Saudi Arabia is a state in Southwest Asia. It covers an area of 2,149,690 km2 and occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula between the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea. In the south of Saudi Arabia are Yemen and Oman; in the North are Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait. The latter country is one of the Emirates located along the Arabian Gulf; the others are Bahrain (an island), Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai, etc.).
Saudi Arabia is an Islamic monarchy. The adjective Saudi is a reference to the reigning dynasty, since the unification of most tribes of the peninsula in 1932 by Abd al-Aziz ben Abd al-Rahman Al Saud (Ibn Saud). Thirteen provinces (mintaqat, singular : mintaqah) form the administrative backbone of the Saudi state. The capital is Riyadh (ar-Riyadh). Other major cities : Jedah, Medina, Mecca (al-Makkah), AT-Tâ’ïf. Population of the kingdom: 28.7 million inhabitants (2009).