The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest Arabian country in the Arabian Gulf and is very well known for its rich Saudi Arabia culture. Most of the area in the country is filled with desert. Its northern neighbors are Jordan and Iraq, while Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman are its Eastern and South Eastern neighbors. Yemen forms its Southern border, while Saudi Arabia is bordered by a long coastline along the Red Sea on the West. Its 27.6 million people live in an area of 2,150,000 square kilometers. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also known as the ‘Land of Two Mosques’ with reference to the mosques in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia occupies 80% of the Arabian Peninsula and is recognized as the world’s 14th largest country. Saudi Arabia is the world’s greatest petroleum exporter and the foreign exchange earned as a result of oil exports is the backbone of the Saudi economy. Oil represents 90% of Saudi Arabia exports, and 75% of its revenue.
The rich Saudi Arabia culture has been shaped by its Islamic heritage, its historical impact and its Bedouin traditions. The basis of Saudi Arabia culture is a blend of Arab and Muslim. Their traditions are rooted in Islamic teachings and Arab customs. The country is strictly religious and maintains behavior and dress code. Alcoholic beverages are strictly banned in the country and the country does not have any movie theatres for public display of films. Many of the Saudis are well educated and well informed about all issues pertaining not only to Arabs and Muslims, but also the entire world. Public opinion about domestic matters is discouraged. What is surprising is the fact that there are no political parties or labor unions.
Saudi Arabia culture prescribes a dress code that ensures dressing with modesty. The loose and flowing garments are useful in the desert climate of the country. Men wear a camel-hair cloak in winter. Women wear clothes decorated with tribal motifs, metallic thread and appliqués.
As per the Saudi Arabia culture, Islam is the official religion and the law requires that all Saudi citizens should be Muslims. There is no freedom of religion and public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited. Saudi women face discrimination in many aspects of their lives including education, employment, and even justice. Gender apartheid is definitely present here.
Islamic tradition forbids the eating of pork and consuming of alcohol and this law is enforced very strictly. Their traditional food consist of unleavened bread, lamb, chicken, and traditional food such as ‘falafel’ and ‘shawarma’. The Arabic tea custom is quite famous – black tea is served with a herbal flavoring.
One of the folk rituals of Saudi Arabia culture is Al Ardha which is their national dance. It is a sword dance based on Bedouin traditions and is enacted thus: A rhythmic beat is followed by the drummers, a poet chants verses, and men carrying swords dance together. Al Sihbha is folk music from the area of the Hejaz while Samri is a traditional music and dance show in which poetry is sung.
Arab traditions which play an important role in Saudi Arabia are highly regarded. They include generosity and hospitality to family, friends, and even strangers.