- Other sectors
service sector employs 65% of the working
population and represents 41% of the GNP.
Saudi Arabia has launched large scale investment
and economic reconversion programmes.
All the sectors are growing and the country has a
very modern life style, the main areas to continue
developing are medical, commercial, large scale
distribution and foodstuffs.
Big American enterprises are present in nearly
every domain, from Panda and Safeways supermarkets,
which are open 24 hours, to big industrial farms of
50,000 hectares (glasshouses, intensive wheat
growing...) not to mention the numerous
must be noted that there are three distinct
categories of consumers :
- royalty, the aristocracy and the big families of
tradespeople and entrepreneurs (30,000 - 40,000
- 13 million Saudians who have an average income of
They spend about two thirds of their income on
consumer goods and foodstuffs.
- 4 million immigrant workers who are both
unqualified and in a precarious situation.
are very attracted to modern products and new
technologies, it is they who own the most computers
per capita in the Middle East.
There are already 400,000 internet users among
These internet users are very interested in
shopping sites, in fact 52% of them have already
bought articles on the web compared to 23% which is
the average number of international
7 - Population
latest census shows a population of 20,738,920.
There are 1,900,000 inhabitants living in Riyadh,
which is the capital.
The majority of the population are Arabs, but there
are nearly five million foreigners living in Saudi
The main expatriate communities are Indians
(1,228,000), Egyptians (1,195,000), Pakistanis
(778,600), Philippinos (460,000), Bangladeshis
(446,200) and Yemenites (424,300).
There are also 35,000 Americans, 30,000 British,
5,000 French and 2,500 Germans residing in Saudi
The population density is 7 inhabitants per sq.
14 year olds : 41.15%
15 - 64 year olds : 56.07%
65 years and over : 2.78%
life expectancy 71.91 years
population at an age to work : 11 million
- of which are working : 7 million
expansion 1997-2015 : +3.1%
urban population : 86%
child mortality : 21%
energy consumption per capita TOE : 4.75
Population without drinking water : 5%
population without sanitary installations : 14%
n° of doctors per 1000 inhabitants : 1.3
telephone lines per 1000 inhabitants : 117
mobile telephones per 1000 inhabitants : 17
private cars per 1000 inhabitants : 90
n° of computers per 1000 inhabitants :
adult illiteracy : 27%
secondary schooling/age class : 61%
graduates/age class : 16%
8 - Language
official language is Arabic, the second most used
language is English.
Not knowing Arabic is not an obstacle to working in
Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country
Friday is the day of prayer in the mosques.
Mecca and Medina are the holy centres of the
Religious affiliations : 98% Muslims (mostly
Sunnites), 0,8% Christians, 0,4%
- Weights, measures & voltage
The electrical voltage is 110-220V nearly
everywhere and electricity is free throughout the
The plugs in use vary, mainly they are American
types, but you will also find British or German
11 - Money
The currency is the Riyal (SAR) which has a fixed
parity with the US dollar.
1 Riyal = 1.837 F.
1FF = 0.55 SAR
1$ = 3.75 SAR
1 euro = 3.5702 SAR
are no regulations or restrictions on transferring
international credit cards are accepted.
- Main towns
its 2,000,000 inhabitants is situated on the Red
It is a modern town with a large port.
The airport is 30 kms out of town, a taxi to town
costs about 100 FF.
Temperatures go from + 25° in January-February
to + 45° in July-August
Office opening times : 8am to 1pm and 4.30pm to
the capital of the company, there are 3,100,000
It is a modern town with the royal palaces in
The population has enormously increased and so has
The airport is 45 kms out of town, a taxi to town
costs about 100 FF.
Temperatures go from + 10° in winter to +
50° in summer.
Office opening times : 8am to 2.30pm
(administrations), 8am to 1pm and 4.30pm to 7.30pm
million inhabitants) is the centre of the Islamic
world with its large mosque which holds the
(the Black Stone) which is venerated by the
Non-Muslims are forbidden entry to Mecca
It is situated at 80 kms from the Red Sea.
million inhabitants) is the second holy town in
It is in this town that there is the Mausoleum of
The town is a commercial centre with an
agricultural market of citrus fruit and dates.
million inhabitants) is situated on the western
bank of the Persian Gulf.
It is a modern town.
(0.3 million inhabitants) is situated in the
million inhabitants), situated near Djeddah and
The climate is very hot with large temperature
It is tropical and humid on the coast.
In the middle of the desert the temperature goes
over 50°C in summer.
The average desert climate goes from 18° to
In the mountain regions the climate is cooler.
In Ryadh the climate is very hot during the three
summer months, but is generally pleasant during the
rest of the year with the dry and bracing air of
Djeddah, on the contrary, is very
There are scorpions in the desert.
There are a lot of mosquitoes, which are active all
the year round, particularly after