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One of the most devout and insular countries in the Middle East , Saudi Arabia has emerged from being a desert kingdom to become one of the wealthiest nations in the region thanks to vast oil resources .
Named after the ruling Al Saud family , who first came to power in the18th century , the country includes the Hijaz region the birthplace of prophet Muhammad PEACE UPON HIM and the cradle of ***** . This fact , combined with the AL Saud espousal of a Wahhabism , has led it to develop strongly religious self identity .
Saudi Arabia was established in 1932 by king Abd al Aziz known as the lion of Najd who took over Hijaz from the Hashimite family and united the country under his family rule . Since his death in 1953 , he has been succeeded by various sons . Internal stability has meant successive leaders have been able to concentrate on modernization and developing the country’s role as a regional power .
Population 21m ; Capital :Riyadh ; Major language : Arabic ; Major religion : ***** ; life expectancy :68 years men 71 years women ; Monetary unit : 1 Riyal
Main exports : Oil , gas , cereals ; Average annual income : US $6,900 ; International dialing code : +966
sights from Saudi Arabia