Country Report Saudi Arabia May 2011

Basic data

Land area

2.15m sq km


24.2m (2007, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency)

Key provinces

Population in '000 (2004 census, Ministry of Economy and Planning)

Riyadh (capital): 4,730

Mecca: 5,449

Eastern: 3,009

Asir: 1,637

Medina: 1,379

Jizan: 1,083

Qassim: 980


Hot and dry, milder in the winter months

Hottest month: July, 26-42°C (average daily minimum and maximum); coldest month: January, 8-12°C; driest months: July, September, October, 0 mm average rainfall; wettest month: April, 25 mm average rainfall




Metric system


The Saudi riyal (SR) = 20 qirsh = 100 hallalas. The riyal is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of SR3.745:US$1


3 hours ahead of GMT

Fiscal year

Calendar year

Public holidays

All Muslim holidays are observed in accordance with the Islamic or hijri calendar, based on the lunar year, which is about 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year. The weekend is Thursday-Friday. The month of Ramadan (August 1st-30th 2011) is not a public holiday but significantly shortens the working day. Eid al-Fitr (marking the end of Ramadan-August 30th 2011) and Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice-November 6th 2011, the tenth day of the haj, or pilgrimage) are public holidays. The country's national day is September 23rd and is sometimes a public holiday. Travelling in the kingdom is particularly affected during the haj period, which lasts for about a month, as well as on Eid al-Adha and also during the school summer holidays, which last until mid-September

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