Saudi Arabia is a kingdom which geographically dominates the Arabian peninsula, with coastlines on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. It borders Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen.
Saudi Arabia contains Islam’s holiest cities — Mecca (Makkah) and Medina (Madinah) — to where Muslim pilgrims throng during the Hajj. The Hajj, along with a few crops that grow well in oases, such as medjool dates, used to be the country’s main source of income before oil was discovered less than 100 years ago.
The kingdom strongly enforces a very strict interpretation of Islamic law, though minor relaxations have been adopted in the last few years, the most notable being the allowance for women to drive.