Top Facts About The Arabian Desert

By Antonia Čirjak on July 11 2020 in Geography

The Arabian Desert is, as all deserts are, a place where the living conditions are very challenging.
The Arabian Desert is, as all deserts are, a place where the living conditions are very challenging.
  • Arabian Desert is behind the Saharan and the Australian Desert covering a vast area of 2,300,000 square kilometers (around 900,000 square miles). 
  • Temperatures in the Arabian Desert during the summertime can climb up to 130°F.
  • The amount of rain that falls on the ground is around 100 mm per year (4 inches). So, the skies above the Arabian Deserts are mostly clear, unless there is a desert storm. 
  • The east part of the Arabian Desert is the richest place on Earth when it comes to petroleum.

The Arabian Desert is, as all deserts are, a place where the living conditions are very challenging. Hot temperatures, lack of drinkable water, nowhere to hide from the blazing sun, these are just some of the traits that describe life in the Arabian Desert. 

You may have read how the Arabian Desert is the second largest desert in the world. This would be true if there were not for Antarctica and the Arctic, which are, by definition - deserts. When it comes to subtropical deserts, the one where it is hot and sandy, and not cold and icy, Arabian Desert is behind the Saharan and the Australian Desert covering a vast area of 2,300,000 square kilometers (around 900,000 square miles). 

6. Sun Ablaze

During the most intense summer months, the temperature reaches 55°C (130°F). 
During the most intense summer months, the temperature reaches 55°C (130°F). 

The Arabian Desert is considered a tropical desert, and the temperatures during summertime get pretty extreme here. During the most intense summer months, the temperature reaches 55°C (130°F). 

5. What About Rain?

One common thing that defines all deserts is the fact that there is little to no precipitation throughout the year.
One common thing that defines all deserts is the fact that there is little to no precipitation throughout the year.

One common thing that defines all deserts is the fact that there is little to no precipitation throughout the year. The Arabian Desert is no exception here, and the amount of rain that falls on the ground is around 100 mm per year (4 inches). So, the skies above the Arabian Deserts are mostly clear, unless there is a desert storm. 

4. Sandstorm

Known as ‘’brown rollers’’, the sandstorms that happen in the Arabian Desert can be ferocious.
Known as ‘’brown rollers’’, the sandstorms that happen in the Arabian Desert can be ferocious.

The clear skies above the Arabian Desert can get scaringly dark. Or brown, to be appropriate about the shade of this phenomenon. Known as ‘’brown rollers’’, the sandstorms that happen in the Arabian Desert can be ferocious. They can be more than 100 km wide (around 60 miles) and carry tremendous amounts of sand with the help of a powerful wind. When these types of sandstorms happen, the temperature suddenly drops, along with the atmospheric pressure, which is the rare occasion when it might rain for a short while. 

3. Snow In A Desert?

It actually can snow there, and it indeed did happen so in 1950.
It actually can snow there, and it indeed did happen so in 1950.

It actually can snow there, and it indeed did happen so in 1950. The temperature dropped down to −12°C (10°F), and the Arabian Desert turned white because about 2,5 cm (1 inch) covered the sandy ground.

2. The Animals

A highly venomous Arabian scorpion, Apistobuthus pterygocerus, leaving its tracks on a sand dune in the Empty Quarter Desert.
A highly venomous Arabian scorpion, Apistobuthus pterygocerus, leaving its tracks on a sand dune in the Empty Quarter Desert.

As you might imagine, living in conditions this hard makes the very few survive in the Arabian Desert. However, there is plenty of variety when it comes to insect species in the desert—plenty of mosquitoes, ants, termites, fleas, and lice. Also, the arachnids seem to like the hot sand a lot.

The Arabian Desert is home to many species of scorpions, and they are quite bigger than the one you may have seen on your porch. Growing up to 20 cm (around 8 inches), the Arabian scorpions came in different shades of black, red, green, yellow, and even white. 

1. Petroleum Underneath

Sunset over oil field in the Red sand "Arabian desert" near Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Sunset over oil field in the Red sand "Arabian desert" near Dubai, United Arab Emirates

There are two distinct regions of the Arabian Desert. One is known as the Arabian platform, and it is located in the west. The eastern region is the one that has a very specific sedimentary rock layer. Throughout the last 550 million years, the sediment has been an enormous source of petroleum. The Arabian Desert is when it comes to amounts of petroleum, the richest place on Earth.

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