Arabian Peninsula

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Arabian Peninsula
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|countries = Saudi Arabia Yemen Oman United Arab Emirates Kuwait Qatar Bahrain|list_countries = |dependencies = }}The Arabian Peninsula, or simply ArabiaBOOK,weblink Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Third, 978-0877795469, 2001, 61, Hopkins, Daniel J., Staff, Merriam-Webster, 편집부, ({{IPAc-en|ə|ˈ|r|eɪ|b|i|ə}}; {{transl|ar|ALA|shibhu l-jazīrati l-ʿarabiyyah}}, 'Arabian island' or {{transl|ar|ALA|jazīratu l-ʿarab}}, 'Island of the Arabs'),WEB, Arabia {{!, peninsula, Asia|url=|website=Encyclopedia Britannica|language=en}} is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate. From a geographical perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia.BOOK,weblink Encyclopedia of World Geography, McColl, R. W., 2014-05-14, Infobase Publishing, 9780816072293, en, It is the largest peninsula in the world, at {{convert|3237500|sqkm|abbr=on}}.BOOK,weblink Peninsulas, Niz, Ellen Sturm, 2006-04-10, Capstone, 9780736861427, en, BOOK,weblink Encyclopedia of World Geography, McColl, R. W., 2014-05-14, Infobase Publishing, 9780816072293, en, BOOK,weblink Encyclopedia of National Dress: Traditional Clothing Around the World [2 Volumes], Condra, Jill, 2013-04-09, ABC-CLIO, 9780313376375, en, BOOK,weblink The Everything Understanding Islam Book: A Complete and Easy to Read Guide to Muslim Beliefs, Practices, Traditions, and Culture, Dodge, Christine Huda, 2003-04-01, Simon and Schuster, 9781605505459, en, NEWS,weblink 15 Largest Peninsulas In The World, WorldAtlas, 2017-10-21, en, The peninsula consists of the countries Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.Geopolitics of the World System – Page 337, Saul Bernard Cohen – 2003 The 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 to the northeast, the Levant to the north and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. The peninsula plays a critical geopolitical role in the Arab world due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas.Before the modern era, it was divided into four distinct regions: Red Sea Coast (Tihamah), Central Plateau (Al-Yamama), Indian Ocean Coast (Hadhramaut) and Persian Gulf Coast (Al-Bahrain). Hejaz and Najd make up most of Saudi Arabia. Southern Arabia consists of Yemen and some parts of Saudi Arabia (Najran, Jizan, Asir) and Oman (Dhofar). Eastern Arabia consists of the entire coastal strip of the Persian Gulf.


{{see also|Geography of Saudi Arabia}}(File:Two-point-equidistant-asia.jpg|thumb|Africa, Arabian subcontinent (Asia), and Eurasia)The Arabian Peninsula is located in the continent of Asia and bounded by (clockwise) the Persian Gulf on the northeast, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman on the east, the Arabian Sea on the southeast and south, the Gulf of Aden on the south, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait on the southwest and the Red Sea, which is located on the southwest and west.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Arabia, Britannica Online Encyclopedia, 2011-05-21,weblink The northern portion of the peninsula merges with the Syrian Desert with no clear borderline, although the northern boundary of the peninsula is generally considered to be the northern borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.The most prominent feature of the peninsula is desert, but in the southwest, there are mountain ranges, which receive greater rainfall than the rest of the peninsula. Harrat ash Shaam is a large volcanic field that extends from northwestern Arabia into Jordan and southern Syria.JOURNAL, Weinstein, Y., A transition from strombolian to phreatomagmatic activity induced by a lava flow damming water in a valley, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1 January 2007, 159, 1–3, Pages 267–284, 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2006.06.015,

Political boundaries

(File:Arabian peninsula definition.PNG|thumb|left|The Peninsula)The peninsula's constituent countries are (clockwise north to south) Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the east, Oman on the southeast, Yemen on the south and Saudi Arabia at the center. The island nation of Bahrain lies off the east coast of the peninsula.Six countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman) form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).A.S. Alsharhan, Z. A. Rizk, A. E. M. Nairn [et al.], 2001, Waterology of an Arid Region, Elsevier.(File:Map of the Arabic peninsula - en.svg|thumb|right|350px|Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries)The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia covers the greater part of the peninsula. The majority of the population of the peninsula live in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The peninsula contains the world's largest reserves of oil. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are economically the wealthiest in the region. Qatar, a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf on the larger peninsula, is home to the Arabic-language television station Al Jazeera and its English-language subsidiary Al Jazeera English. Kuwait, on the border with Iraq, is an important country strategically, forming one of the main staging grounds for coalition forces mounting the invasion of Iraq in 2003.


{{Historical populations|type =WORK=CENSUS.GOVARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150924122421/HTTP://WWW.CENSUS.GOV/POPULATION/INTERNATIONAL/DATA/IDB/REGION.PHP?N=%20RESULTS%20&T=6&A=SEPARATE&RT=0&Y=1950,1960,1970,1980,1990,2000,2010&R=-1&C=BA,KU,MU,QA,SA,AE,YMURL-STATUS=DEAD, 2000–2014HTTP://WWW.CITYPOPULATION.DE/ASIA.HTML>TITLE=ASIA: POPULATION STATISTICS IN MAPS AND CHARTS FOR CITIES, AGGLOMERATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS OF ALL COUNTRIES IN ASIA,, 9,481,713 11,788,232 15,319,678 23,286,256 35,167,708 47,466,523 63,364,000 77,584,000}}{{Historical populations|type =WORK=CENSUS.GOVARCHIVE-URL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150924122419/HTTP://WWW.CENSUS.GOV/POPULATION/INTERNATIONAL/DATA/IDB/REGION.PHP?N=%20RESULTS%20&T=6&A=BOTH&RT=0&Y=1950,1960,1970,1980,1990,2000,2010&R=-1&C=BA,KU,QA,AEURL-STATUS=DEAD, 2000–2014 356,235 1,329,168 4,896,491 11,457,000 17,086,000}}Though historically lightly populated, political Arabia is noted for a high population growth rate – as the result of both very strong inflows of migrant labor as well as sustained high birth rates. The population tends to be relatively young and heavily skewed gender ratio dominated by males. In many states, the number of South Asians exceeds that of the local citizenry. The four smallest states (by area), which have their entire coastlines on the Persian Gulf, exhibit the world's most extreme population growth, roughly tripling every 20 years. In 2014, the estimated population of the Arabian Peninsula was 77,983,936 (including expatriates).WEB,weblink The World Fact book, Central Intelligence Agency, 2008-08-12, 2007-08-07,weblink 12 August 2008, live, The Arabian Peninsula is known for having one of the most uneven adult sex ratios in the world with females in some regions (especially the east) constituting only a quarter of vicenarians and tricenarians.Alrouh, Hekmat, Awatef Ismail, and Sohaila Cheema. "Demographic and health indicators in Gulf Cooperation Council nations with an emphasis on Qatar." Journal of Local and Global Health Perspectives (2013): p 4


(File:Distribution Haplogroup J1 Y-DNA.svg|thumb|left|Distribution of J1 haplogroup)Listed here are the human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups in Arabia (Yemen,WEB,weblink Yemen – Ancestral Genography Atlas, Oman,WEB,weblink Oman – Ancestral Genography Atlas, Qatar,WEB,weblink Qatar – Ancestral Genography Atlas, Kuwait,WEB,weblink Kuwait – Ancestral Genography Atlas, Saudi ArabiaWEB,weblink Saudi Arabia – Ancestral Genography Atlas, and the United Arab Emirates)WEB,weblink United Arab Emirates – Ancestral Genography Atlas, Bekada A, Fregel R, Cabrera VM, Larruga JM, Pestano J, et al. (2013) Introducing the Algerian Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome Profiles into the North African Landscape. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56775. {{doi|10.1371/journal.pone.0056775}}Table S6. Y-chromosome haplogroup frequencies (%) in the studied populations. {{doi|10.1371/journal.pone.0056775.s006}} (XLS)Haplogroup J is the most abundant component in the Arabian peninsula, embracing more than 50% of its Y-chromosomes. Its two main subclades (J1-M267 and J2-M172), show opposite latitudinal gradients in the Middle East. J1-M267 is more abundant in the southern areas, reaching a frequency around 73% in Yemen, whereas J2-M172 is more common in the Levant.J (L222.2) Accounts for the majority of (L147.1) in Saudi Arabia. It seems to be an exclusively Adnani marker.JOURNAL, Saudi Arabian Y-Chromosome diversity and its relationship with nearby regions, Khaled K, Abu-Amero, Ali, Hellani, Ana M, González, Jose M, Larruga, Vicente M, Cabrera, Peter A, Underhill, 22 September 2009, BMC Genet, 10, 59, 10.1186/1471-2156-10-59, 19772609, 2759955, WEB, The Genetic Atlas,weblink, 2015-10-11,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-05-25, dead, Haplogroup J 54.8% Haplogroup E 17.5% R 11.6% Haplogroup T-M184 5.1%


{{multiple image |align=right |direction=vertical
|image1=A journey.jpg |caption1=A caravan crossing Ad-Dahna Desert in central Saudi Arabia
|image2=Ras al jinz flickr01.jpg |caption2=Ras al-Jinz in southeastern Arabia (Oman), also known as the 'Turtle Beach'
|image3=Arabian Plate map-uni.png |caption3=AR-Arabian Plate, velocities with respect to Africa in millimeters per year
}}Geologically, this region is perhaps more appropriately called the Arabian subcontinent because it lies on a tectonic plate of its own, the Arabian Plate, which has been moving incrementally away from the rest of Africa (forming the Red Sea) and north, toward Asia, into the Eurasian Plate (forming the Zagros Mountains). The rocks exposed vary systematically across Arabia, with the oldest rocks exposed in the Arabian-Nubian Shield near the Red Sea, overlain by earlier sediments that become younger towards the Persian Gulf. Perhaps the best-preserved ophiolite on Earth, the Semail Ophiolite, lies exposed in the mountains of the UAE and northern Oman.The peninsula consists of:
  1. A central plateau, the Najd, with fertile valleys and pastures used for the grazing of sheep and other livestock
  2. A range of deserts: the Nefud in the north,BOOK, Prothero, G.W., Arabia, 1920, H.M. Stationery Office, London, 15,weblink which is stony; the Rub' al Khali or Great Arabian Desert in the south, with sand estimated to extend {{convert|600|ft|m|abbr=on}} below the surface; between them, the Dahna
  3. MountainsBOOK, Robert D. Burrowes, Historical Dictionary of Yemen, 5–340, Rowman & Littlefield, 2010,weblink 978-0-8108-5528-1, BOOK, McLaughlin, Daniel, Yemen, Bradt Travel Guides, 1: Background, 3, 978-1-8416-2212-5,weblink 2008, BOOK, Cavendish, Marshall, Marshall Cavendish, World and Its Peoples, 1, Geography and climate, 2007, Cavendish Square Publishing, 978-0-7614-7571-2, 8–19,weblink
  4. Stretches of dry or marshy coastland with coral reefs on the Red Sea side (Tihamah)
  5. Oases and marshy coast-land in Eastern Arabia on the Persian Gulf side, the most important of which are those of Al Ain (in the UAE, on the border with Oman) and Al-Hasa (in Saudi Arabia), according to one author
Arabia has few lakes or permanent rivers. Most areas are drained by ephemeral watercourses called wadis, which are dry except during the rainy season. Plentiful ancient aquifers exist beneath much of the peninsula, however, and where this water surfaces, oases form (e.g. Al-Hasa and Qatif, two of the world's largest oases) and permit agriculture, especially palm trees, which allowed the peninsula to produce more dates than any other region in the world. In general, the climate is extremely hot and arid, although there are exceptions. Higher elevations are made temperate by their altitude, and the Arabian Sea coastline can receive surprisingly cool, humid breezes in summer due to cold upwelling offshore. The peninsula has no thick forests. Desert-adapted wildlife is present throughout the region.According to NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data (2003–2013) analysed in a University of California, Irvine (UCI)-led study published in Water Resources Research on 16 June 2015, the most over-stressed aquifer system in the world is the Arabian Aquifer System, upon which more than 60 million people depend for water.{{citation |url= |work=NASA |date=16 June 2015 |accessdate=26 June 2015 |title=Study: Third of Big Groundwater Basins in Distress}} Twenty-one of the thirty seven largest aquifers "have exceeded sustainability tipping points and are being depleted" and thirteen of them are "considered significantly distressed."A plateau more than {{convert|2500|ft|m}} high extends across much of the Arabian Peninsula. The plateau slopes eastwards from the massive, rifted escarpment along the coast of the Red Sea, to the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf. The interior is characterised by cuestas and valleys, drained by a system of wadis. A crescent of sand and gravel deserts lies to the east.


File:Jebel Hafeet sunrise.jpg|thumb|left|Jebel Hafeet on the border of Oman and the UAE, near the city of Al Ain. It can be considered an outlier of Al Hajar MountainsAl Hajar MountainsThere are mountains at the eastern, southern and northwestern borders of the peninsula. Broadly, the ranges can be grouped as follows:
  • Northeast: The Hajar range, shared by the UAE and northern Oman
  • Southeast: The Dhofar Mountains of southern Oman, contiguous with the eastern Yemeni HadhramautBOOK, Scoville, Sheila A., Gazetteer of Arabia: a geographical and tribal history of the Arabian Peninsula, 2, 117–288, Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt,weblink 978-0-7614-7571-2, 2006, BOOK, Ghazanfar, Shahina A., Fisher, Martin, Vegetation of the Arabian Peninsula, Springer Science+Business Media, Springer Science & Business Media, 1–2, 27–55, 978-9-4017-3637-4, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat,weblink 2013-04-17,
  • West: Bordering the eastern coast of the Red Sea are the Sarawat, which can be seen to include the Haraz Mountains of eastern Yemen, and the 'AsirBOOK, Overstreet, William Courtney, Tertiary laterite of the As Sarat Mountains, Asir Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Directorate General of Mineral Resources, 2, iii–2,weblink 1977, and Hijaz Mountains of western Saudi Arabia,BOOK, Mandal, Ram Bahadur, Patterns of Regional Geography: World regions, Concept Publishing Company, VI: A Regional Geography, 354, 978-8-1702-2292-7, New Delhi, India,weblink 1990, BOOK, Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, Hossein Nasr, Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant: The Holiest Cities of Islam, Tuttle Publishing, 1: The Holiest Cities of Islam, 978-1-4629-1365-7,weblink 2013, the latter including the Midian in northwestern Saudi Arabia
  • Northwest: Aside from the Sarawat, the northern portion of Saudi Arabia hosts the Shammar Mountains, which include the Aja and Salma subranges
  • Central: The Najd hosts the Tuwaiq Escarpment or Tuwair range
From the Hejaz southwards, the mountains show a steady increase in altitude westward as they get nearer to Yemen, and the highest peaks and ranges are all located in Yemen. The highest, Jabal An-Nabi Shu'ayb of the Haraz subrange of the Sarawat range, is about {{convert|3,666|m|mile|abbr=on}} high. By comparison, the Tuwayr, Shammar and Dhofar generally do not exceed {{convert|1,000|m|mile|abbr=on}} in height.Not all mountains in the peninsula are visibly within ranges. Jebel Hafeet in particular, on the border of the UAE and Oman, measuring between {{cvt|1,100|and|1,300|m}},JOURNAL, Gardner, Andrew Somerville, The reptiles of Jebel Hafeet, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, ADCO and Emirates Natural History Group, 149–168,weblink January 2004, 2019-01-14, BOOK, Lieth, Helmut, Al Masoom, A. A., Towards the rational use of high salinity tolerant plants: Vol 2: Agriculture and forestry under marginal soil water conditions, Springer Science+Business Media, 2: Agriculture and forestry under marginal soil water conditions, Reclamation potentials of saline degraded lands in Abu Dhabi eastern region using high salinity-tolerant woody plants and some salt marsh species, 271–274, 978-9-4011-1860-6,weblink 2012-12-06, is not within the Hajar range, sensu stricto, but may be considered an outlier of that range.File:Contrasting Landscape.jpg|The northeastern Hajar Mountains, shared by Oman and the UAE, as seen from the desert of SharjahFile:Salalah Oman.jpg|The Dhofar mountainous region in southeastern Oman, where the city of Salalah is located, is a tourist destination known for its annual khareef seasonFile:1992 Mukalla.jpg|The Hadhramaut Mountains of eastern Yemen, contiguous with the Omani Dhofar range, as seen from the city of Al-MukallaFile:Yemen landscape 05.jpg|Terraced fields in the Haraz subrange of the Sarawat Mountains in western YemenFile:جبل السودة.jpg|Jabal Sawdah of the 'Asir range in southwestern Saudi Arabia, near the border with YemenFile:Sevrmagara2.JPG|The Hijaz Mountains of western Saudi Arabia, as seen from the Hejazi city of MakkahFile:علقان4 (9411760068).jpg|The Midian Mountains of Tabuk Province, in northwestern Saudi Arabia, near the border with JordanFile:منظر من جو - panoramio.jpg|The Aja subrange of the Shammar Mountains in the region of Ha'il, northern Saudi ArabiaFile:Tuwaik escarpment-15h23m15s-s.jpg|The Tuwaiq Escarpment or Tuwayr mountainous region in the Najd, southwest of the Saudi capital city of Riyadh{{Mountains in the Arabian Peninsula}}

Land and sea

{{multiple image |align=right |direction=vertical
|image1=Al hafa corniche.jpg |caption1=Coconut palms line corniches of Al-Hafa, Oman
|image2=Coral Reef in the Red Sea.JPG |caption2=Red Sea coral reefs
}}Most of the Arabian Peninsula is unsuited to agriculture, making irrigation and land reclamation projects essential. The narrow coastal plain and isolated oases, amounting to less than 1% of the land area, are used to cultivate grains, coffee and tropical fruits. Goat, sheep, and camel husbandry is widespread elsewhere throughout the rest of the Peninsula. Some areas have a summer humid tropical monsoon climate, in particular the Dhofar and Al Mahrah areas of Oman and Yemen. These areas allow for large scale coconut plantations. Much of Yemen has a tropical monsoon rain influenced mountain climate. The plains usually have either a tropical or subtropical arid desert climate or arid steppe climate. The sea surrounding the Arabian Peninsula is generally tropical sea with a very rich tropical sea life and some of the world's largest, undestroyed and most pristine coral reefs. In addition, the organisms living in symbiosis with the Red Sea coral, the protozoa and zooxanthellae, have a unique hot weather adaptation to sudden rise (and fall) in sea water temperature. Hence, these coral reefs are not affected by coral bleaching caused by rise in temperature as elsewhere in the indopacific coral sea. The reefs are also unaffected by mass tourism and diving or other large scale human interference. However, some reefs were destroyed in the Persian Gulf, mostly caused by phosphate water pollution and resultant increase in algae growth as well as oil pollution from ships and pipeline leakage.{{Citation needed|date=September 2013}}The fertile soils of Yemen have encouraged settlement of almost all of the land from sea level up to the mountains at {{convert|10000|ft|m}}. In the higher reaches, elaborate terraces have been constructed to facilitate grain, fruit, coffee, ginger and khat cultivation. The Arabian peninsula is known for its rich oil, i.e. petroleum production due to its geographical location.{{cn|date=January 2019}}


During the Hellenistic period, the area was known as Arabia or Aravia (). The Romans named three regions with the prefix "Arabia", encompassing a larger area than the current term "Arabian Peninsula": The Arab inhabitants used a north-south division of Arabia: Al Sham-Al Yaman, or Arabia Deserta-Arabia Felix. Arabia Felix had originally been used for the whole peninsula, and at other times only for the southern region. Because its use became limited to the south, the whole peninsula was simply called Arabia. Arabia Deserta was the entire desert region extending north from Arabia Felix to Palmyra and the Euphrates, including all the area between Pelusium on the Nile and Babylon. This area was also called Arabia and not sharply distinguished from the peninsula.See Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt, David Frankfurter, BRILL, 1998, {{ISBN|90-04-11127-1}}, page 163The Arabs and the Ottoman Empire considered the west of the Arabian Peninsula region where the Arabs lived 'the land of the Arabs' – Bilad al-Arab (Arabia), and its major divisions were the bilad al-Sham (Syria), bilad al-Yaman (the Land of the southern Peninsula), and Bilad al-Iraq and modern-day Kuwait (the Land of the River Banks).BOOK,weblink A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered, Kamal Suleiman, Salibi, University of California Press, 1988, 978-0-520-07196-4, 60–61, The Ottomans used the term Arabistan in a broad sense for the subcontinent itself starting from Cilicia, where the Euphrates river makes its descent into Syria, through Palestine, and on through the remainder of the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas.See for example Palestine: The Reality, Joseph Mary Nagle Jeffries, Published by Longmans, Green and co., 1939, Page 4The provinces of Arabia were: Al Tih, the Sinai peninsula, Hedjaz, Asir, Yemen, Hadramaut, Mahra and Shilu, Oman, Hasa, Bahrain, Dahna, Nufud, the Hammad, which included the deserts of Syria, Mesopotamia and Babylonia.see Review of Reviews and World's Work: An International Magazine, Albert Shaw ed., The Review of Reviews Corporation, 1919, page 408]WEB,weblink New International Encyclopedia – 2nd Edition, Dodd, Mead, Co., 1914, 795,, 1914,


File:HistoricCoins.jpg|thumb|Ancient coins from Failaka Island, KuwaitKuwaitThe history of the Arabian Peninsula goes back to the beginnings of human habitation in Arabia up to 130,000 years ago.JOURNAL, Uerpmann, Hans-Peter, Usik, Vitaly I., Parker, Adrian G., Marks, Anthony E., Jasim, Sabah A., Armitage, Simon J., 2011-01-28, The Southern Route “Out of Africa”: Evidence for an Early Expansion of Modern Humans into Arabia,weblink Science, en, 331, 6016, 453–456, 10.1126/science.1199113, 0036-8075, 21273486, However, a homo sapien fossilized finger bone was found at Al Wusta in the Nefud Desert, which indicates that the first human migration out of Africa to Arabia might date back to approximately 90,000 years ago.WEB,weblink First human migration out of Africa more geographically widespread than previously thought, Eurek Alert, 9 April 2018, Nevertheless, the stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic age along with fossils of other animals discovered at Ti's al Ghadah, in northwestern Saudi Arabia, might imply that hominids migrated through a "Green Arabia" between 300,000 and 500,000 years ago.JOURNAL, Roberts, Patrick, Stewart, Mathew, Alagaili, Abdulaziz N., Breeze, Paul, Candy, Ian, Drake, Nick, Groucutt, Huw S., Scerri, Eleanor M. L., Lee-Thorp, Julia, Louys, Julien, Zalmout, Iyad S., Al-Mufarreh, Yahya S. A., Zech, Jana, Alsharekh, Abdullah M., al Omari, Abdulaziz, Boivin, Nicole, Petraglia, Michael, Fossil herbivore stable isotopes reveal middle Pleistocene hominin palaeoenvironment in 'Green Arabia', Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2, 12, 1871–1878,weblink Nature, 29 October 2018, 10.1038/s41559-018-0698-9, 30374171, Acheulean tools found in Saffaqah, Riyadh Region reveal that hominins lived in the Arabian Peninsula as recently as 188,000 years ago.JOURNAL, Scerri, Eleanor M. L., Shipton, Ceri, Clark-Balzan, Laine, Frouin, Marine, Schwenninger, Jean-Luc, Groucutt, Huw S., Breeze, Paul S., Parton, Ash, Blinkhorn, James, Drake, Nick A., Jennings, Richard, Cuthbertson, Patrick, Al Omari, Abdulaziz, Alsharekh, Abdullah M., Petraglia, Michael D., The expansion of later Acheulean hominins into the Arabian Peninsula, Scientific Reports, 8, 1, 17165,weblink 29 November 2018, 10.1038/s41598-018-35242-5, 30498259, 6265249,

Pre-Islamic Arabia

File:Panel Almaqah Louvre DAO18.jpg|thumb|upright|Sabaean inscription addressed to the god AlmaqahAlmaqahThere is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about 106,000 to 130,000 years ago.Saudi Embassy (US) Website {{webarchive|url= |date=2016-03-04 }} retrieved 20 January 2011 The harsh climate historically{{when|date=July 2019}} prevented much settlement in the pre-Islamic Arabian peninsula, apart from a small number of urban trading settlements, such as Mecca and Medina, located in the Hejaz in the west of the peninsula.BOOK, The Rise of Islam, Gordon, Matthew, 2005, 978-0-313-32522-9, 4, Archaeology has revealed the existence of many civilizations in pre-Islamic Arabia (such as the Thamud), especially in South Arabia.BOOK, Robert D. Burrowes, 2010, Historical Dictionary of Yemen, 319, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-0810855281, BOOK, Kenneth Anderson Kitchen, 2003, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, 116, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 978-0802849601, South Arabian civilizations include the Sheba, the Himyarite Kingdom, the Kingdom of Awsan, the Kingdom of Ma'Ä«n and the Sabaean Kingdom. Central Arabia was the location of the Kingdom of Kindah in the 4th, 5th and early 6th centuries AD. Eastern Arabia was home to the Dilmun civilization. The earliest known events in Arabian history are migrations from the peninsula into neighbouring areas.Philip Khuri Hitti (2002), History of the Arabs, Revised: 10th EditionThe Arabian peninsula has long been accepted as the original Urheimat of the Semitic languages by a majority of scholars.Gray, Louis Herbert (2006) Introduction to Semitic Comparative LinguisticsCourtenay, James John (2009) The Language of Palestine and Adjacent RegionsKienast, Burkhart. (2001). Historische semitische Sprachwissenschaft.Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1995) The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Rise of Islam

File:Map of expansion of Caliphate.svg|upright=1.6|thumb|Age of the Caliphs {{legend|#a1584e|Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632/A.H. 1–11}} {{legend|#ef9070|Expansion during Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661/A.H. 11–40}} {{legend|#fad07d|Expansion during the Umayyad CaliphateCaliphateFile:Map of Arabia 600 AD.svg|thumb|upright=1.2|Approximate locations of some of the important tribes and Empire of the Arabian Peninsula around the time that MuhammadMuhammadThe seventh century saw the rise of Islam as the peninsula's dominant religion. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in about 570 and first began preaching in the city in 610, but migrated to Medina in 622. From there he and his companions united the tribes of Arabia under the banner of Islam and created a single Arab Muslim religious polity in the Arabian peninsula.Muhammad established a new unified polity in the Arabian peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Arab power well beyond the Arabian peninsula in the form of a vast Muslim Arab Empire with an area of influence that stretched from the northwest Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees.Muhammad began preaching Islam at Mecca before migrating to Medina, from where he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Arab Muslim religious polity. With Muhammad's death in 632 AD, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, who was Muhammad's intimate friend and collaborator. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated his successor. Abu Bakr's immediate task was to avenge a recent defeat by Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire) forces, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode known as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy".See:
  • Holt (1977a), p.57
  • Hourani (2003), p.22
  • Lapidus (2002), p.32
  • Madelung (1996), p.43
  • Tabatabaei (1979), p.30–50
Following Muhammad's death in 632, Abu Bakr became leader of the Muslims as the first Caliph. After putting down a rebellion by the Arab tribes (known as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy"), Abu Bakr attacked the Byzantine Empire. On his death in 634, he was succeeded by Umar as caliph, followed by Uthman ibn al-Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib. The period of these first four caliphs is known as al-khulafā' ar-rāshidūn: the Rashidun or "rightly guided" Caliphate. Under the Rashidun Caliphs, and, from 661, their Umayyad successors, the Arabs rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim control outside of Arabia. In a matter of decades Muslim armies decisively defeated the Byzantine army and destroyed the Persian Empire, conquering huge swathes of territory from the Iberian peninsula to India. The political focus of the Muslim world then shifted to the newly conquered territories.See: Holt (1977a), p.57, Hourani (2003), p.22, Lapidus (2002), p.32, Madelung (1996), p.43, Tabatabaei (1979), p.30–50ENCYCLOPEDIA, Islam, Encyclopaedia of Islam Online, L. Gardet, J. Jomier, Nevertheless, Mecca and Medina remained the spiritually most important places in the Muslim world. The Qur'an requires every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, as one of the five pillars of Islam, to make a pilgrimage, or Hajj, to Mecca during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah at least once in his or her lifetime.Farah, Caesar (1994). Islam: Beliefs and Observances (5th ed.), pp.145–147 {{ISBN|978-0-8120-1853-0}} The Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque) in Mecca is the location of the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, and the Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet's Mosque) in Medina is the location of Muhammad tomb; as a result, from the 7th century, Mecca and Medina became the pilgrimage destinations for large numbers of Muslims from across the Islamic world.Goldschmidt, Jr., Arthur; Lawrence Davidson (2005). A Concise History of the Middle East (8th ed.), p.48 {{ISBN|978-0-8133-4275-7}}

Middle Ages

Despite its spiritual importance, in political terms Arabia soon became a peripheral region of the Islamic world, in which the most important medieval Islamic states were based at various times in such far away cities as Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo.However, from the 10th century (and, in fact, until the 20th century) the Hashemite Sharifs of Mecca maintained a state in the most developed part of the region, the Hejaz. Their domain originally comprised only the holy cities of Mecca and Medina but in the 13th century it was extended to include the rest of the Hejaz. Although, the Sharifs exercised at most times independent authority in the Hejaz, they were usually subject to the suzerainty of one of the major Islamic empires of the time. In the Middle Ages, these included the Abbasids of Baghdad, and the Fatimids, Ayyubids and Mamluks of Egypt.Encyclopædia Britannica Online: History of Arabia retrieved 18 January 2011

Modern history

File:Ottoman empire.svg|thumb|upright=1.2|Ottoman territories acquired between 1481 and 1683 ((List of Ottoman Empire dominated territories|See: list of territories))]]The provincial Ottoman Army for Arabia (Arabistan Ordusu) was headquartered in Syria, which included Palestine, the Transjordan region in addition to Lebanon (Mount Lebanon was, however, a semi-autonomous mutasarrifate). It was put in charge of Syria, Cilicia, Iraq, and the remainder of the Arabian Peninsula.see History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Stanford J. Shaw, Ezel Kural Shaw, Cambridge University Press, 1977, {{ISBN|0-521-29166-6}}, page 85The Politics of Interventionism in Ottoman Lebanon, 1830–1861, by Caesar E. Farah, explains that Mount Lebanon was in the jurisdiction of the Arabistan Army, and that its headquarters was briefly moved to Beirut. The Ottomans never had any control over central Arabia, also known as the Najd region.The Damascus Protocol of 1914 provides an illustration of the regional relationships. Arabs living in one of the existing districts of the Arabian peninsula, the Emirate of Hejaz, asked for a British guarantee of independence. Their proposal included all Arab lands south of a line roughly corresponding to the northern frontiers of present-day Syria and Iraq. They envisioned a new Arab state, or confederation of states, adjoining the southern Arabian Peninsula. It would have comprised Cilicia – İskenderun and Mersin, Iraq with Kuwait, Syria, Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, Jordan, and Palestine.As cited by R, John and S. Hadawi's, Palestine Diary, pp. 30–31, the 'Damascus Protocol' stated: "The recognition by Great Britain of the independence of the Arab countries lying within the following frontiers: North: The Line Mersin_Adana to parallel 37N. and thence along the line Birejek-Urga-Mardin-Kidiat-Jazirat (Ibn 'Unear)-Amadia to the Persian frontier; East: The Persian frontier down to the Persian Gulf; South: The Indian Ocean (with the exclusion of Aden, whose status was to be maintained). West: The Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea back to Mersin. The abolition of all exceptional privileges granted to foreigners under the capitulations. The conclusion of a defensive alliance between Great Britain and the future independent Arab State. The grant of economic preference to Great Britain." see King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz, By Randall Baker, Oleander Press, 1979, {{ISBN|0-900891-48-3}}, pages 64–65In the modern era, the term bilad al-Yaman came to refer specifically to the southwestern parts of the peninsula. Arab geographers started to refer to the whole peninsula as 'jazirat al-Arab', or the peninsula of the Arabs.BOOK,weblink A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered, Kamal Suleiman, Salibi, University of California Press, 1988, 978-0-520-07196-4, 60–61,

Late Ottoman rule and the Hejaz Railway

(File:Arabia 1914.png|thumb|upright=1.2|The peninsula in 1914)In the beginning of the 20th century, the Ottomans embarked on an ambitious project: the construction of a railway connecting Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, and Hejaz with its holiest shrines of Islam which are the yearly pilgrimage destination of the Hajj. Another important goal was to improve the economic and political integration of the distant Arabian provinces into the Ottoman state, and to facilitate the transportation of military troops in case of need.The Hejaz Railway was a narrow gauge railway ({{convert|1050|km|mile|abbr=on}}) that ran from Damascus to Medina, through the Hejaz region of Arabia. It was originally planned to reach the holy city of Mecca, but due to the interruption of the construction works caused by the outbreak of World War I, it eventually only reached Medina. It was a part of the Ottoman railway network and was built in order to extend the previously existing line between Istanbul and Damascus (which began from the HaydarpaÅŸa Terminal).The railway was started in 1900 at the behest of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II and was built largely by the Turks, with German advice and support. A public subscription was opened throughout the Islamic world to fund the construction. The railway was to be a waqf, an inalienable religious endowment or charitable trust.King Hussein And The Kingdom of Hejaz, Randall Baker, Oleander Press 1979, {{ISBN|0-900891-48-3}}, page 18

The Arab Revolt and the foundation of Saudi Arabia

The major developments of the early 20th century were the Arab Revolt during World War I and the subsequent collapse and partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Arab Revolt (1916–1918) was initiated by the Sherif Hussein ibn Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Empire and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen. During World War I, the Sharif Hussein entered into an alliance with the United Kingdom and France against the Ottomans in June 1916.These events were followed by the foundation of Saudi Arabia under King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. In 1902, Ibn Saud had captured Riyadh. Continuing his conquests, Abdulaziz subdued Al-Hasa, Jabal Shammar, Hejaz between 1913 and 1926 founded the modern state of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis absorbed the Emirate of Asir, with their expansion only ending in 1934 after a war with Yemen. Two Saudi states were formed and controlled much of Arabia before Ibn Saud was even born. Ibn Saud, however, established the third Saudi state.

Oil reserves

The second major development has been the discovery of vast reserves of oil in the 1930s. Its production brought great wealth to all countries of the region, with the exception of Yemen.

Civil war in Yemen

The North Yemen Civil War was fought in North Yemen between royalists of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen and factions of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1962 to 1970. The war began with a coup d'état carried out by the republican leader, Abdullah as-Sallal, which dethroned the newly crowned Muhammad al-Badr and declared Yemen a republic under his presidency. The Imam escaped to the Saudi Arabian border and rallied popular support.The royalist side received support from Saudi Arabia, while the republicans were supported by Egypt and the Soviet Union. Both foreign irregular and conventional forces were also involved. The Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, supported the republicans with as many as 70,000 troops. Despite several military moves and peace conferences, the war sank into a stalemate. Egypt's commitment to the war is considered to have been detrimental to its performance in the Six-Day War of June 1967, after which Nasser found it increasingly difficult to maintain his army's involvement and began to pull his forces out of Yemen.By 1970, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia recognized the republic and a truce was signed. Egyptian military historians refer to the war in Yemen as their Vietnam.NEWS, Jan–Feb, 2004, Aboul-Enein, Youssef, The Egyptian-Yemen War: Egyptian perspectives on Guerrilla warfare, Infantry Magazine, October 3, 2008, 2004-01-01,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 2007-02-03,

Gulf War

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.see Richard Schofield, Kuwait and Iraq: Historical Claims and Territorial. Disputes, London: Royal Institute of International Affairs 1991, {{ISBN|0-905031-35-0}} and The Kuwait Crisis: Basic Documents, By E. Lauterpacht, C. J. Greenwood, Marc Weller, Published by Cambridge University Press, 1991, {{ISBN|0-521-46308-4}}
The invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces led to the 1990–91 Gulf War. Egypt, Qatar, Syria and Saudi Arabia joined a multinational coalition that opposed Iraq. Displays of support for Iraq by Jordan and Palestine resulted in strained relations between many of the Arab states. After the war, a so-called "Damascus Declaration" formalized an alliance for future joint Arab defensive actions between Egypt, Syria, and the GCC member states.Egypt's Bid for Arab Leadership: Implications for U.S. Policy, By Gregory L. Aftandilian, Published by Council on Foreign Relations, 1993, {{ISBN|0-87609-146-X}}, pages 6–8

Yemen Arab Spring

The Arab Spring reached Yemen in January 2011.BBC World News Arab Uprising:Country by Country -YemenPeople of Yemen took to the street demonstrating against three decades of rule by President Ali Abdullah Saleh.Cornell University LibraryArab Spring:A Research & Study Guide:Yemen Last Updated: May 9,2019The demonstration lead to cracks in the ruling General Peoples Congress (GPC) and Saleh's Sanhani clan.Britannica.comYemen Uprising of 2011-12Written By:The editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. Saleh used tactic of concession and violence to save his presidency.University LibraryUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-champaignguides.library.eduArab Spring Workshop:YemenAfter numerous attempt Saleh accepted the Gulf Cooperation Council mediation. He eventually handed power to Vice President Hadi. He was sworn in as President of Yemen on Feb 25,2012. He launched a national dialogue to address new constitution, political and social issues.

Transport and industry

The extraction and refining of oil and gas are the major industrial activities in the Arabian Peninsula. The region also has an active construction sector, with many cities reflecting the wealth generated by the oil industry. The service sector is dominated by financial and technical institutions, which, like the construction sector, mainly serve the oil industry. Traditional handicrafts such as carpet-weaving are found in rural areas of Arabia.{{cn|date=January 2019}}


File:Sanaa.JPG|The old city of Sana'a, Yemen. Peninsular Arabs trace their lineage to Qahtan, who was reportedly based in Yemen.File:Map of Ancient Arabia - 1720.tif|A map of the peninsula made in 1720 by the German publisher Christoph WeigelFile:Western Europe to the Arabian Peninsula.ogv|This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the ISS on a pass from Western Europe to the peninsula

See also



External links

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