Saudi Arabia meaning The Land of the Two Holy Mosques occupies around 80% of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait to the north, Qatar to the east and the U.A.E. Oman and Yemen in the south.
Although much of the border with Oman and the U.A.E. is not precisely defined so the actual size of the kingdom is unknown.
Yemen and Saudi Arabia agreed on official border lines in the year 2000. Saudi Arabia’s chief export is petroleum.
The largest single producer in the world, almost 90% of export earnings come from the oil industry contributing 45% of the total GDP for the country.
The capital is Riyadh and the flag is green, a traditional color in Islamic flags, with the Muslim creed in large white Arabic script (translated as "There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God") above a white horizontal saber.
The culture in Saudi Arabia is heavily influenced by the religion of Islam.
The two holiest sites in Islam are located within the Kingdom.
Mecca located in the west of the kingdom is birthplace of Muhammad in 570AD.
Having endured persecution for 13 years, in 622AD Muhammad and his followers emigrated to Medina which is the second holiest city in Islam and the burial place of the prophet.
Each year over 2 million visit Mecca during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, the largest in the world.
The fifth pillar of Islam, this is an obligation that must be carried out by able bodied Muslims who can afford to do so at least once in their life.
A considerable portion of the kingdom’s landmass consists of desert and semi-arid regions with less than two percent of the kingdom’s area being arable land The extreme arid nature of the kingdom means it has no permanent river or lake.
Interior cities like Riyadh can experience winter temperatures from 8 °C to 20 °C while those on the coast at Jeddah will experience a much warmer 19 °C to 29 °C.
During the summer months those inland will experience the hottest weather peaking at 43 °C while coastal inhabitants have a slightly cooler maximum of 38 °C.
There is very little rainfall, with annual precipitation averaging at 4 inches.
Sports are primarily played by men, with women rarely playing sports and if so always in private away from men.
Football is the most popular sport in the country and the national football team has had success in the AFC Asian Cup, winning three of the six times it has entered and coming runner up in the other three.
The kingdom has also been represented in the FIFA World Cup four times.
Recently Saudi Arabian men have been taking part in the Summer Olympic Games.
In 2000 Summer Olympics Hadi Souan Somayli won the kingdoms first medal, silver in the Men’s 400 meter hurdles.