|Kingdom of Saudi Arabia|
|Motto: "لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله"
There is no god but God: Muhammad is the Messenger of God" Shahada)
|Anthem: "Aash Al Maleek"
"Long live the King"
(and largest city)
|Spoken languages||Arabic, English|
|Demonym||Saudi, Saudi Arabian|
|Government||Islamic absolute monarchy|
|-||King||Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz|
|-||Crown Prince||Sultan bin Abdul Aziz|
|-||Second Deputy Prime Minister||Naif bin Abdul Aziz|
|Legislature||Council of Ministers
appointed by the king
|-||First Saudi State established||1744|
|-||Second Saudi State established||1824|
|-||Third Saudi State declared||January 8, 1926|
|-||Recognized||May 20, 1927|
|-||Kingdom Unified||September 23, 1932|
|-||Total||2149690 km2 (14th)
830,000 sq mi
|-||2010 estimate||27,136,977 (41st)|
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
|HDI (2010)||0.752 (high) (55th)|
|Currency||Saudi Riyal (SR) (
|Time zone||AST (UTC+3)|
|-||Summer (DST)||(not observed) (UTC+3)|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Internet TLD||.sa, السعودية.|
|1||Population estimate includes 8,429,401 non-nationals.|
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arabic: المملكة العربية السعودية), commonly known as Saudi Arabia ( or ) is the largest Arab country of the Middle East. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq on the north and northeast, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the southeast, and Yemen on the south. It is also connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway. The Persian Gulf lies to the northeast and the Red Sea to its west. It has an estimated population of 28 million, and its size is approximately . The kingdom is sometimes called "The Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam. The two mosques are Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Masjid Al-Nabawi (in Medina). The current kingdom was founded by Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, whose efforts began in 1902 when he captured the Al-Saud’s ancestral home of Riyadh, and culminated in 1932 with the proclamation and recognition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, though its national origins go back as far as 1744 with the establishment of the First Saudi State. Saudi Arabia's government takes the form of an Islamic absolute monarchy. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly expressed concern about the state of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has the world's largest oil reserves and is the world's largest oil exporter. Oil accounts for more than 90% of exports and nearly 75% of government revenues, facilitating the creation of a welfare state, which the government has found difficult to fund during periods of low oil prices. As of 2006, Saudi Arabia was the world's most generous donor nation per capita, donating £49 billion in aid in the previous three decades, but exclusively to Muslim countries (except for one donation amounting to the equivalent of £250,000).
Although the region in which the country stands today has an ancient history, the emergence of the Saudi dynasty began in central Arabia in 1744. That year, Muhammad ibn Saud, the ruler of the town of Ad-Dir'iyyah near Riyadh, joined forces with a well-known Islamic scholar and Imam, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, to create a new political and religious entity. Both persons found they had common interests, mainly to see all the Arabs of the peninsula brought back to "true" Islam. This alliance formed in the 18th century remains the basis of Saudi Arabian dynastic rule today, and over the next 150 years, the fortunes of the Saud family rose and fell several times as Saudi rulers contended with Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and other Arabian families for control of the peninsula (see First Saudi State and Second Saudi State). The third and current Saudi state was founded in the early 20th century by King Abdul Aziz Al Saud (known internationally as Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud).
The first Saudi State was established in 1744 when Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab settled in Diriyah and Prince Muhammed Ibn Saud agreed to support and espouse his cause in the hope of cleansing Islamic practices of heresy. The House of Saud and its allies rose to become the dominant state in Arabia controlling most of the present-day territory of Saudi Arabia, including the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Concerned at the growing power of the Saudis, the Ottoman Sultan instructed Mohammed Ali Pasha to reconquer the area again. Ali sent his sons Tusun Pasha and Ibrahim Pasha who were successful in routing the Saudi forces in 1818, eventually weakening the hold of Al Saud. Alshuraim was one of the largest families that supported king Abdulaziz and his family.
After a rebuilding period following the ending of the First Saudi State, the House of Saud returned to power in the Second Saudi State in 1824. The state lasted until 1891 when it succumbed to the Al Rashid of Ha'il.