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It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland and mountains.
As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world.
Saudi Arabia has since been a totalitarian absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines.
Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam. Petroleum was discovered on 3 March 1938 and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province.
al-Magar could be considered as a "Neolithic Revolution" in human knowledge and handicraft skills.
Aside from horses, animals such as sheep, goats, dogs, in particular of the Saluki race, ostriches, falcons and fish were discovered in the form of stone statues and rock engravings.
Saudi Arabia has since become the world's second largest oil producer (behind the US) and the world's largest oil exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest gas reserves.
The state has attracted criticism for a variety of reasons including: its archaic treatment of women, its excessive and often extrajudicial use of capital punishment, state-sponsored discrimination against religious minorities and atheists, its role in the Yemeni Civil War, sponsorship of Islamic terrorists, and its strict interpretation of Sharia law.
Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south; it is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba.
The earliest sedentary culture in Saudi Arabia dates back to the Ubaid period, upon discovering various pottery sherds at Dosariyah.