Saudi Arabia is the largest country in Western Asia and one of the largest Arab countries. This absolutist monarchy occupies a large part of the Arabian Peninsula, the area between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Saudi Arabia is considered the cradle of Islam because here you can find the two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina. During the twentieth century, large oil reserves were discovered here, and then the rapid economic development of Saudi Arabia began. It is visited by over 14 million tourists a year, and although most of them are religious pilgrims, there is an increase in visits to leisure tourism.