Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Overview

Saudi Arabia is a large Middle Eastern nation that ranks as the world’s leading producer of petroleum. Much of the country consists of vast deserts where few people live and little or nothing grows. But beneath the sand and rock and the offshore waters of Saudi Arabia lie some of the largest petroleum deposits in the world.

Daily life revolves almost entirely around an Islam and Bedouin heritage, from the serving of gahwa – Arabian coffee – to the chewing of miswak, a natural toothbrush-cum-toothpaste.

This is rugged country. Towering mountains dominate Western Saudi Arabia, while the two vast deserts, the lonely Rub’ al-Khali, or Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert in the world, and the Nafud, keep each other company next to salt flats and gravelly wind swept plains.

CLIMATE

Most of Saudi Arabia has a hot climate the year around. The coastal regions are hot and humid during the long summers, when the average daytime temperature is over 90 °F (32 °C). Summer temperatures in the Central Plateau and the desert regions may reach 120 °F (49 °C). But these areas have drier air and cool nights. From November to April, temperatures throughout the country are lower than in summer. Winter temperatures in parts of central, northern, and western Saudi Arabia occasionally dip below freezing.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAPITAL: Riyadh
POPULATION: 28 million
LANGUAGE: Arabic
CURRENCY: Saudi Riyal
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 110/240V, 60Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or either a two or three pin plug is required.
COUNTRY CODE: SA
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +966
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +3

TRAVEL WARNING

There is a continuing high threat of terrorism in Saudi Arabia. We continue to believe that terrorists are planning further attacks, including against Westerners and places associated with Westerners in Saudi Arabia. We believe aviation interests and oil infrastructure remain possible terrorist targets.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk