Saudi Arabia

Location Type
Parent Location

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is geographically the largest sovereign state in Western Asia, second-largest in the Arab world, and the twelfth largest in the world, with a population of over 34 million people. An Islamic country with an absolute monarchy system, Saudi Arabia is known as The Land of the Two Holy Mosques, in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the two holiest places in Islam. Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river, having the largest sand desert in the world. The country was rated as the best place to do business in the Middle East, while also providing free public health care services. Saudi Arabia possesses approximately 22% of the world's oil reserves. It is the world's largest exporter of petroleum liquids and relies on the oil industry for almost half of its GDP.

  • Has some of the world's largest oil reserves
  • Much of the native population lives on oil revenue from the government (a form of welfare)
    • Creates  a very low work ethic
    • Most labor is imported from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Phillipines
  • Saudi Arabia did not exist as a country until after World War I
    • Previously was called Arabia
    • The British helped the Sauds become the rulers of the new country

Saudi Oil History

  • Noticed the money Bahrain was making from oil in the 1930s
  • House of Saud (ruling royal family) sold exploration rights to Standard Oil of California
  • Standard Oil struck Oil - resulted in the formation of ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company)
  • Americans paid Saudis a royalty on the oil produced
  • Over time Saudis demanded higher royalties
  • Saudi created OPEC with other oil exporting countries - to protect their own interests