In the early 18th century, Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, the son of a religious judge, called on Muslims to return to the original form of Islam. Initially persecuted, he later found protection in the town of Diriyah, which was ruled by Muhammad bin Saud, a member of the prominent Al-Saud family. The partnership between these two men eventually led to the foundation of Saudi Arabia.
Population: As of the 2004 census, 22.7 million, including about 6 million expatriates. Religion: Islam, which is the basis of the legal system and of government.
Language: Arabic; English widely spoken in urban areas.
The capital city of Riyadh is located in Najd. A chain of mountains in western Saudi Arabia runs parallel to the Red Sea. The Hijaz region along the Red Sea contains the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the port city of Jeddah and the summer capital of Taif.
Saudi Arabia's spectacular economic growth is expected to continue, with the ongoing development plans promoting privatization as a strategic economic option that lowers costs, improves performance, and provides jobs for citizens; and calling for diversification away from dependence on oil.
Having invested about one trillion U.S. dollars in developing its social and economic structure, Saudi Arabia has undergone a remarkable transformation over the relatively short time span of some seven decades. As the investment came in the employees of multinational companies were moved in by international movers in USA and their partner moving companies in Saudi Arabia. Once Saudi Arabia was obliged to import all of the manufactured products it consumed, Saudi Arabia now has a vast industrial base and its factories supply a large portion of the needs of the country's domestic markets. Fishing villages on the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf that were once a collection of huts have been transformed into bustling centers of industry, producing everything from petrochemicals to electronics and exporting them to over 90 countries.