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Environment
Alongside rapid and unregulated economic growth, there has been an increase in average temperatures and signs of further desertification.1 Protecting Saudi Arabia’s rare and unique ecosystems could help to prevent extinction and the deterioration of the environment. Due to the arid landscape, the country experiences few natural disasters.2

Show References
1http://www.scidev.net/global/desert-science/news/climate-change-to-hit-saudi-s-agriculture-water.html

2 http://www.sa.undp.org/content/saudi_arabia/en/home/ourwork/environmentandenergy/overview.html
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Saudi Arabia News

NPR 
Qatar has been isolated by neighboring countries in a heated diplomatic standoff. But on Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced it plans to open its border to allow pilgrims from the tiny Gulf country to attend the annual hajj to Islam's holiest sites. See more..
Reuters 
KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in June fell slightly to 6.889 million barrels per day (bpd), 35,000 bpd lower than the May level, official data showed. OPEC's biggest producer also pumped 10.070 million bpd in June, ... See more..
The Globe and Mail 
The Saudi Arabian government is defending the recent deployment of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against residents of the kingdom's Eastern Province, saying security forces found it necessary to use "military equipment" to fight terrorists who ... See more..
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Bloomberg BNA 
Saudi Arabia has set a Dec. 20 deadline for mandatory VAT registration, ending weeks of speculation. The Saudi VAT law, gazetted July 28, referred to a deadline of “30 days” from its publication without a specific date, sparking speculation from ... See more..
Khaleej Times 
In Saudi Arabia, too, Mariah has been provided with special assistance by the local officials. There are some one million Muslims waitlisted in Indonesia to perform Haj, Saripudin told Arab News. Got a purchase in mind? CBD NOW lets you spread payments ... See more..
Washington Post 
Early last month, the Saudi parliament held a biting public constitutional debate about enforcing Islamic law, one with far-reaching implications for how the kingdom is governed. The argument was part of a larger struggle over subduing the Hay'a, the ... See more..
The Guardian 
Saudi Arabia's Missing Princes. The most senior of the princes, Prince Sultan bin Turki, was kidnapped by the Saudis on 1 February 2016 together with about 20 members of his entourage, many from western countries. In the documentary, two westerners in ... See more..
Aljazeera.com 
US President Donald Trump's administration says the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group remains the biggest threat to religious freedom around the world. The US Department of State says the murders of Yazidis, Christians ... See more..
CNN 
And in Saudi Arabia, where religious freedom is not provided under the law, Shia Muslims encountered systematic discrimination in terms of access to public services and representation in government, educational and public sector jobs and in the courts. See more..
Reuters 
DUBAI, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Binladin Group will restart work next month on the $26.6 billion expansion of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, nearly two years after work stopped in the wake of a crane collapse at the site that killed 107 people, sources ... See more..
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Geography

Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Area

Total 2,149,690 sq km
Land 2,149,690 sq km
Water 0 sq km

Climate

harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
Natural Resources

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper ;
Natural Hazards

frequent sand and dust storms

volcanism: despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar
Current Environmental Issues

desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills

Demographics

Nationality
Saudi or Saudi Arabian
Population
26,939,583 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Finances

Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 17% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 80% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. Saudi Arabia is encouraging the growth of the private sector in order to diversify its economy and to employ more Saudi nationals. Diversification efforts are focusing on power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemical sectors. Over 5 million foreign workers play an important ...See More role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors, while Riyadh is struggling to reduce unemployment among its own nationals. Saudi officials are particularly focused on employing its large youth population, which generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs. Riyadh has substantially boosted spending on job training and education, most recently with the opening of the King Abdallah University of Science and Technology - Saudi Arabia's first co-educational university. As part of its effort to attract foreign investment, Saudi Arabia acceded to the WTO in 2005. The government has begun establishing six "economic cities" in different regions of the country to promote foreign investment and plans to spend $373 billion between 2010 and 2014 on social development and infrastructure projects to advance Saudi Arabia''s economic development. Show Less ;
GDP Purchasing Power Parity

$921.7 billion (2012 est.); $863 billion (2011 est.); $795.5 billion (2010 est.)
Gross National Saving

53.5% of GDP (2012 est.); 54.8% of GDP (2011 est.); 49.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
Agriculture Products

wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Industries

crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction