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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula with a total area of around 2,000,000 square kilometers. It is bordered by the Arabian Gulf, United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the east; Red Sea in the west; Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan in the north; Yemen and Oman in the south. Saudi Arabia’s population is 35 million as of 2018, more than a third of which are foreign residents.

Image by Sidik Kurniawan


Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia and the primary language used in all dealings and public transactions. English serves as an informal second language in the Kingdom and is spoken by a large section of its society. All road signs are bilingual, showing information in both Arabic and English.

For more information about The Arabic Language,

visit our Saudi Treasures' Iqra section



Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage and traditions have been shaped by its position as a historic trade hub and the birthplace of Islam. In recent years, the Kingdom has undergone a significant cultural transformation, evolving century-old customs to fit the contemporary world we live in today.

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Currency & Payments

Exchange and Transactions
Currency exchange and transactions are easy in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s national currency is the Saudi riyal (SAR), which is subdivided into 100 halala.

You’ll receive notes in denominations of five riyals, ten riyals, 50 riyals, 100 riyals and 500 riyals; and coins in one riyal, two riyals, 50 halala, 25 halala, 10 halala,

5 halala and 1 halala.

All banks in the kingdom offer currency exchange services. Exchange bureaus are located at airports, some shopping centers and various other locations throughout the country. Credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted throughout the Kingdom. ATMs are also widely available.

You can send or receive money in Saudi Arabia by transferring funds online or through a bank that offers fast money transfer services, all of which are subject to the rules and regulations of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

Saudi Arabia imposes an indirect tax of 15% (VAT) on all goods and services purchased and sold by enterprises. There are some exceptions.

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