Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,[d] is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in Western Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world (after Algeria), the fifth-largest in Asia, and the 12th-largest in the world.
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; it is separated from Egypt and Israel by the Gulf of Aqaba. It is the only country with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia also has one of the world’s youngest populations: 50 per cent of its 33.4 million people are under 25 years old.
The religion of Saudi Arabia is Islam, which means “submission” (to the will of God). Islam has been proclaimed to the world through the Prophet Muhammad who is the last in a succession of the prophets. Muslims recognize and revere the prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ. With close to three quarters of a billion adherents throughout the world, Islam is one of the great monotheistic religions revealed to mankind. Islam is not only a religion preaching equality, tolerance of other faiths and submission to the will of God, but also, a practical legal system and a way of life, laying down rules for behaviour in private, social and business activities.
Arabic is the sacred language of Islam, one of the most widely spoken international languages in use today and one of the greatest literary languages in history, with its immense range, power and beauty. Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia, but English and other languages are widely spoken and understood in the country.
The Saudi Arabian Monarch exercises supreme executive and legislative authority and is the country’s supreme religious leader. The King’s authority is tempered by the Sharia (religious law).
The monarch presides over the Council of Ministers and various autonomous non-ministerial organization such as the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the heads of which have ministerial rank.
The legal system is based on the Sharia, which is the Islamic law based on the Koran. The experience of modern political and economic relationships not defined in the Sharia have required new laws enacted by administrative decree.