The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, with the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east. Neighboring countries are Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Yemen and Bahrain, connected to the Saudi mainland by a causeway. Saudi Arabia contains the world’s largest continuous sand desert, the Rub Al Khali or Empty Quarter. Its oil region lies primarily in the eastern province along the Persian Gulf.
The Kingdom’s flag is green, rectangular with the phrase (There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet) written in white, and a sword which appears under the phrase also in white
Riyadh has a typical climate of blistering hot days and cool nights, and is one of the driest cities in the world. Summers can be extremely hot.
Saudi Arabia has one time zone, three hours ahead of GMT.
Monetary Unit: Riyal Approx. 3.75007 Saudi Arabia Riyals (SR) = US$ 1.00 (USD)
Country Code 966 – Area code for Riyadh Area: 011
Saudi Arabia is not only the homeland of the Arab people-it is thought that the first Arabs originated on the Arabian Peninsula –but also the homeland of Islam, the world’s second-largest religion. Muhammad founded Islam there, and it is the location of the two holy pilgrimage cities of Mecca and Medina. The Islamic calendar begins in 622, the year of the Hegira, or Muhammad’s flight from Mecca. A succession of invaders attempted to control the peninsula, but by 1517 the Ottoman Empire dominated, and the middle of the 19th century, it was divided into separate principalities. In 1745 Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab began calling for the purification and reform of Islam, and the Wahhabi movement swept across Arabia. By 1811, Wahhabi leaders had waged a jihad-a holy war-against other forms of Islam on the Peninsula and succeeded in uniting much of it.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is almost entirely the creation of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud (1882-1953). A descendant of Wahhabi leaders, he seized Riyadh in 1901 and set himself as leader of the Arab nationalist movement. By 1906 he had extablished Wahhabi dominance in Nejd and conquered Hejaz in 1924-1925. The Hejaz and Nejd religions were merged to form the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, which was an absolute monarchy ruled by Sharia. A year later the region of Asir was incorporated into the Kindom.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Day is on the 23rd of September. It is the day the Kingdom was unified into one strong connected country by the King Abdulaziz bin Abdurrahman Al Saud, under the name “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” in 1351 H.
Thursdays and Fridays are the weekends in the Kingdom, there is also two official holidays, Al FAter Holiday (a holy day where Muslims celebrate the completion of fasting the month of Ramadan) and Al Adha Holiday (Hajj Holiday)