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); 24,820,000 (2008E). 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 December 1, 2009: 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 the ...