Die Streitkräfte des Königreiches Saudi- Arabien (arabisch القوات المسلحة. Aktuelle Nachrichten, Informationen und Bilder zum Thema Saudi-Arabien auf economies-energies.eu Saudi-Arabien wird verwaltungsmäßig in 13 Liste der Provinzen Saudi- Arabiens. aus Wikipedia, der freien. Hinzu kamen aber auch die zunehmenden Unruhen in den schiitischen Hochburgen der Ostprovinz Saudi-Arabiens, denen wichtige Verbindungen zu bedeutenden schiitischen Regimekritikern in Syrien nachgesagt werden. Hinsichtlich der Prinzipien der Volkssouveränität, der Gewaltenteilung und der Menschenrechte bestehen offene Berührungsängste. Ihre Reisepässe allerdings wurden eingezogen, so dass sie das Land nicht verlassen können. Kritik an der Regierung ist ebenfalls verboten und wird unterbunden. Es gab öffentliche Diskussionen über Themen, die früher als Tabu galten. Dies wurde zwischen der saudischen Regierung und der US-Regierung beschlossen. Allerdings scheinen die saudischen Medien über diese Möglichkeit kaum zu berichten, sodass sich nur wenige Frauen registrieren lassen. Deswegen sind im Königreich oft Bereiche anzutreffen, die einem Geschlecht vorbehalten sind, z. Allerdings führte die Stationierung US-amerikanischer Truppen im Land zu heftiger Kritik einiger Geistlicher und islamischer Fundamentalisten , die sich zunehmend gegen das Königshaus richtet und in jüngerer Vergangenheit zu gewalttätigen Auseinandersetzungen und Terroranschlägen auf westliche Einrichtungen führte. Der Marschflugkörper wurde bereits an den Tornados der saudischen Luftwaffe getestet. Auch unabhängige Menschenrechtsorganisationen, wie die Human Rights First Society, sind illegal und müssen im Untergrund arbeiten. Doch Gastarbeiter aus Drittweltländern werden auch im privaten Bereich eingeschränkt und kontrolliert. November um
Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun — , Umayyad — , Abbasid — and the Fatimid — caliphates as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia, Africa and Europe.
The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of mainly four distinct regions: He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in with the capture of Riyadh , the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud.
Saudi Arabia has since been an absolute monarchy , effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines. As of , the state had a total population of Petroleum was discovered on 3 March and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province.
Its inclusion expresses the view that the country is the personal possession of the royal family. There is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about , years ago.
Arabia underwent an extreme environmental fluctuation in the Quaternary that lead to profound evolutionary and demographic changes.
Arabia has a rich Lower Paleolithic record, and the quantity of Oldwan-like sites in the region indicate a significant role that Arabia had played in the early hominin colonization of Eurasia.
In the Neolithic period, prominent cultures such as al-Magar whose epicenter lay in modern-day southwestern Najd flourished.
In November hunting scenes showing images of most likely domesticated dogs, resembling the Canaan dog , wearing leashes were discovered in Shuwaymis, a hilly region of northwestern Saudi Arabia.
These rock engravings date back more than years, making them the earliest depictions of dogs in the world. At the end of the 4th millennium BC , Arabia entered the Bronze Age after witnessing drastic transformations; metals were widely used, and the period was characterized by its 2 m high burials which was simultaneously followed by the existence of numerous temples, that included many free-standing sculptures originally painted with red colours.
The earliest sedentary culture in Saudi Arabia dates back to the Ubaid period, upon discovering various pottery sherds at Dosariyah.
Initial analysis of the discovery concluded that the eastern province of Saudi Arabia was the homeland of the earliest settlers of Mesopotamia, and by extension, the likely origin of the Sumerians.
However, experts such as Joan Oates had the opportunity to see the Ubaid period sherds in eastern Arabia and consequently conclude that the sherds dates to the last two phases of Ubaid period period three and four , while handful examples could be classified roughly as either Ubaid 3 or Ubaid 2.
Climatic change and the onset of aridity may have brought about the end of this phase of settlement, as little archaeological evidence exists from the succeeding millennium.
Known records from Uruk refer to a place called Dilmun , associated in several occasions with copper and in later period it was a source of imported woods in southern Mesopotamia.
A number of scholars have suggested that Dilmun originally designated the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, notably linked with the major Dilmunite settlements of Umm an-Nussi and Umm ar-Ramadh in the interior and Tarout on the coast.
It is likely that Tarout Island was the main port and the capital of Dilmun. In an earthworks in Tarout exposed ancient burial field that yielded a large impressive statue dating to the Dilmunite period mid 3rd millennium BC.
The statue was locally made under strong Mesopotamian influence on the artistic principle of Dilmun.
By BC, the centre of Dilmun shifted for unknown reasons from Tarout and the Saudi Arabian mainland to the island of Bahrain , and a major developed settlements appeared in Bahrain for the first time, where a laborious temple complex and thousands of burial mounds that dates to this period were discovered.
By the Late Bronze Age, a historically recorded people and land Median and the Medianites in the north-western portion of Saudi Arabia are well-documented in the Bible.
Centered in Tabouk , Median stretched from Wadi Arabah in the north to the area of al-Wejh in the south. The city hosted as many as ten to twelve thousand inhabitants.
Politically, the Medianite were described as having decentralized structure headed by five kings Evi, Rekem, Tsur, Hur and Reba , the names appears to be toponyms of important Medianite settlements.
At the end of the 7th century BC an emerging kingdom appeared on the historical theater of north-western Arabia. It started as a Sheikdom of Dedan, which developed into the Kingdom of Lihyan tribe.
Lihyan was a powerful and highly organized ancient Arabian kingdom that played a vital cultural and economic role in the north-western region of the Arabian Peninsula.
A testimony to the extensive influence that Lihyan acquired. The Nabataeans ruled large portions of north Arabia until their domain was annexed by the Roman Empire.
Shortly before the advent of Islam, apart from urban trading settlements such as Mecca and Medina , much of what was to become Saudi Arabia was populated by nomadic pastoral tribal societies.
In the early 7th century, Muhammad united the various tribes of the peninsula and created a single Islamic religious polity. Arabia soon became a more politically peripheral region of the Muslim world as the focus shifted to the vast and newly conquered lands.
Arab dynasties, originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia, Hejaz in particular, founded the Rashidun — , Umayyad — , Abbasid — and the Fatimid — caliphates.
From the 10th century to the early 20th century Mecca and Medina were under the control of a local Arab ruler known as the Sharif of Mecca , but at most times the Sharif owed allegiance to the ruler of one of the major Islamic empires based in Baghdad , Cairo or Istanbul.
Most of the remainder of what became Saudi Arabia reverted to traditional tribal rule. In , the Qarmatians pillaged Mecca, outraging the Muslim world, particularly with their theft of the Black Stone.
The Bani Khalid tribe later revolted against them in 17th century and took control. The emergence of what was to become the Saudi royal family, known as the Al Saud, began in Nejd in central Arabia in , when Muhammad bin Saud , founder of the dynasty, joined forces with the religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab ,  founder of the Wahhabi movement, a strict puritanical form of Sunni Islam.
The first "Saudi state" established in in the area around Riyadh , rapidly expanded and briefly controlled most of the present-day territory of Saudi Arabia,  sacking Karbala in and capturing Mecca in , but was destroyed by by the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt , Mohammed Ali Pasha.
Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the Al Saud contested control of the interior of what was to become Saudi Arabia with another Arabian ruling family, the Al Rashid.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Ottoman Empire continued to control or have a suzerainty over most of the peninsula. Subject to this suzerainty, Arabia was ruled by a patchwork of tribal rulers,   with the Sharif of Mecca having pre-eminence and ruling the Hejaz.
Ibn Saud avoided involvement in the Arab Revolt, and instead continued his struggle with the Al Rashid. For the next five years, he administered the two parts of his dual kingdom as separate units.
As a result, they turned against Ibn Saud and, after a two-year struggle, were defeated in at the Battle of Sabilla , where their leaders were massacred.
The new kingdom was reliant on limited agriculture and pilgrimage revenues. Oil provided Saudi Arabia with economic prosperity and substantial political leverage internationally.
Cultural life rapidly developed, primarily in the Hejaz, which was the center for newspapers and radio. However, the large influx of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia in the oil industry increased the pre-existing propensity for xenophobia.
At the same time, the government became increasingly wasteful and extravagant. By the s this had led to large governmental deficits and excessive foreign borrowing.
By , Saudi Arabia had become the largest oil producer in the world. The first was the Iranian Islamic Revolution. There were several anti-government uprisings in the region such as the Qatif Uprising.
The militants involved were in part angered by what they considered to be the corruption and un-Islamic nature of the Saudi government. Part of the response of the royal family was to enforce a much stricter observance of traditional religious and social norms in the country for example, the closure of cinemas and to give the Ulema a greater role in government.
In , Saudi Arabia bought out the American interests in Aramco. King Khalid died of a heart attack in June He was succeeded by his brother, King Fahd , who added the title "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" to his name in in response to considerable fundamentalist pressure to avoid use of "majesty" in association with anything except God.
Fahd continued to develop close relations with the United States and increased the purchase of American and British military equipment.
The vast wealth generated by oil revenues was beginning to have an even greater impact on Saudi society. It led to rapid technological but not cultural modernisation, urbanization, mass public education and the creation of new media.
This and the presence of increasingly large numbers of foreign workers greatly affected traditional Saudi norms and values.
Although there was dramatic change in the social and economic life of the country, political power continued to be monopolized by the royal family  leading to discontent among many Saudis who began to look for wider participation in government.
In , Saudi Arabian forces were involved both in bombing raids on Iraq and in the land invasion that helped to liberate Kuwait. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi national until stripped of his nationality in and was responsible for the U.
Islamism was not the only source of hostility to the government. High taxes and a growth in unemployment have contributed to discontent, and has been reflected in a rise in civil unrest, and discontent with the royal family.
In response, a number of limited "reforms" were initiated by King Fahd. In March , he introduced the " Basic Law ", which emphasised the duties and responsibilities of a ruler.
In December , the Consultative Council was inaugurated. It is composed of a chairman and 60 members—all chosen by the King. In , Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke, and the Crown Prince, Abdullah , assumed the role of de facto regent , taking on the day-to-day running of the country.
Women were not allowed to take part in the poll. In , King Fahd died and was succeeded by Abdullah, who continued the policy of minimum reform and clamping down on protests.
Since , Saudi Arabia has been affected by its own Arab Spring protests. Although male-only municipal elections were held on 29 September ,   Abdullah allowed women to vote and be elected in the municipal elections , and also to be nominated to the Shura Council.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. In the absence of national elections and political parties,  politics in Saudi Arabia takes place in two distinct arenas: By custom, all males of full age have a right to petition the king directly through the traditional tribal meeting known as the majlis.
Tribal identity remains strong and, outside of the royal family, political influence is frequently determined by tribal affiliation, with tribal sheikhs maintaining a considerable degree of influence over local and national events.
The rule of the Al Saud faces political opposition from four sources: The royal family dominates the political system. Long term political and government appointments have resulted in the creation of "power fiefdoms" for senior princes,  such as those of King Abdullah, who had been Commander of the National Guard since until , when he appointed his son to replace him ,  former Crown Prince Sultan , Minister of Defence and Aviation from to his death in , former crown prince Prince Nayef who was the Minister of Interior from to his death in , Prince Saud who had been Minister of Foreign Affairs since  and current King Salman , who was Minister of Defense and Aviation before he was crown prince and Governor of the Riyadh Province from to The royal family is politically divided by factions based on clan loyalties, personal ambitions and ideological differences.
There were divisions within the family over who should succeed to the throne after the accession or earlier death of Prince Sultan.
The Saudi government and the royal family have often, over many years, been accused of corruption. However, nepotism and patronage are widespread when doing business in the country.
The enforcement of the anti-corruption laws is selective and public officials engage in corruption with impunity. A number of prominent Saudi Arabian princes, government ministers, and businesspeople, including Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal , were arrested in Saudi Arabia in November The creation of the Consultative Council in the early s did not satisfy demands for political participation, and, in , an annual National Dialogue Forum was announced that would allow selected professionals and intellectuals to publicly debate current national issues, within certain prescribed parameters.
In , the first municipal elections were held. In , the Allegiance Council was created to regulate the succession. Saudi Arabia is almost unique in giving the ulema the body of Islamic religious leaders and jurists a direct role in government.
The ulema have also been a key influence in major government decisions, for example the imposition of the oil embargo in and the invitation to foreign troops to Saudi Arabia in By the s, as a result of oil wealth and the modernization of the country initiated by King Faisal, important changes to Saudi society were under way and the power of the ulema was in decline.
Because the judge is empowered to disregard previous judgments either his own or of other judges and may apply his personal interpretation of Sharia to any particular case, divergent judgements arise even in apparently identical cases,  making predictability of legal interpretation difficult.
Royal decrees are the other main source of law; but are referred to as regulations rather than laws because they are subordinate to the Sharia.
Additionally, traditional tribal law and custom remain significant. The Saudi system of justice has been criticized for its "ultra-puritanical judges", who are often harsh in their sentencing with beheading for the crime of witchcraft , but also sometimes overly lenient for cases of rape or wife-beating and slow, for example leaving thousands of abandoned women unable to secure a divorce.
Capital and physical punishments imposed by Saudi courts, such as beheading , stoning to death , amputation , crucifixion and lashing , as well as the sheer number of executions have been strongly criticized.
The last reported execution for sorcery took place in September Although repeated theft can be punishable by amputation of the right hand, only one instance of judicial amputation was reported between and Homosexual acts are punishable by flogging or death.
Retaliatory punishments, or Qisas , are practised: Even after allowing women to drive and work, public places in Saudi Arabia are still gender-segregated and the kingdom has very strict laws on how unrelated men and women can dine together.
In September , a man was arrested by the Saudi authorities for appearing in a video with his female colleague while having breakfast at a hotel, where they both work.
Western-based organizations such as Amnesty International , Human Rights Watch and Freedom House condemn both the Saudi criminal justice system and its severe punishments.
There are no jury trials in Saudi Arabia and courts observe few formalities. Those arrested are often not informed of the crime of which they are accused or given access to a lawyer and are subject to abusive treatment and torture if they do not confess.
At trial, there is a presumption of guilt and the accused is often unable to examine witnesses and evidence or present a legal defense.
Most trials are held in secret. Saudi Arabia is widely accused of having one of the worst human rights records in the world.
Human rights issues that have attracted strong criticism include the extremely disadvantaged position of women see Women below , capital punishment for homosexuality ,  religious discrimination, the lack of religious freedom and the activities of the religious police see Religion below.
To date, the activities of the NSHR have been limited and doubts remain over its neutrality and independence. In response to the continuing criticism of its human rights record, the Saudi government points to the special Islamic character of the country, and asserts that this justifies a different social and political order.
For example, Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr was arrested in when he was 17 years old for taking part in an anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring.
In , the government deported thousands of non-Saudis, many of them who were working illegally in the country or had overstayed their visas.
Many reports abound, of foreigner workers being tortured either by employers or others. Saudi Arabia has a "Counter-Radicalization Program" the purpose of which is to "combat the spread and appeal of extremist ideologies among the general populous sic " and to "instill the true values of the Islamic faith , such as tolerance and moderation.
According to Turkish government sources there is audio and video evidence for him having been murdered and dismembered inside the consulate.
Since , as a founding member of OPEC , its oil pricing policy has been generally to stabilize the world oil market and try to moderate sharp price movements so as to not jeopardise the Western economies.
However, there is evidence that the vast majority was, in fact, spent on propagating and extending the influence of Wahhabism at the expense of other forms of Islam.
The relations with the U. Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. In the Arab and Muslim worlds, Saudi Arabia is considered to be pro-Western and pro-American,  and it is certainly a long-term ally of the United States.
China and Saudi Arabia are major allies, with relationship between the two countries growing significantly in recent decades.
Majority of Saudi Arabians also expressed a favorable view of China. In order to protect the house of Khalifa, the monarchs of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain by sending military troops to quell the uprising of Bahraini people on 14 March According to the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in March , Saudi Arabia along with Qatar provided political, financial and media support to terrorists against the Iraqi government.
On 25 March , Saudi Arabia, spearheading a coalition of Sunni Muslim states,  started a military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh , who was deposed in the Arab Spring uprisings.
Saudi Arabia, together with Qatar and Turkey , openly supported the Army of Conquest ,  an umbrella group of anti-government forces fighting in the Syrian Civil War that reportedly included an al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front and another Salafi coalition known as Ahrar al-Sham.
In March , Sweden scrapped an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, marking an end to a decade-old defense agreement with the kingdom. This also led to Saudi Arabia recalling its ambassador to Sweden.
According to Sir William Patey , former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the kingdom funds mosques throughout Europe that have become hotbeds of extremism.
Saudi Arabia has been seen as a moderating influence in the Arab—Israeli conflict , periodically putting forward a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians and condemning Hezbollah.
In August both countries appeared to be exploring ways of ending the rift. In , Saudi Arabia imposed a land, naval and air blockade on Qatar.
Tensions have escalated between the Saudi and its allies after the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish officials are highly skeptical of Khashoggi being murdered inside the consulate; this has strained the already suffering Saudi Arabia—Turkey relations.
The relations have the potential of evolving into a crisis at any moment. Theresa May backed the US call to end the coalition.
The US called for a ceasefire within 30 days. Britain has a unique position, both as pen-holder [lead state for drafting decisions] at the UN Security Council and as a key influencer in the region, so today I am travelling to the Gulf to demand that all sides commit to this process.
We are witnessing a manmade humanitarian catastrophe on our watch: In the armed forces had the following personnel: The package represents a considerable improvement in the offensive capability of the Saudi armed forces.
The United Kingdom has also been a major supplier of military equipment to Saudi Arabia since Major imports in —14 included 45 combat aircraft from the UK, 38 combat helicopters from the US, 4 tanker aircraft from Spain and over armoured vehicles from Canada.
Saudi Arabia has a long list of outstanding orders for arms, including 27 more combat aircraft from the UK, combat aircraft from the US and a large number of armoured vehicles from Canada.
The fertile areas are to be found in the alluvial deposits in wadis, basins, and oases. On the Red Sea coast, there is a narrow coastal plain, known as the Tihamah parallel to which runs an imposing escarpment.
Except for the southwestern province of Asir , Saudi Arabia has a desert climate with very high day-time temperatures and a sharp temperature drop at night.
Annual rainfall is extremely low. The Asir region differs in that it is influenced by the Indian Ocean monsoons , usually occurring between October and March.
Wildlife includes the Arabian leopard ,   wolf , striped hyena , mongoose , baboon , hare , sand cat , and jerboa. Animals such as gazelles, oryx , leopards and cheetahs  were relatively numerous until the 19th century, when extensive hunting reduced these animals almost to extinction.
Birds include falcons which are caught and trained for hunting , eagles, hawks, vultures, sandgrouse , and bulbuls. There are several species of snakes, many of which are venomous.
Saudi Arabia is home to a rich marine life. The Red Sea in particular is a rich and diverse ecosystem. The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders such as the Blue Hole Red Sea at Dahab.
These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of Red Sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark. The Red Sea also contains many offshore reefs including several true atolls.
Many of the unusual offshore reef formations defy classic i. Domesticated animals include the legendary Arabian horse , Arabian camel , sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, chickens etc.
The date palm Phoenix dactylifera is widespread. Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 regions  Arabic: The regions are further divided into governorates Arabic: This number includes the 13 regional capitals, which have a different status as municipalities Arabic: The governorates are further sudivided into sub-governorates Arabic: As of October , Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world.
Saudi Arabia is considered an " energy superpower ". Saudi Arabia officially has about billion barrels 4. In the s, Saudi Arabia experienced a significant contraction of oil revenues combined with a high rate of population growth.
From — "several key services" were privatized—municipal water supply, electricity, telecommunications—and parts of education and health care, traffic control and car accident reporting were also privatized.
According to Arab News columnist Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg, "in almost every one of these areas, consumers have raised serious concerns about the performance of these privatized entities.
Negotiations to join had focused on the degree to which Saudi Arabia is willing to increase market access to foreign goods and in , the government established the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority to encourage foreign direct investment in the kingdom.
The government has also made an attempt at " Saudizing " the economy, replacing foreign workers with Saudi nationals with limited success.
Saudi Arabia has had five-year "Development Plans" since Among its plans were to launch "economic cities" e. King Abdullah Economic City to be completed by , in an effort to diversify the economy and provide jobs.
As of [update] four cities were planned. In addition to petroleum and gas, Saudi also has a significant gold mining sector in the ancient Mahd adh Dhahab region and significant other mineral industries, an agricultural sector especially in the southwest but not only based on vegetables, fruits, dates etc.
Statistics on poverty in the kingdom are not available through the UN resources because the Saudi government does not issue any.
In December , the Saudi interior ministry arrested three reporters and held them for almost two weeks for questioning after they uploaded a video on the topic to YouTube.
Each year, about a quarter-million young Saudis enter the job market. However, the private sector still remains hugely dominated by foreigners.
The rate of local unemployment is Serious large-scale agricultural development began in the s. The government launched an extensive program to promote modern farming technology; to establish rural roads, irrigation networks and storage and export facilities; and to encourage agricultural research and training institutions.
As a result, there has been a phenomenal growth in the production of all basic foods. Saudi Arabia is now completely self-sufficient in a number of foodstuffs, including meat, milk and eggs.
The country exports wheat, dates, dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables and flowers to markets around the world.
Dates, once a staple of the Saudi diet, are now mainly grown for global humanitarian aid. In addition, Saudi farmers grow substantial amounts of other grains such as barley, sorghum and millet.
As of , in the interest of preserving precious water resources, domestic production of wheat has ended. The Kingdom likewise has some of the most modern and largest dairy farms in the Middle East.
Milk production boasts a remarkably productive annual rate of 1, gallons per cow, one of the highest in the world. The local dairy manufacturing company Almarai is the largest vertically integrated dairy company in the Middle East.
In , the country built its first grain silos. By , it had become self-sufficient in wheat. Shortly thereafter, Saudi Arabia began exporting wheat to some thirty countries, including China and the former Soviet Union, and in the major producing areas of Tabuk, Hail and Qasim, average yields reached 3.
The Kingdom has, however, stepped up fruit and vegetable production, by improving both agricultural techniques and the roads that link farmers with urban consumers.
Saudi Arabia is a major exporter of fruits and vegetables to its neighbors. Among its most productive crops are watermelon, grapes, citrus fruits, onions, squash and tomatoes.
The olive tree is indigenous to Saudi Arabia. In the Al Jouf Agricultural Development Company received a certificate of merit from The Guinness World Records for the largest modern olive plantation in the world.
The farm covers hectares and has 5 million olive trees. The Guinness World Records also took into consideration their production capacity of tonnes of high quality of olive oil, while the kingdom consumes double that.
The Al Jouf farms are located in Sakaka , a city in the north-western part of Saudi Arabia, which is a deeply-rooted in history.
Sakaka dates back more than 4, years. Consuming non-renewable groundwater resulted in the loss of an estimated four fifths of the total groundwater reserves by Water supply and sanitation in Saudi Arabia is characterized by significant investments in seawater desalination , water distribution, sewerage and wastewater treatment leading to a substantial increase in access to drinking water and sanitation over the past decades.
Given the substantial oil wealth , water is provided almost for free. Despite improvements service quality remains poor. For example, in Riyadh water was available only once every 2.
Since , the government has increasingly relied on the private sector to operate water and sanitation infrastructure, beginning with desalination and wastewater treatment plants.
Since , the operation of urban water distribution systems is being gradually delegated to private companies as well. Although most tourism in Saudi Arabia still largely involves religious pilgrimages, there is growth in the leisure tourism sector.
According to the World Bank , approximately Starting December , the kingdom will offer an electronic visa for foreign visitors to attend sport events and concerts.
The old city of Jeddah. A farm in Al-Qassim Province. Faifa mountains in Jizan Province. The population of Saudi Arabia as of July is estimated to be As late as , most Saudis lived a subsistence life in the rural provinces, but in the last half of the 20th century the kingdom has urbanized rapidly.
Its population is also quite young with over half the population under 25 years old. The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic.
The three main regional variants spoken by Saudis are Hejazi Arabic about 6 million speakers  , Najdi Arabic about 8 million speakers  , and Gulf Arabic about 0.
Saudi Sign Language is the principal language of the deaf community. The large expatriate communities also speak their own languages, the most numerous of which are Tagalog , , Rohingya , , Urdu , , Egyptian Arabic , , and Indonesian , Virtually all Saudi citizens are Muslim  officially, all are , and almost all Saudi residents are Muslim.
Other denominations, such as the minority Shia Islam , are systematically suppressed. According to estimates there are about 1,, Christians in Saudi Arabia, almost all foreign workers.
The percentage of Saudi Arabian citizens who are Christians is officially zero,  as Saudi Arabia forbids religious conversion from Islam apostasy and punishes it by death.
There may be a significant fraction of atheists and agnostics in Saudi Arabia,   although they are officially called "terrorists".
In its religious freedom report, the U. Foreign Muslims  who have resided in the kingdom for ten years may apply for Saudi citizenship. Priority is given to holders of degrees in various scientific fields,  and exception made for Palestinians who are excluded unless married to a Saudi national, because of Arab League instructions barring the Arab states from granting them citizenship.
As Saudi population grows and oil export revenues stagnate, pressure for " Saudization " the replacement of foreign workers with Saudis has grown, and the Saudi government hopes to decrease the number of foreign nationals in the country.
Saudi Arabia has centuries-old attitudes and traditions, often derived from Arab civilization. This culture has been heavily influenced by the austerely puritanical Wahhabi form of Islam, which arose in the eighteenth century and now predominates in the country.
Wahhabi Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture. Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires that all citizens be Muslims.
Proponents call the movement " Salafism ",  and believe that its teachings purify the practice of Islam of innovations or practices that deviate from the seventh-century teachings of Muhammad and his companions.
More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries that have " religious police " known as Haia or Mutaween , who patrol the streets " enjoining good and forbidding wrong " by enforcing dress codes , strict separation of men and women , attendance at prayer salat five times each day, the ban on alcohol, and other aspects of Sharia Islamic law.
In the privacy of the home behavior can be far looser, and reports from the Daily Mail and WikiLeaks indicate that the ruling Saudi Royal family applies a different moral code to itself, indulging in parties, drugs and sex.
Until , the kingdom used the lunar Islamic calendar , not the international Gregorian calendar ,  but in the kingdom announced its switch to the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes.
Daily life is dominated by Islamic observance. Businesses are closed three or four times a day  for 30 to 45 minutes during business hours while employees and customers are sent off to pray.
As of [update] approximately half of the broadcast airtime of Saudi state television was devoted to religious issues.
In contrast, assigned readings over twelve years of primary and secondary schooling devoted to covering the history, literature, and cultures of the non-Muslim world comes to a total of about 40 pages.
Because of religious restrictions, Saudi culture lacks any diversity of religious expression, buildings, annual festivals and public events.
Proselytizing by non-Muslims and conversion by Muslims to another religion is illegal,  and as of [update] the distribution of "publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam" such as Bibles , was reportedly punishable by death.
Within the framework of the National Transformation Program, also known as Saudi Vision , the kingdom allocated million euros to preserve its historical and cultural heritage.
Saudi Arabian dress strictly follows the principles of hijab the Islamic principle of modesty , especially in dress. Traditionally, men usually wear a white ankle length garment woven from wool or cotton known as a thawb , with a keffiyeh a large checkered square of cotton held in place by an agal or a ghutra a plain white square made of finer cotton, also held in place by an agal worn on the head.
For rare chilly days, Saudi men wear a camel -hair cloak bisht over the top. In public women are required to wear a black abaya or other black clothing that covers everything under the neck with the exception of their hands and feet, although most women cover their head in respect for their religion.
This requirement applies to non-Muslim women too and failure to abide can result in police action, particularly in more conservative areas of the country.
During the s, cinemas were numerous in the Kingdom although they were seen as contrary to Wahhabi norms. From the 18th century onward, Wahhabi fundamentalism discouraged artistic development inconsistent with its teaching.
In addition, Sunni Islamic prohibition of creating representations of people have limited the visual arts, which tend to be dominated by geometric , floral , and abstract designs and by calligraphy.
With the advent of oil-wealth in the 20th century came exposure to outside influences, such as Western housing styles, furnishings, and clothes.
Music and dance have always been part of Saudi life. Traditional music is generally associated with poetry and is sung collectively.
Censorship has limited the development of Saudi literature, although several Saudi novelists and poets have achieved critical and popular acclaim in the Arab world—albeit generating official hostility in their home country.
Football is the national sport in Saudi Arabia. Scuba diving , windsurfing , sailing and basketball which is played by both men and women are also popular with the Saudi Arabian national basketball team winning bronze at the Asian Championship.
A stadium in Riyadh holds races in the winter. Falconry , another traditional pursuit, is still practiced.
Segregated seating, allowing women to enter, has been developed in three stadiums across major cities. Saudi Arabian cuisine is similar to that of the surrounding countries in the Arabian Peninsula and the wider Arab world, and has influenced and been influenced by Turkish, Indian, Persian, and African food.
Islamic dietary laws are enforced: Flat, unleavened taboon bread is a staple of virtually every meal, as are dates , fresh fruit, yoghurt and hummus.
Coffee, served in the Arabic style , is the traditional beverage but tea and various fruit juices are popular as well. The earliest substantiated evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree is from the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Arabia.
Women do not have equal rights to men in the kingdom; the U. Under Saudi law, every adult female must have a male relative as her "guardian" wali ,  As of , a woman was required to have permission from her male guardian in order to travel, study, or work.
Women face discrimination in the courts, where the testimony of one man equals that of two women in family and inheritance law.
The average age at first marriage among Saudi females is 25 years in Saudi Arabia,  with child marriage no longer common.
Obesity is a problem among middle and upper class Saudis who have domestic servants to do traditional work but, until , were forbidden to drive and so are limited in their ability to leave their home.
The religious police , known as the mutawa , impose many restrictions on women in public in Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi Arabia imposes a strict dress code on women throughout the country by using religious police , female anchors working for Al-Arabia news network which is partly owned by Prince Abdulaziz , the son of the late King Fahad , are prohibited from wearing a veil and are encouraged to adopt a Western dress code.
A few Saudi women have risen to the top of the medical profession; for example, Dr. Ghada Al-Mutairi heads a medical research center in California  and Dr.
On 25 September , King Abdullah announced that Saudi women would gain the right to vote and to be candidates in municipal elections, provided that a male guardian grants permission.
In August , a law was passed that criminalized domestic violence against women. The square kilometre city will include a safari and a Six Flags theme park.
In March a law was passed allowing Saudi mothers to retain custody of their children after divorce without having to file any lawsuits.
In April the first public cinema opened in Saudi Arabia after a ban of 35 years, with plans to have more than 2, screens running by Other domestic reforms include significant regulations restricting the powers of the religious police and establishing a national entertainment authority that has hosted comedy shows, pro wrestling events, and monster truck rallies.
Further cultural developments include the first Saudi public concerts by a female singer, the first Saudi sports stadiums to admit women, and an increased presence of women in the workforce.
Education is free at all levels. The school system is composed of elementary, intermediate, and secondary schools. A large part of the curriculum at all levels is devoted to Islam, and, at the secondary level, students are able to follow either a religious or a technical track.
The rate of literacy is Higher education has expanded rapidly, with large numbers of Universities and colleges being founded particularly since Other colleges and universities emphasize curricula in sciences and technology, military studies, religion, and medicine.
Institutes devoted to Islamic studies, in particular, abound. Women typically receive college instruction in segregated institutions.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities , known as Shanghai Ranking, ranked 4 of Saudi Arabian institutions among its — list of the top universities in the world.
According to critics, Saudi curriculum is not just dominated by Islam but suffers from Wahhabi dogma that propagates hatred towards non-Muslim and non-Wahhabis  and lacks technical and other education useful for productive employment.
Religion taught in this manner is also a compulsory subject for all University students. This radical teaching takes place in Saudi funded mosques and madrasas across the Islamic world from Morocco to Pakistan to Indonesia.
According to the educational plan for secondary high school education — Hijri , students enrolling in the "natural sciences" path are required to take five religion subjects which are: In addition, students are required to take six science subjects which are Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Computer.
The approach taken in the Saudi education system has been accused of encouraging Islamic terrorism , leading to reform efforts.
It also aims to create an education system which will provide a more secular and vocationally based training. As of , Saudi Arabia ranks 28 worldwide in terms of high-quality research output according to the renowned scientific journal Nature.
Saudi Arabia has a life expectancy of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see KSA disambiguation. Country in Western Asia. Saudi Arabian Saudi informal.
List of countries named after people , House of Saud , and Arab etymology. History of Saudi Arabia. Ottoman era in the history of Saudi Arabia. Unification of Saudi Arabia.
Modern history of Saudi Arabia. Politics of Saudi Arabia. Legal system of Saudi Arabia. Human rights in Saudi Arabia.
Foreign relations of Saudi Arabia. Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia. The Arabian oryx are found in the deserts and are endangered animals.
The Arabian horse is native to Arabia, and an important element of traditional Arabian folklore. Russia thrash Saudi Arabia in tournament".
Retrieved 21 June Uruguay defeat Saudi Arabia , qualify for knockout stages". Saudi Arabia beat Egypt as both nations eliminated". Retrieved 27 June Retrieved 21 October Retrieved 30 October Retrieved 6 January Retrieved 7 January Retrieved 10 January Retrieved 14 September National sports teams of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia national football team. U U U Futsal Beach soccer. AFC Asian Cup winners. Football in Saudi Arabia.
Union of Arab Football Associations. Retrieved from " https: CS1 Portuguese-language sources pt Use dmy dates from June Articles containing Arabic-language text Articles to be expanded from December All articles to be expanded Articles using small message boxes Commons category link is on Wikidata.
Saudi Arabian Football Federation. Mohamed Al-Deayea . Champions , , Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saudi Arabia national football team kits.
See Saudi Arabia national under football team. Jeddah , Saudi Arabia. Viseu , Portugal . Lisbon , Portugal .
Kuwait City , Kuwait. Hettikamkanamge Perera Sri Lanka. Basra Sports City Attendance: King Baudouin Stadium Attendance: Estadio de La Cartuja Attendance: Carlos Del Cerro Spain.
Riyadh , Saudi Arabia. Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium Attendance: Antonio Mateu Lahoz Spain. King Saud University Stadium Attendance: Dammam , Saudi Arabia.
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