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Saudi Arabia

Interesting facts
The Saudi king’s official title is “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.” King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been king since January 2015.

Saudi Arabia has 83,000 square miles (2,149,690 square km) in total area, which makes it the 13th largest country in the world. It is the largest country in the Middle East, about the size of Western Europe and one-quarter the size of the U.S.

Construction on Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower began in 2014. The new, tallest building in the world will stand 3,280 feet (1 km) high and will dwarf the Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai by 600 feet (183 meters).

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river.

Based on fatalities per head of population, a World Bank report in the year 2000 found that Saudi Arabia along with Malaysia, Thailand, and South Africa were the most dangerous countries in which to drive. Saudi Arabia fared even worse when this was measured in fatalities per vehicle.

In 2012, Saudi Arabia banned smoking in government offices and most public places, which includes a ban on shishas (water pipes) and prohibits the selling of tobacco to minors. Saudi statistics state that the country is the world’s fourth largest importer of tobacco, and Saudis spend about US$8 million a day on cigarettes.

Interesting Camel Facts
The Riyadh camel market is one of the largest in the world, and about 100 camels are sold there each day

Riyadh’s camel market is one of the largest in the world and sells about 100 camels per day.

Motorists in Saudi Arabia have invented a perilous but exciting new driving sport called Sidewalk Skiing, which involves balancing a car on its side while the car is in motion.

Saudi Arabia is considering ending beheadings as the national form of execution in favor of firing squads because of a lack of swordsmen to be found in the country.

Similar to Western damage settlements, the Arab world has the tradition of diyya, or blood-money payments, which comes from the Koran as a more humane alternative to settling eye-for-an-eye disputes. Practically, diyya works like an out-of-court settlement in a Western torte case. Foreigners who plan to drive in Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, are encouraged to purchase coverage for potential blood-money claims as part of their regular auto insurance.

 

 
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