The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest and wealthiest of Arab states.
This formerly impoverished Arab state currently boasts the world’s second-largest oil reserve after Venezuela. The country, characterised by its Arabian Desert and ‘Empty Quarter’ in the south, is almost devoid of rivers and lakes. In their place a liberal scattering of wadis (oasis) provides lush pockets of cool relief.
The Kingdom is shaped by centuries-old attitudes and traditions. Here, the austere and puritanical Wahhabi form of Islam currently prevails, dictating extensive limitations on behaviour and dress code that are strictly enforced both legally and socially. The weekend begins on Friday because Friday is the holiest day for Muslims.