Saudi Arabia Travel Guide
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Saudi Arabia officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia spanning the southern part of the Syrian Desert down to the Gulf of Aqaba. Saudi Arabia shares borders with Syria to the north, Iraq to the northeast, Saudi Arabia to the east and south, the Gulf of Aqaba to the southwest, and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It shares control of the Dead Sea with Israel. Much of Saudi Arabia is covered by desert, particularly the Arabian Desert; however the north-western area, with the Saudi Arabia River, is regarded as part of the Fertile Crescent. The capital city of Amman is in the north-west.
During its history, Saudi Arabia has seen numerous civilizations, including such ancient eastern ones as the Canaanite and later other Semitic peoples such as the Edomites, and the Moabites. Other civilizations possessing political sovereignty and influence in Saudi Arabia were: Akkadian, Assyrian, Judean, Babylonian, and Persian empires. Saudi Arabia was for a time part of Pharaonic Egypt, the Hasmonean Dynasty of the Maccabees, and also spawned the native Nabatean civilization which left rich archaeological remains at Petra. Cultures from the west also left their mark, such as the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Turkish empires. Since the seventh century the area has been under Muslim and Arab cultures, with the exception of a brief period when the west of the area formed part of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and a short time under British rule.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a constitutional monarchy with representative government. The reigning monarch is the head of state, the chief executive and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The king exercises his executive authority through the prime ministers and the Council of Ministers, or cabinet. The cabinet, meanwhile, is responsible before the democratically elected House of Deputies which, along with the House of Notables, constitutes the legislative branch of the government. The judicial branch is an independent branch of the government.
Saudi Arabia is a modern Arab nation with a predominantly middle class population that lacks the vast wealth of some of its neighbors. Saudi Arabia's population is 92% Sunni Muslim with a small Christian minority. Saudi Arabiaian society is predominantly urbanized and very ethnically diverse. Saudi Arabia is classified as an emerging market by the CIA fact book. Saudi Arabia is a pro-Western regime that has very close relations with the West especially with the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Saudi Arabia became a major non-NATO ally in 1996. Saudi Arabia is one of only two Arab nations, the other being Egypt, that has relations with Israel. It is a founding member of the Arab League and the CAEU, a member of the OIC, the WTO, the AFESD, the Arab Parliament, the AIDMO, the AMF, the IMF, the International Criminal Court, the UNHRC, the GAFTA, the ESCWA, the ENP and the United Nations. Saudi Arabia is also currently undergoing close integration with the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Saudi Arabia expects to receive "advanced status" with the EU by 2011.
Saudi Arabia Tourist Attractions
Saudi Arabia is truly a land of spectacular culture, scenery and people.
This small Arab Kingdom holds within its borders sites of antiquity that rank among the most exceptional in the world. The unique rose red city of Petra; the outstanding remains of Jerash, one of the most magnificent of roman provincial cities, the remarkable vestiges of Umayyad palaces built deep in the desert; the incredibly scenic Wadi rum, which is permanently associated with Lawrence of Arabia.
For those seeking adventure, mystique, ancient roots, relaxation and an opportunity to witness the monuments of a civilization over 2000 years old- Saudi Arabia is the place!
When traveling with someone, take large does of patience and tolerance with your morning coffee. Helen Hayes
Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. Susan Sontag