Arabian Peninsula

The Arabian Peninsula,[1] (/əˈrbiən.../; Arabic: شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, shibhu l-jazīrati l-ʿarabiyyah, "Arabian Peninsula" or جَزِيرَةُ الْعَرَب, jazīratu l-ʿarab, "Island of the Arabs")[2] or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At 3,237,500 km2 (1,250,000 sq mi), the Arabian Peninsula is the largest peninsula in the world.[3][4][5][6][7]

Arabian Peninsula
ٱلْجَزِيرَة ٱلْعَرَبِيَّة  (Arabic)
شِبْه ٱلْجَزِيرَة ٱلْعَرَبِيَّة  (Arabic)
Area3,237,500 km2 (1,250,000 sq mi)
Population86,222,000
Population density26.6/km2
HDI0.788 (2018)
high
DemonymArabian
Countries
Largest cities
Satellite view of the Arabian Peninsula

Geographically, the Arabian Peninsula includes Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen, as well as the southern portions of Iraq and Jordan.[8] The largest of these is Saudi Arabia.[9]

The Arabian Peninsula formed as a result of the rifting of the Red Sea between 56 and 23 million years ago, and is bordered by the Red Sea to the west and southwest, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the northeast, the Levant and Mesopotamia to the north and the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. The peninsula plays a critical geopolitical role in the Arab world and globally due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas.

Before the modern era, the region was divided into primarily four distinct regions: the Central Plateau (Najd or Al-Yamama), South Arabia, Al-Bahrain (Eastern Arabia or Al-Hassa), and the Hejaz (Tihamah for the western coast), as described by Ibn al-Faqih.[10]


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