About Saudi Arabia


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia commonly known as Saudi Arabia is, in land area, the third largest Arab country and the largest country in the Middle East. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq on the north and northeast, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the southeast, and Yemen on the south. It is also connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway. The Persian Gulf lies to the northeast and the Red Sea to its west.

Climate
Except for the south western province of Asir, Saudi Arabia has a desert climate with extremely high day-time temperatures and a sharp temperature drop at night. Average summer temperatures are around 45C, but can be as high as 54C. In the winter the temperature rarely drops below 0C. In the spring and autumn the heat is temperate, temperatures average around 29C. Annual rainfall is extremely low. The Asir region differs in that it is influenced by the Indian Ocean monsoons, usually occurring between October and March. An average of 300 millimetres of rainfall occurs during this period, that is about 60 percent of the annual precipitation.

Credit Cards
Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.

Currency
The Saudi riyal is the official currency of Saudi Arabia and is denoted by the ISO code SAR. The riyal further divides into 100 hallalahs, and although a one-hallalah coin is issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, it is very rarely seen. Since 1986, the riyal has been fixed against the United States Dollar. In turn, the Bahraini dinar is pegged to the riyal with one dinar being worth 10 riyals.

Customs
>Passengers are permitted to bring the following items into Saudi Arabia International Airport without paying customs duty:

>The baggage and gifts must be of a personal nature and not in commercial quantities

> The passenger must not enter the country with goods on a regular basis, be a trader in what he possesses or a member of the respective conveyance crew..

>Passengers below 18 years of age may not bring cigarettes or alcoholic beverages into the country.

>Prohibition and restriction procedures shall be applicable to items or belongings accompanying passengers.

>The amount of alcoholic beverage and beer shall not exceed 4 litres for alcohol beverages; or 2 cartons of beer (each consisting of 24 cans, not exceeding 355 ml for each can or its equivalent)

Driving
Holders of International Driving Licenses can drive in the country. Some national licenses can be used for a period of up to three months, after which you will have to get a Saudi license. Some licenses like those from the US and UK can be converted to a Saudi license without a driving test.

Duty Free Procedures
Duty-free goods can be bought at accredited shops and will be delivered to the customs desk at the airport or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s desk.
Visitors returning home can claim a VAT refund at the airport by showing a receipt and goods bought.

Economy
The Saudi Arabia economy is based on three sectors: oil , Tourism, and Services.

Electricity:
220 volts

Emergency
Police(ambulance ) :997 , Police : 998
Fire : 999

Geography
Area: 1,960,582 million sq. km. (784,233 sq. mi.), slightly more than one-fifth the size of the continental United States. Cities (2006 est.): Capital--Riyadh (pop. 4.3 million). Other cities--Jeddah (3.4 million), Makkah, (1.6 million), Dammam/Khobar/Dhahran, (1.6 million). Terrain: Primarily desert with rugged mountains in the southwest. Climate: Arid, with great extremes of temperature in the interior; humidity and temperature are both high along the coast..

Government
Type: Monarchy with Council of Ministers and Consultative Council. Unification: September 23, 1932. Constitution: The Holy Qur'an (governed according to Islamic Law), Shari'a, and the Basic Law. Branches: Executive--King (chief of state and head of government; rules under the title Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques). Legislative--a Consultative Council with advisory powers was formed September 1993. Judicial--Supreme Court, Supreme Judicial Council, Islamic Courts of First Instance and Appeals. Administrative divisions: 13 provinces. Political parties: None.

Health
The number of the hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia amounted to 314 and the total number of beds at these hospitals amounted to 45,730 - 27,800 at the hospitals of the health ministry and 8,761 beds at the hospitals of the private sector. In addition to these, the Kingdom has 1,756 health centers.

Language
Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, but English is widely spoken. It is used in business and is a compulsory second language in schools. Among the non-Saudi population, many people speak Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, and other Asian languages such as Farsi and Turkish. Arabic is spoken by almost 200 million people in more than 22 countries. It is the language of the Qur'an, the Holy Book of Islam, and of Arab poetry and literature. While spoken Arabic varies from country to country, classical Arabic has remained unchanged for centuries. In Saudi, there are differences between the dialects spoken in urban areas and those spoken in rural areas.<

People
Nationality: Noun--Saudi(s). Adjective--Saudi Arabian or Saudi. Population (July 2010 est.): 28.7 million (23.1 million Saudis, 5.6 million foreign nationals). Annual growth rate: (2010 est.): 1.8%. Ethnic groups: Arab (90% of native pop.), Afro-Asian (10% of native pop.). Religion: Islam. Language: Arabic (official). Education: Literacy--total 78.8% (male 84.7%, female 70.8%). Health: Infant mortality rate (2010 est.)11.57 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--male 74 years, female 78 years. Work force: 6.49 million, about 35% foreign workers (2005 est.); industry--25%; services (including government)--63%; agriculture--12%

History
Except for a few major cities and oases, the harsh climate historically prevented much settlement of the Arabian Peninsula. People of various cultures have lived in the peninsula over a span of more than 5,000 years. The Dilmun culture, along the Gulf coast, was contemporaneous with the Sumerians and ancient Egyptians, and most of the empires of the ancient world traded with the states that existed on the peninsula, which lay along important trade routes.

Nudism
Nudism and topless sunbathing are frowned upon on our public beaches.ÊNo hotel permits nude sunbathing on beaches.ÊTopless sunbathing is sometimes tolerated.

Population
25,731,776 (Year 2011)

Population literacy rate
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged to eradicate illiteracy within seven years to become the first Arab country to attain 100 percent literacy,

Public holidays
30 Aug Eid al-Fitr/ Djoulde Soumae (Ramadan ends). 23 Sep Saudi National Day. 6 Nov Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region. During Hajj (when pilgrims visit Mecca) all government establishments and some businesses will be closed for 10 to 14 days.

Security
• A tourist police service has been set up to ensure security in tourist zones.
•An anti-terrorist law has also been proclaimed.Saud iarabia specific law relating to all tourist activities and corrupt practices has also been voted.
• The following essential pieces of advice are meant for you: safety
Keep an eye on all personal belongings at all times.
• Be careful when withdrawing money from a cash point.
• Avoid wearing expensive jewellery.
• Do not leave anything inside your car.
• (For trips or purchases) use only recognised operators or suppliers.
• Keep your passports, plane tickets, jewellery of value and large sums of money in safe custody.
• During individual sea trips, always notify the person responsible for the boat house.
• For sea excursions, do not rent boats with inadequate security standards.
• Do not go swimming in areas where it is forbidden.

Tipping
Tipping is not compulsory.

Time
Saudi is +3 hours GMT.

Telecommunications
Saudi Arabia has international direct dialling facilities to most parts of the world as well as high speed fax and internet services.

TV channels
Satellite TV and local tv & radio are available in most of the hotels.

Visa & Entry Requirements
passport is valid for at least 2-6 months before your arrival. Information about the various UAE visa.
A visit visa applies to tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in the UAE, whether it is to visit relatives or for business purposes. The categories given below identify whether an individual requires a visit visa before arrival or whether one can be issued to them at the airport or entry point

What to Wear
Take your best beach and casual wear. In the winter months (december -february), carry some light woollen
clothing for the cool evenings.
Please show due respect when visiting religious places.Wear appropriate clothing (and remove leather shoes and belts) when entering the premises.

Working Hours
According to the Sauadi arabia Labour Law the maximum working hours in sauadi are eight hours per day, or 48 hours per week

 
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