15 Unique Facts About Saudi Arabia | ExpatWoman.com

15 Unique Facts About Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia holds a number of unique facts. Some facts are widely known while others are a hidden treasure for you to discover

Posted on

28 September 2016

Last updated on 6 September 2017
15 Unique Facts About Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia holds a number of unique and fascinating facts. Some facts are widely known across the globe, while others are a hidden treasure for you to discover...

1. Driving

It's a well-known fact that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women can’t drive, and gender segregation in public is institutionalized.

15 Unique Facts About Saudi Arabia

2. The Royal Family
Members of the Saud royal family number in the thousands.

3. Islam
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and in particular Wahhabism based on the teachings of Mohammed ibn Abd-al-Wahhab.  

SEE ALSO: 7 things I miss about Saudi Arabia

4. Clothing

The cultural clothing of Saudi Arabia, the thobe (for men) and the abaaya (for women), is unique to this country.  

5. UNESCO World Heritage Site
One of the world’s ancient cities, Mada’in Saleh, is located here. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this site dates back to the Nabatean kingdom and is the largest settlement after Petra in Jordan. 

15 Unique Facts About Saudi Arabia

6. Camel Market
The largest camel market in the world is hosted here, held outside of Buraydah in Al-Qassim almost everyday.

7. Mecca

The holiest site in Islam Mecca, is located here.

8. Managing Seawater
Saudi Arabia desalinates more seawater than any other country. This is due in part because its only known aquifer has a mere 20% of its water left.

15 Unique Facts About Saudi Arabia

9. Hajj

The kingdom hosts the biggest congregation of worshippers in the world during Hajj. Millions of Muslims travel to the holy city of Mecca to perform this sacred duty every year.

10. Military Budget
Saudi Arabia has the largest military budget in the region, and is only third behind the United States, and China. Overall, its budget is around 10% of its entire GDP.

SEE ALSO: 40 signs you grew up in Saudi Arabia

11. Prayer Times

During the “salat” prayer, all shops and businesses must close for its duration (around 30minutes).  Sometimes shoppers are allowed to stay inside the store until it reopens.

15 Unique Facts About Saudi Arabia

12. The Cultural Dance
The cultural dance called “al Ardah” is unique to this country. It used to be performed only by the Shammar tribe before going to war, but has since stretched across the country and is performed during many different celebrations. 

Victoria H contributor expatwomanAbout the Author

Victoria is a trained historian and political scientist, as well as an aspiring writer and photographer. She holds a masters degree in Global Affairs from the University of Toronto, and currently works as a Content Coordinator with MaRS Discovery District. As a third-culture-kid who grew up in Saudi Arabia, she hopes to use her academic background to educate people about the world through creative means. Her blog Safar, features the stories of TCKs and expats, as well as commentary on travel, politics and culture.