Saudi Arabia

Overview

Saudi Arabia is the third large country in the in the Middle East by land area. It borders Jordan and Iran on the North and northeast respectively, while United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait are on the eastern side of the country. Oman falls of the Southeast and Yemen on the southern side. Saudi Arabia has an estimated population of about 28.7 million people with about 5.6 million of them being non-citizens. The annual population growth rate is about 1.8%. In addition; its size is approximately 2,149,690 square kilometres (Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, 2011).

The country’s origin lies in the ancient civilization of the Arabian Peninsula. The melting of European ice cap some 15, 000 years led to a change in climate in the Arabian Peninsula which forced the people in the region to shift from hunter-gathering to farming. As a result agriculture developed and spread to other parts of the Middle East. More advanced followed, which led to the foundation of modern civilization in language, political system, art and architecture. Over the years, the peninsula has been quite pivotal in the growth of commerce as well as the birthplace of Islamic monotheistic religion (Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, 2011).Saudi Arabia’s economy is based on oil. The oil industry contributes about 45 % of the countries’ GDP and it has about 260 billion barrels of oil reserves which is about one-fifth of the world’s total petroleum reserves.

Sustainability Issues

Saudi Arabia is a country with the largest oil reserves in the World. There has been heavy dependence on the country’s energy resources such as petroleum (Al-Yami& Price, 2006). The country’s agricultural sector accounts for a larger part of the economic activity. There has been government plans focusing on economic diversification, poverty eradication, and increase in the development of infrastructure. The government’s economic plan aims at increasing the country’s GDP by 15% in the next five years to reduce unemployment levels. In order to support achieving sustainability, the Saudi Arabia’s government has put in place various measures to reduce overuse of natural resources (Al-Yami& Price, 2006).

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