21+ Differences Between Saudi Arabia And UAE

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the two neighboring countries situated in the Middle East.

These countries often get confused with each other because of the similarities between them, such as both the countries are Islamic countries and both countries are a part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Saudi Arabia gained its independence in the year 1932, whereas UAE gained its independence in the year 1971. The major difference between these two Islamic countries is that the UAE is very modernized compared to Saudi Arabia. 

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Key Differences –

Saudi Arabia –

  1. Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country situated in the middle east with an area of 2,149,690 sq. km.
  2. Officially, Saudi Arabia is known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  3. Saudi Arabia has a population of 36,687,000.
  4. Riyad is the capital of Saudi Arabia. 
  5. Saudi Arabia’s currency is Saudi Riyals (SAR).

United Arab Emirates (UAE) –

  1. UAE is also a Muslim country situated in the middle east with an area of 83,600 sq. km.
  2. In 1971, 6 states of UAE, namely Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Fujayrah, Ash Shariqah, Dubayy, and Umm al Qaywayn, came together to form the United Arab Emirates after gaining independence. Thus, each state also has been known as “Emirs” or “Emirates.” 7th state also got added in 1972. 
  3. UAE has a population of 9,272,000. 
  4. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  5. UAE’s currency is Emirati Dirhams (AED).

Comparison Between Saudi Arabia And UAE

ParameterSaudi ArabiaUAE
AreaSaudi Arabia has an area of 2,149,690 sq. km.UAE has an area of 83,600 sq. km.
CapitalRiyadh is the capital city of the Saudi Arabia.Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the UAE.
CurrencySaudi Riyals is the currency of the Saudi Arabia.Emirati Dirhams is the currency of the UAE.
ReligionSaudi Arabia follows Islam.UAE also follows Islam.
GovernmentSaudi Arabia has an absolute monarchy.UAE has a federation of absolute monarchies.
LanguageArabic is the official language of the Saudi Arabia.Arabic is the official language of the UAE as well.
National AnthemHasten is the national anthem of the Saudi Arabia.Ishy Bilady is the national anthem of the UAE.
Neighboring CountriesSaudi Arabia’s neighboring countries are Jordon, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Yemen.UAE’s neighboring countries are Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Restriction on WomenSaudi Arabia imposes high restrictions on women.UAE imposes little to no restrictions on women.
Popular PlacesSome of the popular places to visit in Saudi Arabia are the Great Mosque of Mecca, Kingdom Centre Tower, Red Sea Mall, Kaaba, Al Bujairi Heritage Park, etc.Some of the popular places to visit in UAE are the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Burj Al Arab, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Ferrari World, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, etc.

Major Differences Between Saudi Arabia And UAE

What exactly is Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia, also known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a developed nation situated in the middle east with an area of 2,149,690 sq. km and a population of 36,687,000.

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Facts about Saudi Arabia –

  1. Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud was the first ruler of Saudi Arabia after gaining Independence. 
  2. Saudi Arabia is world famous and the largest exporter of its oil in the world. 
  3. Saudi Arabia stands at 75th position in the Legatum Prosperity Index. 
  4. Saudi Arabia’s capital is Riyadh. 
  5. Saudi Arabia’s currency is Saudi Riyals (SAR), with an exchange rate of 1 USD equalling 3.75 Saudi Riyals. 
  6. Did you know Saudi Arabia does not have a single river? Now you do know.
  7. Saudi Arabia is home to the most important Islamist cities, i.e., Mecca and Medina. 
  8. The world’s largest airport, King Khalid Airport, is also situated in Saudi Arabia. 
  9. Saudi Arabia is home to the world’s largest sandy desert. 
  10. Despite being one of the major economies in the world, women in Saudi Arabia are still bound by restrictions. 

What exactly is United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country situated in the middle east, neighboring Saudi Arabia. In 1971, after independence, the six states came together to merge into each other and are known as the United Arab Emirates.

A year later, the seventh state was also merged. Each state has its own ruler known as “Emir” or “Emirates.” UAE has an area of 83,600 sq. km with a population of 9,272,000. 

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Facts about United Arab Emirates (UAE) –

  1. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the first leader of the UAE. 
  2. UAE stands at 23rd place in the Global Competitiveness Report. 
  3. Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s capital. 
  4. UAE’s currency is Emirati Dirhams (AED), with an exchange rate of 1 USD equalling 3.67 Emirati Dirhams.
  5. UAE is known to have the most numbers of Guinness World Records. 
  6. UAE has the tallest building in the world, i.e., the Burj Khalifa.
  7. Did you know the world’s first 7 – star hotel was built in UAE? Now you do know. 
  8. The Dubai Mall, UAE, is the biggest mall in the world.
  9. UAE is home to the world’s longest handmade gold chain as well. 
  10. Women’s situation in the UAE is completely opposite to that of Saudi Arabia. In UAE, women are allowed to study, work and travel anywhere, unlike in Saudi Arabia. 

Contrast Between Saudi Arabia And UAE

Flag

Saudi Arabia – I/C

UAE – I/C

Area

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia has an area of 2,149,690 sq. km.
  • UAE – UAE has an area of 83,600 sq. km. 

Population

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia has a population of 36,687,000.
  • UAE – UAE has a population of 9,272,000.

Currency

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s currency is Saudi Riyals (SAR).
  • UAE – UAE’s currency is Emirati Dirhams (AED).

Currency Exchange Rate

  • Saudi Arabia – one United States Dollar is equal to 3.75 Saudi Riyals or 1 USD = 3.75 SAR.
  • UAE – one United States Dollar is equal to 3.67 Emirati Dirhams (AED) or 1 USD = 3.67 AED.

GDP

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s GDP is 792.97 billion Dollars. 
  • UAE – UAE’s GDP is 421.14 billion Dollars.

GDP Per Capita

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s GDP per Capita is 23,139 Dollars. 
  • UAE – UAE’s GDP per Capita is 43,103 Dollars. 

Independence 

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia gained Independence in 1931.
  • UAE – UAE gained Independence in 1972.

Government

  • Saudi Arabia – The government system of Saudi Arabia is an absolute Monarchy. 
  • UAE – Government system of UAE is a federation of absolute monarchies. 

Capital

  • Saudi Arabia – Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s capital. 
  • UAE – Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s capital. 

Most Populated City

  • Saudi Arabia – Riyadh is the most populated city in Saudi Arabia. 
  • UAE – Dubai is the most populated city in the UAE. 

Religion

  • Saudi Arabia – Islam is the religion followed in Saudi Arabia. 
  • UAE – Islam is the religion followed in the UAE. 

Language

  • Saudi Arabia – Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia.
  • UAE – Arabic is the official language of the UAE. 

Neighboring Countries

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s neighboring countries are Jordon, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman, and Yemen. 
  • UAE – UAE’s neighboring countries are Saudi Arabia and Oman. 

Restrictions On Women

  • Saudi Arabia – Women in Saudi Arabia are bounded by lots of restrictions. 
  • UAE – Women in UAE have little to no restrictions. 

National Anthem

  • Saudi Arabia – Hasten is the national anthem of Saudi Arabia.
  • UAE – Ishy Bilady is the national anthem of the UAE.

National Animal

  • Saudi Arabia – The Camel is the national animal of Saudi Arabia.
  • UAE – The Arabian Oryx is the national animal of the UAE.

National Bird

  • Saudi Arabia – The national bird of Saudi Arabia, is Saker Falcon. 
  • UAE – The national bird of UAE is Peregrine Falcon. 

National Sport

  • Saudi Arabia – Football is the national sport of Saudi Arabia. 
  • UAE – Football is the national sport of the UAE as well. 

National Fruit

  • Saudi Arabia – Dates are the national fruit of Saudi Arabia. 
  • UAE – Dates are the national fruit of the UAE. 

Time Zones

  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia comes under Arabian Standard Time, i.e., Coordinated Universal Time + 3 hours or UTC + 3.
  • UAE – UAE comes under the Gulf Standard Time, i.e., Coordinated Universal Time + 4 hours or UTC + 4. 

Popular Places

  • Saudi Arabia – Some of the popular places to visit in Saudi Arabia are the Great Mosque of Mecca, Kingdom Centre Tower, Red Sea Mall, Kaaba, Al Bujairi Heritage Park, etc.
  • UAE – Some of the popular places to visit in UAE are the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Burj Al Arab, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Ferrari World, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, etc

Conclusion

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are two neighboring Islamic countries with major successful economies. Both are doing extremely well in the international market, and both countries have many similar things, from their religion to their languages. 

Talking about the differences, Saudi Arabia is a bigger country in size than the UAE. Saudi Arabia also has more population than the UAE.

The major differences between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates lie in their Independence and Women’s situation. Saudi Arabia got its Independence in 1931; UAE, on the other hand, got its Independence in 1972. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Why Mecca and Medina are two important Muslim cities?

Mecca and Medina are two holy cities that are very important to the Islamic Culture, and that is because :

Mecca is the city where the Prophet Muhammad (founder of Islam) was born. So no wonder why this city is the most important holy city. All Muslims go to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. 

Medina is the city where the Prophet Muhammad lived for the last time. Medina is also the place where his grave is situated.

Q2. What is Gulf Cooperation Council?

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a council of 6 neighboring countries, namely the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

This council was created to have similar economic, social, and political rules & regulations in all the six neighboring countries.

As the name suggests, it was made to have cooperation among the six named countries. This council has its headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Q3. Which country is better for women?

Talking about women’s situation, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is definitely a better country to live in.

There are many restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia, such as not going out without a burka, not traveling alone, not talking to other men, hiding their bodies & face, and more things like that.

In contrast, UAE does not have this small amount of restrictions imposed on women. 


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