Mastura Desert, Saudi Arabia
Saudi National Day will take place on the 23rd of September and is celebrated every year to commemorate the establishment of the kingdom by King Abdulaziz. The king is head of the Al Saud family, and worked tirelessly to unite the regions to create Saudi Arabia, establishing its world presence on 23rd September 1930. Since then, the citizens of the kingdom gather on this day annually, to celebrate the birth of the nation, participate in traditional customs and pay tribute to those who helped build the country.
Today, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is changing at a rapid rate and regenerating itself to accommodate the future, so we’ve put together a list of quirky, and little known facts about the kingdom!
- In 2020, Jeddah Tower will become the tallest building in the world. The skyscraper will measure 3,280 feet, and knock the Burj Khalifa off the top spot as it measures at 2,717 feet. Saudi’s newest landmark is said to have investments of around $1.4billion USD.
- With a size of 2,149,690 square km, Saudi Arabia is roughly about the size of Western Europe.
- Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river. The kingdom is the 13th largest country in the world at 830,000 square miles, but 95% of the country is considered desert.
- The kingdom is full of young people; the population of the country is overwhelmingly young. Only 5% of the population is over 60 compared to 47% that is under 24 – which is great for the country’s modernization plans.
- Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar oil field is the largest in the world. It has enough oil to fill 4,770,897 Olympic swimming pools.
- 350 million years ago, the kingdom was home to a 20-foot mushroom! Scientists and historians have confirmed it to have been the largest living thing on dry land at the time.
- The Middle East is known for the large presence of camels, especially in Saudi Arabia where there are camel festivals to boot! But, it is a little known fact that over 100 camels are sold daily in the kingdom’s capital city of Riyadh.
- The Arabian oryx, native to the country, was once classified as extinct in the wild. However, thanks to a government conservation project, the species has been reintroduced in to the desert from captivity and is making a comeback. This is the only documented case in history of an extinct animal being restored.
- The Saudi flag is completely green because of its significance in the Islamic faith. Most Islamic states incorporate green into their flag. The color represents peace, life and fertility.
- Saudi Arabia is one of the most generous countries in the world, donating over $4 billion in aid each year to developing and disaster-torn nations.