conventional long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
conventional short form: Saudi Arabia
Arabic local form: Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
Data code: SA
Area: Approximately 864,900 square miles
Location: Saudi Arabia is separated from Egypt,
Sudan, and Ethiopia by the Red Sea to the west; from Iran by
the Persian Gulf to the east; and from Bahrain by the Gulf
of Bahrain, also to the east. It shares land boundaries with
seven other Arab countries: Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait to the
north; the Republic of Yemen and Oman to the south; and the
United Arab Emirates and Qatar to the east.
National capital: Riyadh
Independence: 23 September 1932 (unification)
Time Zone: All of the Kingdom is under one time zone,
GMT + 3.
Exchange Rate: Approximately 5.5 Saudi Riyals (SR) to
one � Sterling Pound UK.
Business Hours: Government offices are open from 7:30
a.m. till 2:30 p.m.; private businesses from 8:00 a.m. till
noon, and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; general banking from
8:00 a.m. till noon; markets and shops are open till 9:00
p.m. Government offices and private businesses are closed
Thursdays and Fridays.
Media: English radio and TV programming. Three
English-language daily newspapers (Arab News, Riyadh Daily
and Saudi Gazette).
Telecommunications: When calling Saudi Arabia from the UK,
dial 00 (international access), then 966 (country code),
then the city code, and finally the 7-digit number. Codes
for major cities are: Riyadh (1), Jeddah, Makkah, Ta'aif(2);
Health Care: Modern public and private hospitals.
Most prescription drugs are available.
Religion: Saudi Arabia's official religion is Islam,
which forms the basis of the nation's legal system. There
are two major religious holidays; Eid Al-Fitr, celebrating
the breaking of the annual Ramadan fast; and Eid Al-Adha,
celebrating the pilgrimage to Makkah. Saudi Arabia follows
the Islamic calendar, which is based upon lunar cycles. Thus
the year is 354 days long. Friday is the weekly day of rest
Restrictions: Forbidden items include alcohol,
narcotics, weapons, ammunition, pork and pornography.
Prescription drugs must be documented. Makkah and Madinah
hold special religious significance and only Muslims are
ADDRESSES & TELEPHONE NOS.
Ministry of Pilgrimage
Omar Bin Al-Khatab Street, Riyadh 11183
Jeddah Office Tel.
400189/401603 AWQAF SJ
facilities for the Hajj and Umrah to Makkah, Madinah and
other holy places in the kingdom.
Pilgrimage Complaint Committee
Directorate of Haramain
Hajj Research Center
Services in the Kingdom
International calls operator