Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is an Arab sovereign state in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula.
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres and sharing the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe.
A sovereign state is, in international law, a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralised government that has sovereignty over a geographic area.
The Arabian Peninsula, simplified Arabia is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate.
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With a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2, Saudi Arabia is geographically the fifth-largest state in Asia and second-largest state in the Arab world after Algeria.
Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a sovereign state in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast.
The Arab world, also known as the Arab nation, consists of the 22 Arabic-speaking countries of the Arab League.
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Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south.
The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is a federal absolute monarchy in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north.
Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest, and Syria to the west.
Qatar, officially the State of Qatar, is a sovereign country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
It is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea.
The Gulf of Aqaba or Gulf of Eilat is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian mainland.
It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast and most of its terrain consists of arid desert and mountains.
A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life.
A desert is a barren area of land where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life.
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia.
The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz, Najd and parts of Eastern Arabia and Southern Arabia.
South Arabia is a historical region that consists of the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula, mainly centered in what is now the Republic of Yemen, yet it has historically also included Najran, Jizan, and 'Asir, which are presently in Saudi Arabia, and the Dhofar of present-day Oman.
In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment.
Najd or Nejd is the geographical central region of Saudi Arabia in which twenty-eight percent of Saudis live.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud.
Abdulaziz ibn Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al Saud, usually known within the Arab world as Abdulaziz and in the West as Ibn Saud, was the first monarch and founder of Saudi Arabia, the "third Saudi state".
He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud.
Saudi Arabia has since been an absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamic lines.
Absolute monarchy, or despotic monarchy, is a form of monarchy in which one ruler has supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs.
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion which professes that there is only one and incomparable God and that Muhammad is the last messenger of God.
The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spread largely financed by the oil and gas trade.
Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the two holiest places in Islam.
The Great Mosque of Mecca, also called the Grand Mosque, is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba, in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Al-Masjid an-Nabawī is a mosque established and originally built by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, situated in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The state has a total population of 28.7 million, of which 20 million are Saudi nationals and 8 million are foreigners.
The state's official language is Arabic.
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that was first spoken in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world.
Petroleum was discovered on 3 March 1938 and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province.
Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface, which is commonly refined into various types of fuels.
An oil is any neutral, nonpolar chemical substance that is a viscous liquid at ambient temperatures and is both hydrophobic and lipophilic.
Saudi Arabia has since become the world's largest oil producer and exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest gas reserves.
Oil reserves denote the amount of crude oil that can be technically recovered at a cost that is financially feasible at the present price of oil.
The kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy with a high Human Development Index and is the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies.
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.
A high-income economy is defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita above US$12,475 in 2015, calculated using the Atlas method.
The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
However, the economy of Saudi Arabia is the least diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, lacking any significant service or production sector.
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, originally known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq.
Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government control over major economic activities.
The state has attracted criticism for its treatment of women and use of capital punishment.
Saudi Arabia is a monarchical autocracy, has the fourth highest military expenditure in the world and SIPRI found that Saudi Arabia was the world's second largest arms importer in 2010–2014.
An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute is an international institute in Sweden, dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
Saudi Arabia is considered a regional and middle power.
In international relations, a middle power is a sovereign state that is not a superpower nor a great power, but still has large or moderate influence and international recognition.