10. Saudi Arabia


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Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

Capital: Riyadh

GDP: $748 billion

Population: 30.9 million

Saudi Arabia is the giant of the Middle East, with both the vast majority of land and wealth of the Arabian Peninsula falling within its borders.

Once the center of early civilization’s Fertile Crescent, oil reserves were found in Saudi Arabia’s deserts soon after the nation was founded, quickly making it the world’s top exporter and bringing skyrocketing economic growth. Saudi Arabia is estimated to sit on a quarter of the world’s supply of oil, but is seeking ways to diversify and reduce its oil dependency due to high unemployment rates and a sizeable foreign workforce.