Basic information about the territory
- System of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Foreign policy of the country
The system of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
- Arabic in Czech transcription: Al Mamlaka Al Arabíja As Saúdía
- English: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is an absolutist monarchy headed by a king
Composition of the government:
The initial abbreviation JKV – HRH in English, if it is mentioned for any representative, means His Royal Highness – His Royal Highness. The government list is updated as of 04/06/2022. Check equzhou to learn more about Saudi Arabia political system.
- King, Prime Minister – HRH King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud
- Crown Prince, 1st Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense – HRH Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
- Minister of Interior – JKV Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef Al Saud
- Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture – Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al Fadli
- Minister of Economy and Planning – Faisal Al Ibrahim
- Minister of Commerce – Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi
- Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology – Abdullah bin Amer Al Swaha
- Minister of Media – Dr. Majid bin Abdullah al Qasabi (in an executive capacity)
- Minister of Culture – HRH Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud
- Minister of Education (Education) – Hamad Al Sheikh
- Minister of Finance – Mohammed Al-Jadaan
- Minister of Investment – Khalid Al-Falih
- Minister of Foreign Affairs – HRH Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah bin Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud
- Minister of Health – Fahad Al-Jalajel
- Minister of Islamic Affairs – Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Sheikh
- Minister of Justice – Waleed bin Muhammad bin Salid Al Samaani
- Minister of Labor and Social Affairs – Ahmed bin Suleiman Al Rajhi
- Minister for Regional Development and Rural Affairs – Majid bin Abdallah Alhogail
- Minister of the National Guard – HRH Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz
- Minister of Energy – JKV Abdul Aziz bin Salman Al Saud
- Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources – Bandar Al Khorayef
- Minister of Pilgrimage Affairs (Hajj and Umrah) – Tawfiq Al-Rabiah
- Minister of Transport – Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser
- Minister for Civil Service – Sulaiman Al-Hamdan
- Minister of Sports – HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki al Faisal
- Minister – Chairman of the General Presidium of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques – Bdulrahman Al-Sudais
Ministers managing special central offices:
- Minister – Chairman of the State Security Office – Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Howirini
- Minister – Assistant to the Chairman of the State Security Office – Abdullah Al-Owais
- Minister – Chairman of the Capital Market Authority – Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Kuwaiz
- Minister – Director of the Special Office of the Crown Prince – Bader bin Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz bin Asaker
- General Entertainment Authority (de facto spelled out as “GA for Entertainment” Youth Authority) – Turki al-Sheikh
- Chief Bureau of Meteorology and Environment – Ayman Bin Salem Alghulam
- General Sports Authority – JKV Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal
- Chief Zakat and Taxation Authority (Central Finance and Taxation Authority) – Mohamed Bin Abdullah Al Jadaan
- Digital Government Authority – Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Ali Al-Suwaiyyan
Foreign policy of the country
Saudi Arabia has been a member state of the UN since 1945, it is also a founding member of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), the Muslim World League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Since 2005, the country has been a member of the World Trade Organization. Saudi Arabia is also a member of the G20 grouping.
As one of the world’s largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia is also one of the drivers of the OPEC group. The harmonization of production between member states in order to stabilize oil prices on world markets is then a powerful tool of foreign policy. In the Islamic world, Saudi Arabia enjoys a special position due to the fact that it is home to the two holiest places for Islam – Mecca and Medina. The annual sacred pilgrimage Hajj and the small pilgrimage Umrah represent not only a considerable source of income. Quotas for the number of pilgrims from individual countries of the world are also an important foreign policy tool. Check recipesinthebox for Saudi Arabia defense and foreign policy.
The country has the most intensive bilateral relations mainly with its neighbors from the GCC region, i.e. the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait. Relations with Qatar, strained in recent years, have recently been normalized. Saudi Arabia also heads the Arab Coalition intervening militarily in favor of the internationally recognized government in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has had a strategic partnership with the US since 1940. The US has had a major influence on the development of the country’s oil production infrastructure, and Saudi Arabia is its largest customer for defense technology. Cooperation with Great Britain, which is Saudi Arabia’s closest partner in Europe, is also a given historically. Cooperation takes place primarily in the economic and defense fields. Cooperation with Russia has intensified in recent years, the most visible activities being developed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund. On the one hand, Russia is a competitor on the oil market, and it is necessary to balance the interests of both countries in relation to oil production within the OPEC+ grouping. Saudi Arabia has also established successful cooperation with China on many levels (implementation of 5G networks, technological cooperation, education). Cooperation with China also works on the territories of third countries (Africa or Asia).
As such, the EU is seen more as a partner for the GCC than a bilateral partner.
Pakistan and India also have an important place in Saudi foreign policy. There is extensive cooperation with Pakistan, especially in nuclear energy. In addition, both countries are significant sources of foreign labor, from manual workers to middle management. Mutual trade and investment, especially in the oil sector, play a major role in bilateral relations with both countries.
The level of bilateral relations with Turkey has steadily deteriorated in recent years, and there has even been an unofficial embargo on Turkish goods in the country. Iran occupies a negative role in Saudi foreign policy in connection with its regional power ambitions (engagement in Syria, Iraq and Yemen).
Source: General Authority of Statistics. Of these, there are 20.8 million Saudis and 1million long-term foreigners (the distribution of foreigners and Saudis is updated for 2018)
A medium-term trend, especially in connection with the so-called “Saudiization” campaign, is the gradual outflow of foreign workers from the country, which is caused not only by reserving jobs in some sectors only for Saudis, but also by making conditions for foreign workers more difficult (e.g. increasing fees from dependents people, which doubles every year, which encourages the outflow of family members, and also motivates many foreign workers to seek employment in countries where it is easier to have family members with them.
Average annual gain:
- 2.4% (Q2 2019: GASTAT – Statistics Authority of Saudi Arabia)
Demographic composition (including registered foreigners) :
- men: 57.7%
- women: 42.3%
- 0-14 years: 24.52%
- 15-29 years: 24.12%
- 30-49 years: 37.40%
- 50-69 years: 12.01%
- 70 and over: 1.94%
- 0-30 years: 48.64%
- 15-65 years: 51.36%
The attached statistics show a high proportion of the young population.
- Arabs: 90%
- Afro-Asians: 10%
- nationals (Saudis): 62.15%
- foreigners (so-called expatriates, i.e. foreigners with permanent residence in SAK, but without citizenship): 37.84%
- Muslims (Islam): 100% (this statistic does not include approximately 38% of expats who live in Saudi Arabia and are of various religions from Christians from the Philippines to Hindus from India)
- the majority of the Saudi population (85-90%) is Sunni – the Salafist (Wahhabi) interpretation of Sunni Islam, the Shiites live in the east in the Al-Hofúf and Al-Qatif areas and in the southwest (Najran) – the total Shiite population is estimated at 3-4 million (10-15%).
Public expressions of other religions (religious ceremonies, symbols, printed matter, etc.) are prohibited, therefore the statistic of 100% Muslims in the country is distorted. Estimates speak of about 1 million expatriate Christians (mainly Filipinos), but the practice of other religions is not officially allowed, and therefore their adherents are not even officially registered.
The Saudi Statistics Authority has not updated population statistics for 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening employment conditions for foreigners, an estimated million foreigners left the country in 2020. In 2021, employment statistics reflect a decrease in the number of foreign workers by another approx. 500,000.