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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
al-Mamlakah al-Arabiyah al-Saudiyah
Note: On September 25, 2011, King Abdallah granted women the right to vote and to run in future municipal elections. He also said women would have the right to be appointed to the Consultative Council.
Political Status: Unified kingdom established September 23, 1932; under absolute monarchical system; Basic Law of Government based on Islamic law promulgated by royal decree on March 1, 1992.
Area: 829,995 sq. mi. (2,149,690 sq. km.).
Population: 28,877,141 (2012E—UN); 26,534,504 (2012E—U.S. Census). Foreign nationals constitute approximately one quarter of both figures.
Major Urban Centers (2005E): RIYADH (royal capital, 5,126,000), Jiddah (administrative capital, 3,557,000), Makkah (Mecca, 1,446,000).
Official Language: Arabic.
Monetary Unit: Riyal (official rate October 3, 2011: 3.75 riyals = $1US).
Ruler and Prime Minister: King Abdallah ibn Abd al-Aziz Al SAUD; confirmed ...