Saudi Arabia occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, and consists of narrow valleys along the coast of the Red Sea (Tuhama plains), followed to the east by mountain ranges extending along the length of the country (the mountains of the Hijaz and Asir, where maximum height exceeds 2000m), followed by deserts and rocky plateaus in the center (90% of the total space). The largest desert is Alnufood in the north and Arruba Alkhali in the south. In the east, coastal plains stretch wide along the Persian Gulf coast.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is located in the far south-west of Asia. It is bordered by Jordan, and Iraq on the north and northeast, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the southeast, and Yemen on the south. It is also connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway. The Red Sea lies to its west, and the Persian gulf lies to the northeast.
Saudi Arabia occupies four-fifths of the Arabian Peninsula with an area of more than 2,250,000 square kilometers.
Saudi Arabia's geography is dominated by the Arabian Desert and associated semi-desert and shrub land. It is, in fact, a number of linked deserts and includes the 647,500 km2 (250,001 sq mi) Rub' al Khali (“Empty Quarter”) in the southern part of the country, the world’s largest sand desert. There are virtually no permanent rivers or lakes in the country, but valleys are numerous. The fertile areas are to be found in the alluvial deposits in valleys, basins, and oases. The main topographical feature is the central plateau which rises abruptly from the Red Sea and gradually descends into the Nejd and toward the Persian Gulf. On the Red Sea coast, there is a narrow coastal plain, known as the Tuhamah parallel to which runs an imposing escarpment. The southwest province of Asir is mountainous, and contains Mount Sawda, which is generally considered the highest point in the country. Estimates of its elevation range from 3,133 to 3,207 m (10,279 to 10,522 ft).
The Kingdom's climate differs from one region to another due to its different terrain. In general, the kingdom's climate is continental hot summer, cold winter, and its rainfall season is in winter. The climate moderates on the western and south-western highlands. As for the central areas, it has hot and dry summer, and winter is cool and dry. The temperature and humidity rise in the coast, and it rains in winter and spring. The rainfall is scarce for most regions except the south-western highlands of the Kingdom where seasonal rainfall occur in summer and is heavier than other areas.
The relative humidity rises on the coast and the western highlands in most time of the year and decreases as we head into the interior.
Agriculture has significantly developed in recent years, as the agricultural sector in the Kingdom achieved growing development that led to the rise in agricultural GDP of 990 million riyals in 1970 to 38.3 billion riyals at current prices for this year, and with an annual growth rate of 11% during that period leading its GDP contribution to reach 5.1%.
The total area of arable land in the Kingdom is 48.9 million hectares which constitute 22.7% of the total area of the Kingdom, while the total area of lands suitable for reclamation is 3.8 million hectares.
The total production of agricultural crops for the year 2008 reached 97 million tons between: cereals 24 million tons (mainly wheat 19.86 million tons), barley, sorghum and sesame, as well as vegetables with a production of 27 million tons (mostly tomatoes, 5 million tons, and melon 3.64 million tons ), potatoes, cucumbers and melons. The total production of fruits, including dates, 16 million tons, and the total forage production reached 30 million tons in 2008.
About 2,100 plant species were recorded in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including about 35 endemic plant species, representing about 2% of the total plant species. In terms of spatial distribution, plants are concentrated in the dry areas of the Kingdom, mainly in low-lying areas like valleys, oases and water lanes where water accumulates after rain. As for the perennial plants, which represent between 35 to 40% of the dessert types number and give the dessert areas their vegetal appearance most of the year, they are usually found on limited areas such as oases edges, valleys, low spots, lands of deep soil, sand dunes and bogs.
In the highlands of the south and southwest of the Arabian Peninsula, forests and savannah grass uplands similar to those that spread in northeast Africa grow. As for the low desert areas of this region, plant species similar to acacia are found, in addition to other scattered tropical trees.
The Kingdom's regions contain a variety of animal life, which its existence stem from its great ability to adapt to living in such arid environment. Many wild mammals , birds, reptiles, insects and arachnids live in the Kingdom and have adapted to the desert environment. The number of these animals has decreased, especially the large ones such as deer due to over hunting. However, the establishment of protected areas in many parts of the Kingdom has contributed to multiply some endangered species such as oryx, gazelles, and others. Other animals include: camels, cows, sheep and goats, and transport animals such as horses, donkeys and other.
The country's wealth rely on natural gas and oil. Oil is considered as one of the most important resources: the production of oil is of 409.2 million tons, a stock of 36.2 billion tons, the production of natural gas is of 75.9 billion cubic meters, a stock of 7919 billion cubic meters.
Industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is related to oil and natural gas: refining and petro chemistry. The most important industrial products are: cement, tar, steel rods, ethylene, fodder, ethylene glycol, industrial ethanol, Deklo'rour ethylene, Alstaarin, caustic soda, nitrogen, citric acid, oxygen, melamine, and there is also a sea water desalination and the food industry. The removal of salt from the sea takes about 100 million square meters of water per year. This quantity is nothing compared to the 9500 million cubic meters per year provided yearly by ground water and consumed by agriculture. Along with that, the Kingdom is currently experiencing a significant growth in agro-industries - food and consumer goods industry, which is based on private capital.
Rank among the World:
First in oil production and reserves, fifth in natural gas reserves, ninth in natural gas production. Last but not least, thousands of pilgrims head to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia every year to perform the Hajj in Mecca and Medina, which prompted the state to secure housing, food, medical care, enough to accommodate this huge number.