However its culture has also been affected by rapid change, as the country was transformed from an impoverished nomadic society into a rich commodity producer in just a few years in the 1970s.
The most recent ruler or king of Saudi is King Salman Al Saud The Wahhabi Islamic movement, which arose in the 18th century and is sometimes described as austerely puritanical, now predominates in the country.
Following the principle of "enjoining good and forbidding wrong", there are many limitations and prohibitions on behaviour and dress which are strictly enforced both legally and socially, often more so than in other Muslim countries.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited, for example, and there is no theatre or public exhibition of films. Five times each day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques scattered throughout the country.
Saudis (men) tend "to take their time and converse for a bit when meeting".
During warm and hot weather, Saudi men and boys wear white thobes.
During the cool weather, wool thobes in dark colors are not uncommon.
Saudi is one of the few countries that have "religious police" (also known as Haia or Mutaween), who patrol the streets "enjoining good and forbidding wrong" by enforcing dress codes, strict separation of men and women, attendance at prayer (salat) five times each day, the ban on alcohol, and other aspects of Sharia (Islamic law) or behavior it believes to be commanded by Islam.
Cinema theatres were shut down in 1980, for example.