Facts and Statistics
LOCATION: Saudi Arabia is a monarchy in southwestern Asia, and occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is bordered on the north by Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait; on the east by the Persian Gulf and Qatar; on the southeast by the United Arab Emirates and Oman on the south by the Republic of Yemen; and on the west by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. The southeast and southern boundaries are not precisely defined.
The Middle East, bordering Iraq 814 km, Jordan 744 km, Kuwait 222 km,
Oman 676 km, Qatar 60 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,458 km
Climate: harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
Population: 25,795,938 including 5,576,076 ...view middle of the document...
As Moses brought the Torah and Jesus the Bible, Muhammad brought the last book, the Quran. The Quran and the actions of the Prophet (the Sunnah) are used as the basis for all guidance in the religion.
Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a day - at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. The exact time is listed in the local newspaper each day. Friday is the Muslim holy day. Everything is closed. Many companies also close on Thursday, making the weekend Thursday and Friday.
During the holy month of Ramadan all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk and are only permitted to work six hours per day. Fasting includes no eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, or gum chewing. Expatriates are not required to fast; however, they must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public.
Each night at sunset, families and friends gather together to celebrate the breaking of the fast (iftar). The festivities often continue well into the night. In general, things happen more slowly during Ramadan. Many businesses operate on a reduced schedule. Shops may be open and closed at unusual times.
• The family and tribe are the basis of the social structure.
• As is seen in their naming conventions, Saudis are cognizant of their heritage, their clan, and their extended family, as well as their nuclear family.
• Saudis take their responsibilities to their family quite seriously.
• Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite close.
• The individual derives a social network and assistance in times of need from the family.
• Nepotism is considered a good thing, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary
• Men shake hands. Good friends may greet each other with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek.
• Women generally hug and kiss close friends.
• Men and women would not greet each other in public I from outside the family.
• When Saudis greet each other they take their time and converse about general things.
Gift Giving Etiquette
Gifts are not the norm as in many other countries.
• If you are invited to a Saudi's house bring something small as a thank you.
• Flowers do not make good gifts from a man, although a woman could give them to her hostess.
• Never give alcohol unless you are positive they partake.
• Gifts are not opened when received.
• Saudis socialize primarily in restaurants and international hotels when entertaining expatriates whom they do not know well. After some time you will be invited to the home.
• Entertainment will generally be same-sex only. If both sexes are included, they will be in separate rooms.
If you are invited to a Saudi's house:
• You would usually remove your shoes.
• Dress conservatively.
• Try to arrive at the invited time. Punctuality is appreciated but not crucial.
• Show respect for the elders by greeting them first.
• Accept the offer of Arabian coffee and dates even if you...