The Arabian Peninsula, also known as Arabia, is a Western Asian peninsula which is on the Arabian plate. Arabia is sometimes considered to be a subcontinent of Asia. Arabia is the largest peninsula on Earth and it occupies an area of about 1,250,000 square miles. There are nine countries associated with the Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen. The Arabian Peninsula is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Levant, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea.
Arabia plays a key role in the Arab world and Asia due to its vast natural gas and oil reserves. Previously, the region was split into four distinct areas including Eastern Arabia, Southern Arabia, Najd, and Hejaz. The Najd and Hejaz make up a bigger part of Saudi Arabia while Southern Arabia is made up of Yemen and parts of Oman and Saudi Arabia. The Persian Gulf is in Eastern Arabia.
Countries in the Arabian Peninsula
Bahrain is an Arab island state which is made up of numerous islets. It is a constitutional monarchy which is in Arabia. The country has over 1,234,571 residents including about 666,172 non-nationals. It is the third smallest state in Asia right after Singapore and Maldives which occupies an area of about 295.5 square miles. Bahrain has invested in the tourism and banking sectors, and it is known as a high-income economy by the World Bank.
Iraq is a western Asian state which is bordered by Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Iran, and Turkey. Iraq has over 37 milion residents and 95% of them are Muslims. Other religions like Mandeanism, Yezidism, Yarsan, and Christianity also exist in the country. The official languages in the state are Kurdish and Arabic. Iraq’s territory was part of the Ottoman Empire until the twentieth century. Iraq occupies an area of about 168,754 square miles and a 36 mile-long coastline on the Persian Gulf.
Jordan is an autonomous Arab nation which is on the eastern bank of river Jordan in Western Asia. The country is surrounded by Palestine, Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Jordan has a small coastline with the Red Sea while the Dead Sea is on its western boundary. It is on the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Amman is Jordan’s most populated and capital city. Amman is the cultural, political and economic center of the country. Jordan occupies an area of about 34,495 square miles and has a population of over 10 milion people.
Kuwait is a Western Asian state which is on the northernmost edge of the Eastern Arabian Peninsula. Kuwait shares a border with Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The country has over 4.2 million residents, and this included 2.9 million expatriates and 1.3 million Kuwaitis. Oil reserves were discovered in 1938. Iraq annexed Kuwait in 1990. Saddam’s rule over Kuwait ended in 1991 after the intervention of a military coalition under the United States.
Oman is an independent Arab state which is on the southeastern parts of Arabia in Asia. It is an Islamic state which has a strategically crucial position at the Persian Gulf. Oman shares a maritime boundary with Pakistan and Iran. Oman is bordered by Yemen, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The coast of Oman is created by the Oman Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The UAE borders the Musandam and Madha enclaves. Oman occupies an area of about 119,500 square miles and has over 4.4 million residents. A significant percentage of their economy depends on the trade of dates, numerous agricultural produces and fish, and tourism. Oman has the twenty-fifth largest oil reserves on earth.
Qatar is an independent nation which is in the Qatar peninsula. Qatar is on the northeastern parts of Arabia and occupies an area of about 4,471 square miles. Its only land boundary is with Saudi Arabia while the Persian Gulf engulfs the rest of the state. Qatar had over 2.6 million residents in 2017, a number which included 2.3 million expatriates and 313,000 Qatari citizens. It has the top per-capita income on earth. The Qatari Economy is backed by their vast natural gas and oil reserves.
Saudi Arabia is a Western Asian autonomous state which occupies a bigger part of Arabia. It is the biggest state in the Middle East which covers an area of about 830,000 square miles. It is the twelfth largest state on earth, second in the Arab world and fifth largest in Asia. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Yemen, Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, and Iraq.
The Gulf of Aqaba separates Saudi Arabia from Israel and Egypt. A considerable part of its terrain features mountains, lowlands, and an arid desert. It is the only state with both the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea coasts.
The UAE is an absolute monarchy sovereign state which is in Western Asia right at the southernmost end of Arabia. The UAE is a confederation of seven emirates, with its capital being Abu dhabi. The UAE shares a maritime boundary with Iran and Qatar and a land border with Saudi Arabia and Oman. UAE had a population of over 9.2 million people, and this included over 7.8 milion expatriates. Each emirate has its ruler and together they create the Federal Supreme Council.
Yemen is an autonomous Arab state which is on the southernmost parts of Arabia in Western Asia. It is the second biggest nation in Arabia which occupies an area of about 203,850 square miles. Yemen has a 1,200 mile-long shoreline, and it is surrounded by Oman, Saudi Arabia, Guardaful Channel, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. Yemen has over two hundred islands with the biggest being Socotra. The capital city of Yemen is Sana’a. Sana’a has been under the control of the Houthi movement since 2015.
Yemen was previously split between the British and the Ottoman empires during the twentieth century. South Yemen remained under the British until 1967 when it gained its independence while the Yemen Arab Republic was established in 1962. The two states merged in 1990 to create the present day Yemen. Yemen is the poorest Middle Eastern state.