January 26, 2022
This page contains some special characters and it is possible that the printout does not match the original article. Saudi Arabia (Arabic: السعودية as-Su'ūdiyya), officially Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arabic: المملكة العربية السعودية; al-Mamlaka al-ʻArabiyya as-Suʻūdiyya), is considered by size of territory, the largest Arab country in Asia and the Arabian Peninsula (about 2,150,000 km2), constituting most of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second largest Arab country in the world (after Algeria). It has borders with Jordan and Iraq to the north; Kuaite to the northeast; Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east; Southeast Oman; Yemen to the south; Red Sea to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east. Its population is estimated at 16 million native citizens, 9 million foreign expatriates and 2 million registered illegal immigrants. Its main cities are: Riyadh, the capital; Giddah, main port and former capital; and Mecca and Medina, holy cities of Islam. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (better known throughout his adult life as Ibn Saud) in 1932, although the conquests that led to the creation of the Kingdom began in 1902, when he captured Riyadh, his family's ancestral home, the House of Saud, known in Arabic as Al Saud. Since the creation of the country, the political system has been that of a theocratic absolute monarchy. The Saudi government describes itself as Islamic and is highly influenced by Wahhabism. Saudi Arabia is often called the "Land of the Two Holy Mosques", in reference to the Great Mosque (in Mecca) and the Prophet's Mosque (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam. With the second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest natural gas reserves in the world, Saudi Arabia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank and has the 19th largest GDP in the world. As the world's largest oil exporter, the country has secured its position as one of the most powerful in the world, as well as being classified as a regional power and maintaining its regional hegemony in the Arabian Peninsula. The country is a member of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the G20 and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The Saudi economy is largely supported by its oil industry, which accounts for over 95% of exports and 70% of government revenues, although the part of the economy that is not dependent on the oil sector has grown in recent times.