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Saudi Arabia

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Introduction:

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina. The king's official title is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The modern Saudi state was founded in 1932 by Abd Al-Aziz bin Abd al-Rahman Al Saud (Ibn Saud) after a 30-year campaign to unify most of the Arabian Peninsula. One of his male descendants rules the country today, as required by the country's 1992 Basic Law. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Saudi Arabia accepted the Kuwaiti royal family and 400,000 refugees while allowing Western and Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation of Kuwait the following year.

The government held its first-ever elections in 2005 and 2011, when Saudis went to the polls to elect municipal councilors. In December 2015, women were allowed to vote and stand as candidates for the first time in municipal council elections, with 19 women winning seats. In September 2017, King Salman issued a royal decree recognizing the right of Saudi women to drive beginning in June 2018.

The country remains a leading producer of oil and natural gas and holds about 16% of the world's proven oil reserves as of 2015. The government continues to pursue economic reform and diversification, particularly since Saudi Arabia's accession to the WTO in 2005, and promotes foreign investment in the Kingdom. In April 2016, the Saudi government announced a broad set of socio-economic reforms, known as Vision 2030. Low global oil prices throughout 2015 and 2016 significantly lowered Saudi Arabia’s governmental revenue.

In response, the government cut subsidies on water, electricity, and gasoline; reduced government employee compensation packages; and announced limited new land taxes. In coordination with OPEC and some key non-OPEC countries, Saudi Arabia agreed cut oil output in early 2017 to regulate supply and help elevate global prices.

 

Saudi Arabia Flag
Flag

Saudi Arabia Emblem
Emblem

Quick Facts

Population:
33,091,113 (July 2018 est.)
Map Reference:
Middle East
Area:
total= 2,149,690 sq km

Government:
Monarchy
Capital:
Riyadh

Internet Code:
.sa

Airports:
214 (2013)

Websites

Government
Wikipedia
Travel
Video
Webcam

Saudi Arabia Locater
Locater

Saudi Arabia Map
Map

Astronaut Image

Astronaut Image
SAUDI ARABIA
Mission/Frame: ISS014-E-16617
Spacecraft Altitude: 185 nautical miles (343 km)
Features:
CENTRAL RIYADH, AIR BASE

 

 

 

 

 

   

Source: CIA The World Factbook

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