Although there has been little in the way of protest, the situation in neighbouring countries like Bahrain and Yemen is a growing cause for concern. Saudi Arabia, as a staunch ally of the US, could become more isolated given that other Washington-friendly regimes in the region such as Egypt and Tunisia, have been overthrown. The presence of Tunisia’s fallen Ben Ali in Saudi Arabia also puts the country at odds with the popular protests in the Arab world.
Political system: monarchy
King: Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz – 2005 / …
Population: 24.8 million
Human Development Index1: 55th
1HDIis calculated according to factors such as schooling, life expectancy and gross national income and is used by the UN’s Development Programme for its Human development reports.