35 Facts About Saudi Arabia

1. Saudi Arabia is an Arab state in the Middle East and is one of the world's largest oil producers.

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2. Saudi Arabia is a wealthy country with a well-developed infrastructure.

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3. Saudi Arabia released details about how government critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul.

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4. In 2017, Saudi Arabia imposed a land, naval and air blockade on Qatar.

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5. Saudi Arabia has a life expectancy of 74.6 years according to the latest data for the year 2016 from the World Bank.

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6. In February 2017, Saudi Arabia appointed its first woman to head the Saudi Stock Exchange.

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7. Saudi Arabia participates in the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas, created in March 2017, with a contribution of 18.5 million euros.

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8. Saudi Arabia has centuries-old attitudes and traditions, often derived from Arab civilization.

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9. In November 2013, Saudi Arabia expelled thousands of illegal Ethiopian residents from the Kingdom.

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10. Saudi Arabia expelled 800,000 Yemenis in 1990 and 1991 and has built a Saudi–Yemen barrier against an influx of illegal immigrants and against the smuggling of drugs and weapons.

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11. Saudi Arabia is a major exporter of fruits and vegetables to its neighbors.

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12. Saudi Arabia is completely self-sufficient in a number of foodstuffs, including meat, milk and eggs.

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13. In November 2005, Saudi Arabia was approved as a member of the World Trade Organization.

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14. In the 1990s, Saudi Arabia experienced a significant contraction of oil revenues combined with a high rate of population growth.

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15. As of October 2018, Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world.

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16. Saudi Arabia is Britain's largest arms customer, with more than £4.6 billion worth of arms bought since the start of Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

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17. In 2017, Saudi Arabia signed a 110 billion dollar arms deal with the United States.

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18. Saudi Arabia has a long list of outstanding orders for arms, including 27 more combat aircraft from the UK, 154 combat aircraft from the USA and a large number of armoured vehicles from Canada.

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19. Saudi Arabia has been seen as a moderating influence in the Arab–Israeli conflict, periodically putting forward a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians and condemning Hezbollah.

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20. Saudi Arabia was involved in the CIA-led Timber Sycamore covert operation to train and arm Syrian rebels.

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21. In the Arab and Muslim worlds, Saudi Arabia is considered to be pro-Western and pro-American, and it is certainly a long-term ally of the United States.

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22. Saudi Arabia supports the intended formation of the Arab Customs Union in 2015 and an Arab common market by 2020, as announced at the 2009 Arab League summit.

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23. Saudi Arabia joined the UN in 1945 and is a founding member of the Arab League, Gulf Cooperation Council, Muslim World League, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

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24. Saudi Arabia has a "Counter-Radicalization Program" the purpose of which is to "combat the spread and appeal of extremist ideologies among the general populous" and to "instill the true values of the Islamic faith, such as tolerance and moderation.

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25. Saudi Arabia remains one of the very few countries in the world not to accept the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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26. Saudi Arabia is almost unique in giving the ulema a direct role in government.

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27. In the 1980s, Saudi Arabia spent $25 billion in support of Saddam Hussein in the Iran–Iraq War.

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28. In 1980, Saudi Arabia bought out the American interests in Aramco.

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29. In 1973, Saudi Arabia led an oil boycott against the Western countries that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War against Egypt and Syria.

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30. Saudi Arabia has since become the world's second largest oil producer behind the US and exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest gas reserves.

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31. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam.

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32. Saudi Arabia has since been an absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines.

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33. Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East as of October 2018 and the 18th largest in the world.

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34. Saudi Arabia has quietly revised its plan to overhaul its government and economy by 2020, lowering some targets as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitions bump up against the reality of implementation.

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35. Saudi Arabia hosts rare visit of US evangelical Christian figures.

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