Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

al-Mamlakah al-Arabiyah al-Saudiyah

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: 22,678,262 (2004C); 23,766,000 (2007E). 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 November 1, 2008: 3.75 riyals = $1US).

Ruler and Prime Minister: King Abdallah ibn Abd al-Aziz Al SAUD; confirmed on August 1, 2005, by the royal court upon the death of King Fahd ibn Abd al-Aziz Al SAUD.

Heir Apparent: Crown Prince Sultan ibn Abd al-Aziz Al SAUD; appointed crown prince and heir to ...

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