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Interesting Facts about Saudi Arabia

by Rizki Satya Utami
(Chofu, Tokyo, Japan)

From the Internet, I found a list of interesting facts of Saudi Arabia. I added some details so that you will know some more about Saudi Arabia. :)

1. It is the 14th largest country on earth.

2. It has the largest sand desert on earth.

3. It has one of the most advanced banking systems on earth.

4. It doesn't collect taxes from the populace.

5. It provides free public health care.

6. It provides free public schools.

7. It pays every student enlisted in a public university a monthly stipend of about $264.

8. It is an islamic country and has a monarchy system.
King Abdulaziz bin Abdelrahman Al-Saud, the founder (1932-1963), followed by his sons: King Saud (1953-64), King Faisal (1964-75), King Khalid (1975-82), King Fahd (1982-2005) and the current ruler, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

Islamic state based on principles prescribed by the Qur'an (Islam's Holy Book) and the Shari'ah(Islamic law); Provincial Council System, Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura), and Council of Ministers.

9. It spends 25% of its budget on education (both grade schools and universities).

10. It has no permanent rivers or lakes and very little rainfall.
(Water is scarce and extremely valuable in Saudi Arabia. Aquifers are major sources of water in Saudi Arabia. They are vast underground reservoirs of water. Another major source of water is the sea. This is done through desalination, a process that produces potable water from brackish seawater.)

11. It was rated the best place to do business in the Middle East by the World Bank.

12. Its main export is oil, and its main imports are machinery and vehicles.

13. 75% of its population is younger than 35 years old.

14. The average age is 18 years old.

15. 50% of employees in the governmental sector are women.

16. Women in the government sector are given 2 years of paid maternal leave.
(So that mothers can really take care of their babies. In Islam, a mother is suggested to breastfeed her baby for 2 years since the baby’s birth. The World Health Organization also recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with solids gradually being introduced around this age when signs of readiness are shown. Supplemented breastfeeding is recommended until at least age two and then for as long as the mother and child wish. Breastfeeding continues to offer health benefits into and after toddlerhood. These benefits include a somewhat lowered risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), increased intelligence, and many more.)

17. Has the world's tallest water fountain (Jeddah, on the Red Sea).

18. Has the world's largest airport (King Khaled Airport in Riyadh).

19. Has the world's largest desalination plant (in Jubail).

20. Is the only country to ban women from driving.
(In Saudi Arabia, women’s safety is of real concern. There is also a rule for women to wear long dress and headscarf to cover their hair. This is an aspect of Islam religion, and it is also intended to protect women from sexual harassment.)

21. Its tallest building is the 31st tallest building in the world (The Kingdom Center in Riyadh).

22. 21% of its population are expats.

23. Its largest city, Riyadh (pop. 4,193,000), is the 69th largest city on earth by population.

24. In 2006, it had a gas price of 60 cents per gallon.

25. Its stock market Tadawul, is the 11th largest stock market on earth.

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