form: Al Arabiyah as Suudiyah

Internet code: SA

Government type: Monarchy

National capital: Riyadh (Estimated population February 1998: 3.1 million)

Administrative divisions: 13 provinces (mintaqah, singular—mintaqat); Al Bahah, Al Hudud Ash Shamaliyah, Al Jawf, Al Madinah, Al Qasim, Ar Riyad, Ash Sharqiyah (Eastern Province), 'Asir, Hail, Jizan, Makkah, Najran, Tabuk

Independence: 23 September 1932 (unification)

National holiday: Unification of the Kingdom, 23 September (1932)

Constitution: governed according to Shari'a (Islamic law); the Basic Law that articulates the government's rights and responsibilities was introduced in 1993

Legal system: based on Islamic law, several secular codes have been introduced; commercial disputes handled by special committees.

Executive branch:
chief of state: King and Prime Minister FAHD bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 13 June 1982); Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (brother to the king, heir to the throne since 13 June 1982); note—the king is both the chief of state and head of government.

cabinet: Council of Ministers is appointed by the king .

Legislative branch: a consultative council (90 members and a chairman appointed by the king for four-year terms)

Judicial branch: Supreme Council of Justice

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BIS (pending member), CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador BANDAR bin Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud
chancery: 601 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 342-3800
consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Ambassador, Robert Jordan
DCM, Margaret Scobey
Econ Counselor, Alice Dress
Political/Military Counselor, Martin Adams
Commercial Counselor, Charles Kestenbaum
Administrative Counselor, Lawrence S. Blackburn
Consul General, Kenneth Sackett
Bilateral Programs Counselor, Bruce Johnson
Regional Security Officer, Greg Hays
Public Affairs Counselor, John Burgess
Political Counselor, Matthew Tueller
Defense Attaché, Colonel Bernard J. Dunn,USA
Agricultural Counselor, Quinton Gray
Legal Attaché, Wilfred Rattigan

embassy: Collector Road M, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh
Mailing address: American Embassy-Riyadh, Unit 61307, APO AE 09803-1307; International Mail: P. O. Box 94309, Riyadh 11693
telephone: [966] (1) 488-3800
FAX: [966] (1) 488-7360
consulate(s) general: Dhahran, Jeddah

Flag description: green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); green is the traditional color of Islam. The sword was added in 1906, symbolizing the military successes of Islam and of Ibn Saud, founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia .

Anthem: "Sarei Lil Majd Walaya"

 

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Economy
Economy—overview: This is an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world (26% of the proved total), ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 40% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 35% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 4 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors. Saudi Arabia was a key player in the successful efforts of OPEC and other oil producing countries to raise the price of oil in 1999 to its highest level since the Gulf War by reducing production. Although oil prices are expected to remain relatively high in 2000, Riyadh expects to have a $7.5 billion budget deficit in part because of increased spending for education and other social problems. The government in 1999 announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies, which follows the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. The government is expected to continue calling for private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. Shortages of water and rapid population growth will constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.

GDP: purchasing power parity— GDP IS ESTIMATED TO GROW BY 15.5 PER CENT IN CURRENT PRICES(4.11) PER CENT IN CONSTANT PRICES IN 2000, REACHING SR 618 BILLION ($164.8) COMPARED TO SR 535 ($142.667) BILLION IN 1999. ONE OF THE MAJOR FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THIS GROWTH IS THE INCREASE IN OIL PRICES AS WELL AS THE QUANTITIES PRODUCED. AS A RESULT, THE OIL SECTOR IS EXPECTED TO GROW BY 39.4 PER CENT IN CURRENT PRICES.

PRIVATE SECTOR GDP IS ESTIMATED TO GROW BY 3.13 PER CENT IN CURRENT PRICES. IN PARTICULAR, NON-OIL INDUSTRIAL SECTOR IS ESTIMATED TO GROW BY 7 PER CENT, CONSTRUCTION SECTOR BY 3 PER CENT, ELECTRICITY, GAS AND WATER SECTOR BY 4 PER CENT AND TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION SECTOR BY 3 PER CENT IN CURRENT PRICES.

THE NON-OIL GDP DEFLATOR IS ESTIMATED AT 0.75 PER CENT WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH THE SMALL DECLINE IN THE COST OF LIVING INDEX 

GDP—real growth rate: 15.5% IN CURRENT PRICES(4.11%)  IN CONSTANT PRICES IN 2000,

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$9,890 (2000 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 47%
services: 47% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -1.2% (1999)

Labor force: 7 million
note: 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture 12%, industry 25%, services 63% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $66.13 billion SR 248 BILLION IN (2000 est.) TOTAL REVENUES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2001 ARE PROJECTED AT SR 215 BILLION.
expenditures: $54.13 billion, SR 203 BILLION (2000 est.) GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2001 IS BUDGETED AT SR 215 BILLION.

Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, two small steel-rolling mills, construction, fertilizer, plastics.

Industrial production growth rate: PRIVATE SECTOR GDP IS ESTIMATED TO GROW BY 3.13 PER CENT IN CURRENT PRICES. IN PARTICULAR, NON-OIL INDUSTRIAL SECTOR IS ESTIMATED TO GROW BY 7 PER CENT, CONSTRUCTION SECTOR BY 3 PER CENT, ELECTRICITY, GAS AND WATER SECTOR BY 4 PER CENT AND TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION SECTOR BY 3 PER CENT IN CURRENT PRICES.

THE NON-OIL GDP DEFLATOR IS ESTIMATED AT 0.75 PER CENT WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH THE SMALL DECLINE IN THE COST OF LIVING INDEX.

Electricity—Production: 110.132 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity—production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1996)

Electricity—consumption: 105 Billion kWh (1999), 102.423 billion kWh (1998)

Length of electric power transmission lines: 17,000 kilometers (1998)

The length of distribution networks: 103,000kms.

The lengths of lines delivering low voltage power to subscribers: 106,000kms

The number of cities, provinces and centers having electricity: 7,357 (1999)

The number of subscribers: 3,518 million (1999)

Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

Electricity most recent report issued on Feb 18-2001

Water Desalination projects in Saudi Arabia

Desalination stations: 27 Stations(1999)

Desalinated water production: 775 million cubic meters, providing more that 70 per cent of the required drinking water.(1999)

Electricity generation capacity: 22.3 million megawatts(1999)

Agriculture—products: wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
statistical statement on agriculture and water for the year 2000

Exports: $48 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports—commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 90%

Exports—partners: Japan 17%, US 15%, South Korea 11%, Singapore 8%, India 4%, France 4% (1998)

Imports: SR 105 billion, $28 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles

Imports—partners: US 21%, UK 9%, Japan 9%, Germany 6%, France 5%, Italy 4% (1998)

Debt—external: $28 billion (1998 est.)

Economic aid—donor: pledged $100 million in 1993 to fund reconstruction of Lebanon; since 1993, Saudi Arabia has committed $208 million for assistance to the Palestinians

Currency: 1 Saudi riyal (SR) = 100 halalah

Exchange rates: Saudi riyals (SR) per US$1—3.7450 (fixed rate since June 1986)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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Communications

Telephones: 2,881,312 up to the month of Rabea Althani of the year 1421AH.(2000), 3 Million at the end of SHAABAN (November, 2000).

Mobile phones: At present there are more than 2.7 million mobile phone subscribers in the Kingdom. The number increases by 130,000 monthly.

Finnish company Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson have won contracts worth SR2.85 billion to implement the Kingdom’s fifth mobile expansion project, which will add three million mobile lines to the present network that covers more than 100 cities, towns and major highways. Related Story

TELEX LINES: 3,501 (2000)

Pager service: 603,000 subscribers.

Public phone and cabin lines: 51,752 including 2,399 for card-phone lines, 6,697 for special cabin lines, 39,518 for public cabin lines and 3,138 for telecommunications cabins.(2000)

special service lines ( Leased circuits ): 34,609 Lines.

Read latest Statement issued on Sept 2001

Telephone system: modern system
domestic: extensive microwave radio relay and coaxial and fiber-optic cable systems
international: microwave radio relay to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Sudan; coaxial cable to Kuwait and Jordan; submarine cable to Djibouti, Egypt and Bahrain; satellite earth stations—5 Intelsat (3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Arab sat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)

Internet: In 1999, the Internet service became available in the Kingdom, with all the connections routed through a state server (Internet Service Provider), sited at the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology. The Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephones provides the external means to access the Internet and the service is available for the public.

Radio broadcast stations: AM 43, FM 31, short-wave 2 (1998)

Radios: 6.25 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 117 (1997)

Televisions: 5.1 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 27 (2000)

SAUDI TELECOMMUNICATION HAS 23,748 EMPLOYEES AND THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ITS TRAINEES REACHED 17,436. (during the year 2000)

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Transportation

Railways:
total: 1,390 km
standard gauge: 1,390 km 1.435-m gauge (448 km double track) (1992)

Highways:
The total length of the Kingdom's roads until 1998, reached about 152,000 kilometers of asphalt and paved roads including more than 45,500 kms of asphalt roads, comprised of highways, dual-track and single-track roads and about 106,000 kms of the paved agricultural roads. (1998 est.)

Some important roads are:
 The 421km Makkah-Madinah road, the 60km Jeddah-Makkah road, the 317km Sodair-Qasim road, the 383km Riyadh-Dammam road, the 161km Dammam-Abu Hadriah road, the 750km Riyadh-Taif road, the dual-track 613km Abu Hadriah-Hafr Albatin-Rafha road, the 725km Jeddah-Allaith-Jazan road, the 560km Riyadh-Kharj-Dalam-Alsolail road, the 680km Madinah-Tabuk road and the 305km Qasim-Hail road.

Pipelines: crude oil 6,400 km; petroleum products 150 km; natural gas 2,200 km (includes natural gas liquids 1,600 km)

Ports and harbors: Ad Dammam, Al Jubayl, Duba, Jiddah, Jizan, Rabigh, Ra's al Khafji, Al Mishab, Ras Tanura, Yanbu' al Bahr, Yanbu' al Sinaiyah

Read the latest report issued on the 5th Nov 2001

Merchant marine:
Total: 70 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,071,003 GRT/1,388,802 DWT
ships by type: cargo 12, chemical tanker 7, container 5, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 3, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 4, roll-on/roll-off 12, short-sea passenger 8 (1999 est.)

Airports: 205 (1999 est.) More Information

Airports—With paved runways:
Total: 72
over 3,047 m: 31
2,438 to 3,047 m: 13
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (1999 est.)

Airports—With unpaved runways:
total: 133
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 77
914 to 1,523 m: 39
under 914 m: 13 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 4 (1999 est.)

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Military
Military branches: Land Force (Army), Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Force, National Guard, Ministry of Interior Forces (paramilitary)

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 5,786,089 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 3,225,809 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 221,026 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $18.1 billion (FY97)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 12% (FY97)

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Sources CIA world fact book, SPA, The Department of Statistics at the Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Finance and National Economy and other sources.
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