Essential Info for Saudi Arabia

Useful info and facts about Saudi Arabia - Saudi FlagPopulation: Around 29 million
Capital city: Riyadh (also largest city)
Neighbouring countries: Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen
Political system: Islamic absolute monarchy

Geography: Saudi Arabia is made up mostly of deserts. The population is distributed amongst the eastern and western coastal towns as well as the interior oases but much of the country is empty deserts. 
Main languages: Arabic is the official language, although English is widely spoken and understood in business.
Major religions: Saudi Arabia is a strict Islamic country governed by Sharia law. Although other religions can be practiced in private, proselytising is strictly forbidden.
Money: The Saudi riyal (SAR), divided into 100 halala. The country has a well-established banking system and expats are able to open a local bank account in Saudi Arabia.

Tipping: It is usual to tip 10 percent of the bill for services rendered.

Time: GMT+3

Electricity: 125 volts, 50Hz in main cities, but expats in remote areas may encounter 215 volts, 60Hz.
International dialling code: +966
Internet domain: .sa
Transport and driving: Cars drive on the right side of the road in Saudi Arabia. Women are strictly forbidden from driving in the Kingdom.
Emergency numbers: 999 (police); 997 (ambulance); 998 (fire)
Education: Foreign children are not allowed to attend local public schools. There is a range of international schools catering to the expat community, although the standard of education can be variable.

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