22 Interesting And Odd Things You Probably Never Knew About Saudi Arabia

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From our royal family, great food, energetic atmospheres of Riyadh and Jeddah- and many more. A lot of people are familiar with Saudi Arabia’s history, customs and cultural tidbits but perhaps, not ALL of it.

You probably didn’t know these other things about Saudi Arabia, check it out: 

1. Non- Muslims aren’t allowed to step foot in Mecca and Medina

Because they’re Islam’s holiest cities.

2. Magic and sorcery is strictly forbidden in the Kingdom

They’ve even banned the Harry Potter books

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3. Fresh water is more expensive than oil

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4. They’re building the world’s tallest building, (taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa) called the Kingdom Tower

Yep, the Kingdom Tower will take place of the world’s tallest building by 2018 in Jeddah. It will reach 3,281 ft, compared to Burj Khalifa’s height of 2,717 ft.

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5. Saudi is the largest country in the world… without a river!

6. The camel industry in Riyadh is BOOMING, they sell around 100 camels per day 

7. Around 80% of the Kingdom’s labour force is not local

According to Al-Arabiya, the entire workforce of the Kingdom is at about 8.412 million, and 6 million of those workers aren’t local.

8. The Arabian Oryx, once thought to be extinct, was reintroduced in Saudi Arabia 

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9. One of the Arab world’s richest men is from Saudi Arabia 

Amongst all the others on Saudi’s ‘richest’ list, Prince AlWaleed bin Talal, is worth more than USD 18.7 Billion! 

10. The Ghawar Oil Field has so much oil, it can fill up over 4.7 MILLION Olympic swimming pools 

WHOAH.

11. Women were prohibited to drive 

But not as of last month, when King Salman announced a royal decree that lifts the ban and will now allow women to drive by June 2018

12. Almost half of Saudi’s population is below 24 years old!

13. More than 3 MILLION people went on Hajj in 2012 

And according to sources, this is the total population of both Phoenix and Philadelphia in the United States.

14. 45% of Saudi’s GDP comes from the petroleum sector

No surprise there. The GDP is estimated to be around  $335, 372 Billion. 

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15. Compounds are a common place for foreigners to live in Saudi where some of the Saudi rules do not apply

Like women driving or wearing traditional clothing

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16. It actually snows there sometimes

Rarely, but it sometimes will rain of hail or snow in areas like Tabuk- and when it does..

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17. Camel meat is a common dish 

Often served as a burger or with rice..

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18. Over 95% of Saudi Arabia is desert or semi-desert 

It’s also home to one of the largest deserts in the world, the Al Nafud Desert.

19. Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Saudi, first Arab, and first Muslim to travel in space 

He rode aboard the U.S. space shuttle Discovery in 1985. 

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20. Every shop in Saudi Arabia will close immediately during salat (prayer time) 

Don’t be surprised, it’ll open immediately after.

21. Sidewalk skiing with 4X4 vehicles is definitely a Saudi thing!

Only they can do it best 

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22. Ibn Saud, who is considered the Father of the Saudi Arabia and first king, was knighted in the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth of England in 1935

How cool!

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