The Arabian Sea is a part of the Indian Ocean that encompasses an area of 3,862,000 km2 and has a maximum depth of 4,652 m. The sea is bordered by Pakistan and Iran to the north, the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Peninsula, and Guardafui Channel to the west, while the Laccadive Sea, Somali Sea, and India border the Arabian Sea to the southeast, southwest, and east, respectively. The Arabian Sea contains several islands and archipelagos, the largest of which are highlighted below.
The Biggest Islands and Archipelagos in the Arabian Sea
Socotra is the largest island in the Arabian Sea, as well as the largest of four islands in the Socotra archipelago, which is located between the Arabian Sea and Guardafui Channel. The island constitutes 95% of the archipelago's landmass, encompassing an area of 3,665 km2. Socotra is officially part of Yemen, and is administered by the Socotra Governorate. As part of Yemen, Socotra is politically part of Asia, although geographically, the island is considered part of Africa. Socotra has an estimated population of 60,000, and is situated near major shipping routes. The island also features great biodiversity, including many endemic species. In 2008, Socotra was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Masirah Island
Located off the east coast of mainland Oman, Masirah Island is the second largest island in the Arabian Sea. It is also Oman's biggest island and is administrated as a province of the Ash Sharqiyah Region. Masirah Island occupies an area of approximately 649 km2 and has an estimated population of 12,000. The island contains a few small towns, a fish factory, and an airbase of the Royal Air Force of Oman, and its economy is driven by fishing and textile manufacturing. Most of the interior of Masirah Island is deserted, while the population is primarily concentrated in the island's northern coastal region.
Lakshadweep is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, which is part of the larger Arabian Sea. The islands are between 200 to 440 km from southwestern coast of India, and are administered as one of the country's union territories and districts. Lakshadweep occupies a total area of 32 km2, which ranks as the third largest in the Arabian Sea, and had an estimated population of 64,473 in 2011. 10 islands in the archipelago are inhabited, and its economy is driven by fishing and coconut cultivation. Lakshadweep means "one hundred thousand islands" in the local languages.
4. Astola Island
Astola Island is a small Pakistani island in the Arabian Sea. The island is uninhabited and occupies an area of only 6.7 km2. Astola Island is accessible by a five hour boat ride from Pasni, which is located on mainland Pakistan. Astola Island is Pakistan's first Marine Protected Area, established in 2017.