Arabia and soccer: a recent history
Saudi Arabia just classified his first World Cup in 1994the one of USAwhich turned out to be the most successful, as it advanced to the round of 16.
In subsequent World Cups he almost always spent the playoffsbut stayed in group stage. The challenge will be, surely taking advantage of the “almost local” condition, to try to access the next instance of Qatar 2022.
Although soccer is popular, so is the basketball, volleyball and table tennis, where the country has important representatives. Even the competitions of camel racing and falconry (hunting in which hawks and other birds of prey are used to capture prey).
A religious and oil monarchy
Saudi Arabia It is called that because it has a monarchy as its head of state. Arabia for the Arabian Peninsula, and Saudi Arabia for the house of saud, the royal family from which the rulers come. Strictly speaking, it is one of the six absolute monarchies (that is, where there is no division of powers) that subsists in the world.
In 1938 it was found Petroleum, and from that moment it became the largest exporter in the world. It is the second in amount of oil reserves, behind Venezuela. The resource is close to the surface, which makes it easy to pump. This makes exploitation much cheaper, and higher profits.
A peninsula with a difficult geography
The country is in the Arabian Peninsula, which is about 3 million square km, and is the largest peninsula in the world. Have the desert with the most dunes uninterrupted lines of the planet (the one of rub al-khali), which is the largest in the world, behind that of sahara and australia. With an area of just over 2 million square km (similar size to Mexico or Greenland), is the twelfth largest country in the world. In this context, the camel continues to be key for transportation in the desert, due to its resistance to heat and the time it can go without drinking water. Despite the geographical and climatic harshness, Saudi Arabia It has no less than 13 million immigrants, 38% of its total population.
The strong presence of Islam
in the current Saudi Arabiain the 570 after Christwas born Muhammadthe prophet of Islam. From there it expanded to become the second most followed religion in the world, behind the Christianity. In this territory are the two most expensive sanctuaries to Islamism: that of Mecca and that of Medina. Mecca is where he was born Muhammad and houses the mosque that is considered “the house of God”. That is why all Muslims should pray pointing towards that place.
Oil as sustenance and panacea for the country
It was discovered Petroleum in 1938, turning Saudi Arabia in one of the largest producers and exporters in the world, with proven reserves second only to those of Venezuela. Thanks to crude oil, it has the largest wealth in the arab world, and globally it is ranked 13th, almost the same as Switzerland. But, as it has a larger population, its per capita wealth is less than that of Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
It has a very poorly diversified economy, since the oil sector represents the 80% of the incomes. That is why the effort to bet on the tourism sector, with megaprojects, such as the tallest skyscraper in the world, or luxury hotels. Saudi oil is almost on the surface, so it is easy to extract and therefore requires less investment. There is another of the profits of the Arabs.