This area's rangelands have long sustained nomadic pastoral production and are the homelands of the main Bedouin communities.
The cultural identities Saudi Arabian citizens express are principally those of Muslim and Arab, linking them to millions of people beyond the nation's borders.
They also identify with the contemporary state and its national culture; the country's name links the ruling dynasty, Al Saud, with the state's cultural and geographic setting.
Identities connected to the traditional ways of life of the Bedouin and of oasis-dwelling farmers, fishers, craftspeople and artisans, and merchants, caravaneers, and long-distance traders remain in force even as economic changes have transformed or ended those ways of life.
Regional and kin-based tribal and clan identities are shared among Saudi Arabian citizens. Saudi Arabia occupies 868,730 square miles (2,250,000 square kilometers).
It is bounded on the east by the Arabian (Persian) Gulf; on the west by the Red Sea; to the south and southeast by Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar; and to the north and northeast by Jordan, Iraq, and Kuwait.
Saudi Arabia has a hot desert climate with high humidity on the coastal fringes.
Rainfall is scarce except in the area of Asir, where it is sufficient for agriculture on terraced farms and upper slopes and alluvial planes.
Rainfall is adequate for the nomadic herding of sheep, goats, and camels and for the sustenance of nondomesticated desert fauna, but crop production is dependent on irrigation from underground aquifers.
Saudi Arabia has no rivers or permanent bodies of water other than artificial lakes and pools.
Wadis, the dry beds of ancient rivers, sometimes flow with runoff from downpours and seep with underground water. Najd, the geographic center and political and cultural core, is a vast plateau that combines rocky and sandy areas with isolated mountains and wadi systems.
Agricultural oases are the sites of villages, towns, and cities.