List of 17 Countries in the World operating without a River

There are 196 countries ruling in the world effectively. Although many of the countries hold the significant position of being a host for having some impressive rivers, there are seventeen countries that actually don’t have rivers. It sounds strange but this is a ground reality.

These countries basically have very dry river beds which flood for very short period of time. Therefore; these countries have no permanent source of rivers. Saudi-Arabia is counted as the 13th largest country and second largest state in the Arab world but still, it is without even a single river. Ever wondered Why there is no river in Saudi Arabia?[irp]

The river is a natural stream of water or one can say a natural process of flowing water into the sea, lake or ocean. A River is a blessing which possesses numerous and countless benefits. Rivers are an important source of getting water and must be counted among the basic needs of human beings.

Host countries can easily enjoy the countless benefits of Rivers. Rivers support countries and make them economically and financially stable. However, it is easy to understand effectively for those contenders who belong from the desert. 

Whenever we talk about deserts the Middle Eastern countries just click in our minds. Middle East countries may include Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Kuwait.

Besides the Arab world, there are other countries that are empty handed with the blessing of rivers. These countries are easy to understand because they are most likely known by their names than by their geographies such as Monaco and the Vatican City. These two are the smallest countries in the world.

After these two small countries, the final bunch of river fewer countries includes all islands. There are two main reasons to have no river in those countries. The first one is they are too small to hold river and second is that they are not enough sufficient for a river flow. While some countries even meet both requirements.

In the larger islands, we have the Bahamas, Comoros, and Malta which are most densely populated countries in the world. While Maldives which consists of 1,192 islands can only combine together and reach the highest point of about 8 feet hardly.

Kiribati which lies in the central Pacific consists of 310 square miles and from a surface area point of view, it is considered as the largest. Tonga is a Polynesian kingdom which contains more than 170 South Pacific, followed by the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu. The last one on the river fewer countries list is Nauru which is a single island in the Pacific Ocean.

There is a current research conducted from the gravitational data by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite system which states that more than 50 % of the Earth’s 37th biggest aquifers are evacuated. Here is a list of those countries which do not have any rivers;








8-Marshall Islands





13-Saudi Arabia



16-United Arab Emirates

17-Vatican City

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.