Country Profile: Saudi Arabia
Capital and largest cityRiyadh
Area2, 149, 690 sq km
Population27, 601, 038 (2007 est.)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. The country is sometimes referred to as "The Land of the Two Holy Mosques", because of Makkah and Medinah, purported to be the two holiest places in Islam.
The official language in Saudi Arabia is Arabic, and is spoken by almost the entire population of the country.
Saudi Arabia is the world's leading exporter of petroleum. Around 90% of its export earnings come from petroleum, and generally, its economy is dependant upon petroleum. The country is one of the fastest developing in the world. Agricultural produce in the country includes barley, wheat, tomatoes, dates, melon, chickens, mutton, eggs and milk, while apart from crude oil production and petroleum refining, Saudi Arabia's other key industries are petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, causic soda, plastics, fertiliser, cement, metals, ship repair, aircraft repair and construction. Saudi Arabia's major trading partners are Japan, South Korea, the US, Germany, China, Taiwan and Singapore.
Because of its position as biggest provider of oil in the world, the energy policy of Saudi Arabia has a significant impact globally. As well as being a huge exporter of petroleum, Saudi Arabia is a significant user of energy, with its main power sources split between oil and natural gas. However, the country cannot continue indefinitely to rely on such unsustainable fossil fuels as oil and natural gas, and in the future will have to start looking for more long-term and environmental solutions to energy security.
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