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Saudi Arabia Geography 1999

    Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen

    Geographic coordinates: 25 00 N, 45 00 E

    Map references: Middle East

    total: 1,960,582 sq km
    land: 1,960,582 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US

    Land boundaries:
    total: 4,415 km
    border countries: Iraq 814 km, Jordan 728 km, Kuwait 222 km, Oman 676 km, Qatar 60 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,458 km

    Coastline: 2,640 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 18 nm
    continental shelf: not specified
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: harsh, dry desert with great extremes of temperature

    Terrain: mostly uninhabited, sandy desert

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    highest point: Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper

    Land use:
    arable land: 2%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 56%
    forests and woodland: 1%
    other: 41% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 4,350 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: frequent sand and dust storms

    Environment—current issues: desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: extensive coastlines on Persian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage on shipping (especially crude oil) through Persian Gulf and Suez Canal

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)