Difference Between Saudi Arabia and UAE

Most people often get confused between Saudi Arabia and UAE but they are different from each other.


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However, people living in these countries may seem quite similar because they have almost similar cultures and this is one of the reasons why most people get confused between the two.

Well, it is important to know the difference between Saudi Arabia and UAE because often you can be asked a question.

Both these countries are well-known middle-east countries and are one of the most famous tourist attractions all over the world. It is a dream for most people to visit these countries once in their life.

Both Saudi Arabia and UAE are Muslim countries and they both have two of the world’s most famous modern cities that are Dubai in UAE and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia vs UAE

The difference between Saudi Arabia and UAE is that Saudi Arab had gained its independence in the year 1932 whereas the latter had gained its independence later in the year 1971. Another difference between these two countries is that UAE is way much modernised and progressive than Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia vs UAE

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSaudi ArabiaUAE
CapitalRiyadAbu Dhabi
Area2,149,690 sq km83,600 sq km
Religion followedIslamicIslamic
Official LanguageArabicArabic
CurrencySaudi RiyalUAE Dirham
Population3.43 crores97.7 lakhs

What is Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is one of the most famous middle-east countries in the world.

There is not a single person who does not know about the country of Saudi Arabia. One of the countries that are famous for its Islamic culture with the capital city of Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia and UAE (United Arab Emirates) are a part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The GCC is an economic and political alliance that was established in the capital city of Saudi Arabia along with several other middle-east countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

The alliance was created so that everyone or every country that was in it had the same goals like promoting of common identities that were based on the principles of the Islamic religious beliefs.

However, these two countries were not similar but varied in different parameters.

There were only some differences between these two countries but most of the other things were the same thing like both the people of the countries spoke the same language and also followed the same religion.

Saudi Arabia is famous for its well-known city Jeddah and is a world-famous tourist attraction. Saudi is one of the strongest economic countries among its neighbours.

The country is famous for oil-based economy and they are the largest exporter of petroleum. Saudi Arabia owns around 16% of the world’s petroleum reserves.

Well, one can say that petroleum is one of the products that counts in the economy of the country because it accounts for 87% of all budget revenues with export earnings of 90%.

The Salman of Saudi Arabia is the ruler of this famous country.

He is planning to adopt new policies where more and more private investments will be taking place in the private sector, reduction in unemployment, targeting youth employment, and investing in the tourism industry.

The national flag of the country has been designed with a deep green colour with something written in the Arabic language on the center of their flag.

saudi arabia

What is United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

United Arab Emirates aka UAE is another major middle-east country with the capital city Abu Dhabi.

UAE is much more modernised and progressive than Saudi Arabia with one of the most famous city Dubai being their most attractive tourist attraction.

Last year Dubai had hosted the famous cricket league IPL (Indian Premier League) because people could have never thought of an alternative city than Dubai for conducting the cricket matches.

Well, other than that UAE too had a history because the country had unified much later then Saudi Arabia.

It was in the year 1971 when UAE was unified. UAE too is also famous for oil.

The country is famous because they are one of the major contributors to oil all over the world. Similar to Saudi Arabia, UAE too has a similar oil-based economy like them.

UAE also have certain plans for their economy like expanding their infrastructure, encouragement of privatization, encouraging foreign investors to invest, promotion of tourism, creating job opportunities and many more.

However, since they are countries of rich culture and values they also have certain restrictions made for women.

Women are not allowed to drive cars, they are not allowed to play sport freely and many others.

united arab emirates

Main Difference Between Saudi Arabia and UAE (United Arab Emirates)

  1. Both Saudi Arabia and UAE (United Arab Emirates) are middle-east countries that have almost similar or same cultures.
  2. These countries follow the same religion that is Islamic and also speak the same language that is Arabic.
  3. The currency of Saudi Arabia is Saudi Riyal and the currency of UAE is UAE Dirham.
  4. Both these countries have the same official language that is the Arabic language.
  5. UAE is much more modernised and progressive than Saudi Arabia.
  6. Both these countries have famous cities Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Dubai in UAE.
Difference Between Saudi Arabia and UAE


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03932729.2017.1309101
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/GM-11-2017-0151/full/html
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