Saudi Arabia

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In truth, every American administration since that of Franklin D. Roosevelt has maintained close ties with the Saudi rulers, and for a single, simple reason: oil.

Michael Mandelbaum


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Overview: Saudi Arabia

There are a number of things that the Saudi Arabian ruling family has in common with the Vatican. The first, and most obvious, is an in-built resistance to change. The second is its adherence to a world of male authority. The third is a reluctance to give ground to other creeds and beliefs. Try building an Anglican cathedral or a Jewish synagogue in Riyadh. It is impossible not to notice that Saudi Arabia managed to avoid any significant upheaval during the unrest that flared up through large parts of Middle East in 2011, despite having to deal with many of the social and economic problems that confront Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. In fact, the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia has been comparable to its relationship with Israel, described by one US commentator as ‘one of the cornerstones of U.S. policy in the Middle East for decades.’ The simple reality seems to be that Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the USA is not only to be key to the more obvious issues of maintaining regional stability, moderating the global oil market, and pursuing terrorists. It also determines and safeguards the direction and priorities of Saudi Arabian domestic policies and foreign affairs.

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Profile: Saudi Arabia

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

To purchase your copy of the World of Information Profile and Overview of Saudi Arabia: CLICK HERE

Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Mamlaka al Arabiya as Sa'udiya (The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Head of State: King Abdullah Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Sa'ud (since 23 January 2015)
Head of government: King Abdullah Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Sa'ud (since 23 January 2015)
Ruling party: None
Area: 2,149,690 square km (approximately)
Population: 30.77 million (2014)* (27,136,977; 2010, census figure)
Capital: Riyadh
Official language: Arabic
Currency: Saudi riyal (SR) = 100 halalas
Exchange rate: SR3.75 per US$ (fixed)
GDP per capita: US$24,454 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 3.59% (2014)
GDP: US$752.46 billion (2014)
Unemployment: 5.55% (2014)
Inflation: 2.20% (May 2015)
Oil production: 11.51 million bpd (2014)
Natural gas production: 108.20 billion cum (2014)
Balance of trade: US$183.86 billion (2014)
* estimated figure


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