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Saudi Arabia



FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 January 1934.


CURRENCY

1916, 40 paras = 1 piastre.
1923, as Hejaz Nejd.
1929, 110 guerche = 10 riyal = 1 gold sovereign.
1952, 440 guerche = 40 riyal = 1 gold sovereign.
1960, 100 hululch = 20 guerche = 1 riyal.
1976, 100 halalas = 1 riyal.



Kingdom comprising the greater part of the Arabian peninsula.


Initially a little known traditional Arab nation, the wealth provided by the oil has enabled the country to act as a stabilising influence in the Middle East. Internal mail services were dependent on camel transport until roads became established. More recently internal mail has been carried by air. Overseas mail was dependent on British services from the Gulf and Aden until after World War II when the Saudis developed their own air service.


Hejaz


FIRST STAMPS Turkey from 1881.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 20 August 1916.


CURRENCY

1916, 40 paras = 1 piastre.



The western part of Arabia, including Mecca and Medina, came under Turkish power in 1517 but was not directly administered until 1845. The building of the Damascus-Medina railway (1900-8) brought central government closer. When on 27 June 1916 Hussein proclaimed an Arab state and later took the title King of the Hejaz, the destruction of the railway became the goal of Col. T.E. Lawrence. The country was conquered by Nejd in 1925 (see below).


At Jeddah an Egyptian PO operated c.1865 - 30 October 1881 and used stamps of Egypt.


Used stamps of Turkey from 1881 to 1916. All stamps were withdrawn or overprinted by Nejd authorities by the end of 1925.


Nejd


FIRST STAMPS 23 March 1925.


CURRENCY

1926, as Hejaz.



A sultanate of the Muslim Wahabi in central Arabia with a capital at Riyadh founded in 1824. The rise of Ibn Saud as leader in 1923 heralded rapid expansion, including the conquest of the Hejaz by 23 December 1925.


First stamp issue superseded in 1926 by joint issues for Hejaz and Nejd (see below).


Hejaz and Nejd


FIRST STAMPS February 1926.


CURRENCY

1926, 40 paras = 1 piastre.
1929, 110 guerche = 10 riyal = 1 gold sovereign.



Ibn Saud, sultan of Nejd, took the title King of the Hejaz in 1926 and in 1927 adopted the kingship of Nejd also. The kingdom was renamed Saudi Arabia on 22 September 1932.



Arabia to 1944
Click map for larger view


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