Kingdom of Sa'udi Arabia
Al-Mamlakah al-'Arabiyah as-Sa'udiyah
CAPITAL : Riyadh (Ar-Riyad)
FLAG : The national flag bears in white on a green field the inscription, in Arabic, "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is the messenger of Allah." There is a long white sword beneath the inscription; the sword handle is toward the fly.
ANTHEM : The National Anthem is a short instrumental selection.
MONETARY UNIT : The Sa'udi riyal ( SR ) is divided into 20 qursh (piasters), in turn divided into 5 halalah. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 halalah and notes of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 riyals. SR 1 = $0.2666 (or $1 = SR 3.75) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system has been officially adopted.
HOLIDAYS : Muslim religious holidays include 1st of Muharram (Muslim New Year), 'Id al-Fitr, and 'Id al-'Adha'.
TIME : 3 PM = noon GMT.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Vegetation is sparse, owing to aridity and soil salinity. The date palm, mangrove, tamarisk, and acacia are prevalent. Wild mammals include the oryx, jerboa, fox, lynx, wildcat, monkey, panther, and jackal. The favorite game bird is the bustard. The camel and Arab stallion are renowned, as is the white donkey of Al-Ahsa. Fish abound in the coastal waters and insects, scorpions, lizards, and snakes are numerous.
Fishing provides employment and self-sufficiency to some communities on both Sa'udi coasts, although cash earnings are negligible. With rare exceptions, traditional fishing techniques are used. One of the few growth areas in this sector has been the export of Gulf shrimp. The fish catch was estimated at 49,650 tons in 2000.
The only forest growth is found in the mountainous area that extends from southern Hijaz to Asir, accounting for no more than0.6% of the total area. The principal varieties—acacia, date, juniper, wild olive, sidr, tamarind, and tamarisk—are generally not useful for timber, but some wood from date palms is used for construction. The trade deficit in forestry products was $735.5 million in 2000.
Sa'udi Arabia has no territories or colonies.
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