Saudi Arabia is located in the Middle East, between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The country borders Iraq and Jordan to the north, and Yemen and Oman to the south. Saudi Arabia covers the bulk of what is called the Arabian Peninsula, and its location is the basis for its economy. Saudi Arabia contains about one-quarter of the world's known oil reserves.
Population: 27 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Arab (90%), Afro-Asian (10%)
Languages: Arabic (official)
Religions: Muslim (official)
SAUDI ARABIANS IN TORONTO
Saudi Arabian Population:
In Canada: 2,735
In the GTA: 715
In the City of Toronto: 300
Saudi Arabia's economy is based on oil and relies massively on foreign labour. The country has made great strides in terms of standard of living as a result of oil wealth. Most families own at least one car, while free healthcare and education are available to all citizens of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is constantly being criticized for its human rights record. Wahhabi Sunnis make up most of Saudi Arabia's population, and Shi'ite Muslims are discriminated against. Since 1991, non-Muslims have not been allowed allowed to practice their religions openly, and Christian Saudis face the death penalty. Expatriate Christians are monitored closely and can also face the death penalty (or lesser penalties, such as imprisonment) if they are found to be meeting in homes as a group of Christians. Strict Islamic laws either prohibit or severely restrict a woman's ability to drive, vote, work, study, testify in court, or even go outside. Women are not allowed to do these things unless they are given permission by a male relative or guardian.
Central Intelligence Agency. (2014, June 20). The World Factbook: Saudi Arabia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from
Encyclopedia of the Nations. (n.d.). Saudi Arabia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. (2009, October 15). Cultural Information - Saudi Arabia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. (2011, December 15). Overview - Saudi Arabia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from
Mandryk, J. (2010). Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation (7th ed.). Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing.
Saudis. (2009). In T. L. Gall & J. Hobby (Eds.), Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life (2nd ed., Vol. 4, pp. 859-865). Detroit: Gale.
Retrieved July 16, 2014, from
Statistics Canada. (2011, April 7). 2006 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations/Ethnic Origin, Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses and
Sex for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample
Data. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from