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Saudi Arabia Geography 1996

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

    • Map references:
      Middle East

    • Area:

        total area:
        1,960,582 sq km

        land area:
        1,960,582 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US

    • Land boundaries:
      total 4,415 km, 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

    • International disputes:
      large section of boundary with Yemen not defined; status of boundary with UAE not final; Kuwaiti ownership of Qaruh and Umm al Maradim islands is disputed by Saudi Arabia

    • Climate:
      harsh, dry desert with great extremes of temperature

    • Terrain:
      mostly uninhabited, sandy desert

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

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      4,350 sq km (1989 est.)

    • 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

        natural hazards:
        frequent sand and dust storms

        international agreements:
        party to - Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Law of the Sea

    • 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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