70 Interesting Facts About Saudi Arabia

Last updated on April 18th, 2022

61. Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Have Income Tax

Instead of income tax, they have the zakat. This is an impost of 2.5% that is levied on assets and not income. It is only required of Muslims but not foreign workers.

62. Saudi Arabia is Heavily Reliant on Foreign Labor

60% of the Saudi workforce is made up of foreigners. Most Saudis work in the public sector and they have little incentive to join the private sector.

63. Female Labor Participation is Around 20%

This is the eight-lowest female labor participation rate in the world. Japan has a rate of 49% while in the U.S it is about 47%.

Geography & Physical Features

64. Only 1.45% Of Saudi Arabia is Arable, 95% is Desert or Semi-Desert

It has some of the biggest desert areas including Rub al-Khali and An Nafud. It is the largest nation in the world without a river.

King Fahd`s Fountain, also known as the Jeddah Fountain, is a fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
King Fahd`s Fountain, also known as the Jeddah Fountain, is a fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo © Sophiejames | Dreamstime.com

65. World’s Tallest Water Fountain

Saudi Arabia has the world’s tallest water fountain which is called King Fahd’s Fountain. The fountain jets water to up to 260 meters. The World Cup Fountain in South Korea is the second tallest with a height of 202 meters.

66. World’s Largest Desalination Plant

The world’s largest desalination plant, the al-Jubail, is found in Saudi Arabia. It treats over 1.4 million cubic meters of water daily.

67. World’s First 1 Km Tower

Once completed, the Jeddah Tower will become the world’s first 1km high building. This tower will be taller than 491 LeBron James who stand on top of each other. LeBron James stands at 2.03 meters. It will be the centerpiece of the Jeddah Economic City that is meant to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil.

68. The Persian Gulf Controversy

Most maps of the Middle East use the name Persian Gulf; however, in Saudi Arabia, the name Arabian Gulf is used.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, landscape at night
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, landscape at night. Interesting Facts About The Saudi Arabia. Photo © Wajd Ramadan | Dreamstime.com

Dangerous Driving in Saudi Arabia

69. One of the Most Dangerous Countries to Drive

A World Bank report concluded that Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, and Malaysia are the most dangerous countries to drive. When measured in terms of fatalities per vehicle, Saudi Arabia fared worse.

70. Sidewalk Skiing

Sidewalk skiing an exciting but dangerous driving technique was invented by motorists in Saudi Arabia. It involves balancing a vehicle on its side while driving.

Saudi Arabia – quick facts and statistics

Independence23 September 1932 (unification of the kingdom)
Capital CityRiyadh
24°39′N 46°46′E
Largest CityRiyadh
Areatotal: 2,149,690 sq km

land: 2,149,690 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Population34,783,757 (July 2021 est.)
Official LanguageArabic
Saudi Arabian
Government typeUnitary Islamic absolute monarchy
Suffrage18 years of age; restricted to males; universal for municipal elections
KingSalman bin Abdulaziz
Crown PrinceMohammed bin Salman
National symbolpalm tree surmounting two crossed swords
National colorsgreen, white
BordersJordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, U.A.E, Oman, and Yemen.
CurrencySaudi Riyal (SR) (SAR)
Life expectancy at birth76.4 years (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Literacy rate 97.6% (age 15 and over can read and write)
Terrainmostly sandy desert
Mean elevation665 m
Lowest pointPersian Gulf 0 m
Highest pointAs Sarawat range, 3,000 m
Coastline2,640 km
Climateharsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
Birth rate14.56 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate3.39 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Sex ratio1.3 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$44,300
Industriespetroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials
Imports$179.8 billion (2020 est.)
cars, broadcasting equipment, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, telephones (2019)
Exports$184.11 billion (2020 est.)
crude petroleum, refined petroleum, polymers, industrial alcohols, natural gas (2019)
Time ZoneUTC+3 (AST)
Internet country code.sa
Drives on theRight
Calling Code+966
Table last updatedFebruary 10, 2022