Saudi Arabia: The land of hot sand

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia is a country lies in the middle east. Most of the land of this country consists of vast desert. Saudi Arabia lies between Red Sea and Persian gulf. It occupies nearly four fifth of the Arabian Peninsula, which is the largest peninsula. Saudi Arabia shares its borders with Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen.

saudi arabia the land of hot sand

Saudi Arabia is a land of high mountains with narrow coastal strip. Most of the part of this country is covered with sand. The land has no permanent rivers or other water bodies. Some places have underground water which comes to the surface and form pools of water called Oasis. These are the only fertile area. Date palms and other hard plants grow in this region. During occasional heavy rains, dry valleys called wadis get filled with water but soon evaporate or sink into the ground due to excessive heat.

Saudi Arabia is divided into five land regions:

  1. The Western highlands
  2. The Central Plateau
  3. The Northern Deserts
  4. The Rub-al-khali
  5. The Eastern Lowlands

The Western Highlands border the Red Sea. The northern part of this region is called Hejaz and southern part is called Asir. The Mountains slope from west to east. In most of the areas, land is eroded and uneven.

The mountains of Hejaz and Asir slope towards a region which is large with almost level surface. This is the Central Plateau region. Many places have long cliff like hills. In the north of Central Plateau is the Northern Deserts- Nefud. The Rub-al-Khali is a huge sandy desert of southern Saudi Arabia.deserts of saudi arabia rub al khali

The Eastern lowlands, also called Hasa, lie in the Persian Gulf. This region has the largest petroleum deposits of the world.

CLIMATE

The climate of Saudi Arabia is hot throughout the year. The temperature reaches as a high as 49C. Tropic of Cancer passes through Saudi Arabia. It gets direct rays of the Sun hroughout the year. Strong, dusty winds blow with great speed during the day. The nights are cool and pleasant. There is little or no rain throughout the year. In winters, days are warm but nights are quite cold. The coastal areas are cool in summers. The only place in Saudi Arabia which gets rainfall is Asir. It gets an average rainfall of 30-51 centimeters in summer monsoons. The rest of the country gets only 10 cm rainfall, annually.

VEGETATION

Only thorny bushes, grasses and cactus are found in Saudi Arabia due to the hot and dry climate. The plants have long roots which penetrate deep into the soil to absorb water. The leaves, roots and stems of these plants retain water. These plants are thus called Sacculent. Many plants o not have leaves to avoid the loss of water. The green ems perform the function of food manufacturing. Cactus is the most common tree of this region. This plant is well adapted to grow in deserts.

It has spines instead of leaves to prevent loss of water. Saudi Arabia has many small and big oasis which have enough underground water. People grow crops like wheat, barley, fruits and vegetables. Date palms are common in this region. Dates are sweet and nutritious. The leaves and wood of this tree is used to make the mats and baskets.

ANIMAL LIFE

animal life saudi arebia

There are very few animals found in the desert of Saudi Arabia. Reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and spiders are found here. Camels are the most common animals in the desert. They are used to transport the people from one place to another place. Camels are well adapted to a desert. They can stay without food and water for many days. They have padded feet which help them to walk on sand. Camels are also known as the ‘Ship of desert’.

WAY OF LIVING

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About three-forth of the people living in Saudi Arabia are native Saudis. There are many other people who have moved to Saudi Arabia temporarily because of the job opportunities created by country’s oil wealth. Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia.

Many people of Saudi Arabia live in villages near the oasis. They are mostly farmers. They keep herds of animals like sheep, goats, camels and horses. They are nomads. They move from place to place in search of pastures for their cattle. These nomads of Saudi Arabia are called Bedouins. These people live in tents. They always move in groups on rows of camels. These rows are called Caravans.

The discovery of oil has changed the life of people in Saudi Arabia especially in the cities Modern apartment buildings, air conditioning in houses, swimming pools, hospitals schools and super markets have become common. People use luxuries like cars, VCRs televisions, computers etc.

Almost all the people of Saudi Arabia speak Arabic, which is the official language of Saud Arabia. English is taught in Schools, used in business dealings and international affairs. All the Saudis are Muslims and follow Islam. Riyal is the monetary unit of Saudi Arabia.

NATURAL RESOURCES

The most important resource of Saudi Arabia is petroleum. It is also called Liquid Gold. The country has huge oil fields and accounts for one-fourth of total oil reserves of the World.

The oil fields are mostly located in the eastern parts of the country and Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia also has small deposits of copper, gold, iron and silver.

INDUSTRIES

The oil industry is the chief industry and main source of wealth of Saudi Arabia. Petrochemicals, petroleum refineries, iron and steel, cement and fertilizer are the main industries. Processed food, leather, textile, soap and handicrafts are the main small scale industries. Petroleum, date and shrimps are the main exports of Saudi Arabia.

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION

A good network of roads connects various parts of the country. Railways operate between Riyadh and Ad Damman- a part of Persian Gulf. Ras Tanura, Ad Damman and Red sea are parts of Jidda and Yanbu which are major ports. International airports located at Dhahran, Jidda and Riyadh.

MAIN CITIES

Riyadh

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and a largest city. It lies among oasis on a dry, rocky plateau situated in the center of the country. Riyadh is the headquarter of the vast oil industry. It is the international business centre. Oil income has made Riyadh one of the world’s fastest growing cities with modern sky scrapers and wide busy streets.

Jeddah

Jeddah is the chief and busiest sea port of Saudi Arabia. It lies on the eastern shore of Red sea. It is the gateway to muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina. King Abdul Aziz International Airport, one of the world’s largest airports, was in Jidda in 1981.

Mecca

meccah saudi arebia

Mecca and Medina situated near the Red sea are the greatest centre of pilgrimage of Muslims. It is the birth place of Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam. Every year thousands of muslims from all over the world make a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.