A map of Saudi Arabia Occupying most of the Arabian Peninsula is the oil-rich nation of Saudi Arabia. Since oil was discovered along the Persian Gulf in 1938 it has quickly become one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Most of Saudi Arabia is made up of the Arabian Desert. Along the western Red Sea coast, mountains rise steeply; these gravelly uplands are scattered with Moon-like lava fields. Inland there is a large central plateau that slopes down to the Persian Gulf in the east. In the south of the country lie the vast expanses of the Rub’ Al Khali (Empty Quarter), a sandy desert. Saudi Arabia has an arid climate, with hot, dry weather all year round. Some regions receive no rainfall for years at a time, making it one of the driest countries on Earth.
Most Saudis are Muslim Arabs. The country’s major religion, Sunni Islam, is an important part of everyday life and most people attend prayers at the mosque five times a day. The Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, is also the basis for many of the country’s laws. Saudi Arabia’s Bedouin people are nomads; for centuries, they have moved from place to place in the desert, living in tents and herding camels, goats and sheep.
Saudi Arabia’s borders with the United Arab Emirates, Oman and parts of Yemen are not marked, so the exact size of the country is unknown.
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