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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is largely known for its desert environment. Although desert represents bulk of the vast area, its geographic terrain is rich in diversity. There are mountains, plains and plateaus, and long coastline along the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. There are oases dotting the desert, gushing springs in the mountains, coral islands around its seas. Sprawling countryside with date orchards border Kingdom’s cities and towns. Such a diversity in due time, has generated a growing interest in tourism in Saudi Arabia, both in the people from outside the Kingdom and the local residents, who frequent these locations to enjoy the rich diversity.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has an area of about 2,149,690 (≈ 2.15 million) square kilometers. Its population in 2011 had reached 28,376,355. Occupying 80% of the Arabian Peninsula it lies between latitude 16° and 33° North, and longitude 34° and 56° East.
The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic. The three main regional variants spoken by Saudis are Hejazi Arabic (about 6 million speakers), Najdi Arabic (about 8 million speakers), and Gulf Arabic (about 0.2 million speakers). Saudi Sign Language is the principal language of the deaf community. The large expatriate communities also speak their own languages, the most numerous of which are Tagalog (700,000), Rohingya (400,000), Urdu (380,000), and Egyptian Arabic (300,000).
The Saudi Riyal (SAR) is the official currency of the Kingdom issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). It is made of 100 Halalas. The riyal is covered by gold and can be converted to foreign currencies. There are no restrictions on cash transfers to and from Saudi Arabia. The US dollar equals 3.75 Saudi Riyals. The Saudi Riyal has been pegged to the US dollar since 1984.
Saudi Banknotes in Circulation
SR 1 – SR 5 – SR 10 – SR 50 – SR 100 – SR 500.
You can take advantage of the electronic financial services and the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in all the bank branches throughout the Kingdom as well as in airports, business centers and busy locations that are open to serve you around the clock.