Unravel the mysteries and marvels of Saudi Arabia, a country brimming with rich history, a blend of ancient and ultra-modern architecture, and vast desert landscapes. From its religious significance to its cultural practices and incredible natural beauty, this kingdom truly fascinates. Here are 19 fun facts about Saudi Arabia that will give you a glimpse into this amazing country.
Size Matters: The Big Arabian Country
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East and the 13th largest in the world, spanning an impressive area of about 2,149,690 square kilometers.
The Land of Deserts
It’s home to the Rub’ al Khali or the Empty Quarter, the largest contiguous sand desert in the world, covering about a third of the Saudi land area.
No Rivers Run Through
There’s not a single river in the whole country. Yes, you read that right! Despite its size, Saudi Arabia’s arid desert climate doesn’t allow for permanent rivers.
Saudi Arabia sits on around 18% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum. Its oil fields are renowned, particularly Ghawar Field, the largest in the world.
Birthplace of Islam
The country holds great religious significance as the birthplace of Islam. Two of the holiest cities of Islam, Mecca, and Medina, are located in Saudi Arabia.
Millions of Muslims from around the world visit Saudi Arabia every year to perform Hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Located in Mecca, the Kaaba is the most sacred site in Islam. Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during their daily prayers.
Saudi Arabia is home to five UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih) and Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah.
No Pork, No Alcohol
Due to religious beliefs, the consumption and sale of pork and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia.
Men’s and Women’s Roles
The country is known for its strict laws and social codes, particularly those relating to gender roles. However, recent reforms have allowed women more rights, including the right to drive and travel independently.
In Saudi Arabia, women traditionally wear a black, cloak-like garment known as an abaya, while men don a flowing white robe called a thobe.
Saudi Arabia has a relatively young population, with more than half of its inhabitants under 25 years old.
Modern Wonders: Kingdom Centre
Located in Riyadh, the Kingdom Centre is a stunning example of modern Saudi architecture. The tower boasts a sky bridge providing breathtaking views of the city.
Despite its harsh desert environment, Saudi Arabia hosts unique wildlife, including Arabian leopards, wolves, hyenas, and many species of birds and reptiles.
Red Sea Reef
Falconry: A Cultural Tradition
Falconry is an integral part of Saudi culture and history. Today, it remains a popular sport, with Saudi Arabia hosting an annual King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival.
Majestic Date Palms
Saudi Arabia boasts millions of date palms, making it one of the world’s top date producers. Dates play a significant role in Saudi cuisine and culture.
King Fahd’s Fountain
Jeddah hosts the world’s tallest fountain, King Fahd’s Fountain, which propels water 260 meters into the air – higher than the Eiffel Tower minus its antenna!
The Edge of the World
Known locally as the “Edge of the World,” these dramatic cliffs located north of Riyadh offer stunning views of endless plains that could easily make you think you’re standing at the edge of the world.
Whether you’ve visited before or hope to one day, these 19 fun facts about Saudi Arabia undoubtedly reveal a country full of surprise and intrigue. So, let’s appreciate Saudi Arabia, a kingdom where ancient traditions and modern development coexist, unfolding stories waiting to be told.