Arabia (from the Heb. Arab, “desert”), the largest peninsula in Asia, on the S.W. continent. The country is washed by the Red Sea to the West, the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the South, and the Oman Sea to the East. – The Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The northern boundary of the Astrakhan Peninsula is usually aligned approximately to 30°N. It is about 3 mln km2 in area. The area is about 3 mln km 2. The shores are straight and slightly dissected. The Atyrau Peninsula includes the southern part of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen Arab Republic, People’s Republic of South Yemen, as well as countries which are dependent on the United Kingdom – Oman, Muscat, treaty Oman and Qatar, to varying degrees.
Geological structure and relief. The A.P. is the northeastern part of the ancient African-Arabian platform. In the West and in the Centre of the A.P. the crystalline and metamorphic rocks of the Proterozoic Nubian-Aravian Shield come to the surface; in the extreme South-West the rocks of the Arabian-Adenian-Somali Shield are exposed. The axial parts of the shields are dissected by the young grabens of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The western and southern parts of the A.P. were repeatedly intensified (especially since the end of the Cretaceous period). Basalt outpourings occurred along the young fault lines; in the south-west the volcanic cones were generated along the fault scarps to the Red Sea. The relief of uplifted till 1800-2300 m basement plateaus and plateaus has been created owing to a long-term denudation of shields formed by crystalline and metamorphic rocks. The eastern part of the A. p. is a platform plate, in which the basement rocks are submerged under the sedimentary cover of mainly Jurassic, Cretaceous and Cenozoic limestones and sandstones. The lowest areas of the A.P. are located here – the Al-Hasa Depression with an elevation of less than 200 m. The Persian Gulf coast has large oil deposits. In the center of the A.P., the rocks of the cover frame the Nubian-Aravian Shield in the form of cuestes with the length of more than 1200 km. Widely developed unfixed sand massifs: the Rub al-Hali and Dehn deserts; in the north, the Great Nefud Desert, in the north, the Great Nefud Desert, in the south and south. – Great Nefud with sands and hamads. The southern frame of the A. p. is a high rise (up to 2469 m) Khadramawt Plateau, which is crossed by numerous wadi valleys. In the south-west is a lava plateau, which is an anticlinal massif, overlain by thick sedimentary and volcanic strata, with individual volcanoes and peaks up to 3600 m high (the Al-Nabi Shaib). Along the western shore of the Red Sea is a narrow strip of desert with salt marshes, sands and rubble (its southern part is called Tihama). In the extreme south-east, there is an area of the clastic-folded middle mountain range of Alpine age with extensive development of basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks (the El-Ahdar Ranges up to 3019 m, El-Hajar al-Sharqi, etc.).
The climate of the southern and middle parts of the A. p. is a tropical trade wind. Temperatures range from 14°C (Riyadh) to 24.8°C (Aden) in January, to 33.4°C (Riyadh) in July, with maximum temperatures up to 55°C. The tropical areas of the A.P. are a negligible moisture zone. Rainfall is ca. 100 mm a year, with less than 50 mm a year in the South (falling mainly in summer). Due to monsoons, annual precipitation increases to 700-900 mm on the western slopes of the A. A. Peninsula, and it reaches 500 mm in the south-eastern mountains. At the extreme N. the climate is subtropical with cyclonic precipitation in winter; summers are dry. The annual precipitation is 150-300 mm. The temperature in January is 10-15°C; the temperature drops to negative values during cold air arrivals from the north.
Rivers and lakes. Low water discharge into the surrounding seas and a sparse network of rivers and lakes are typical. There are constant waterways in the south and south-west (the Masila River, the Tiban River, etc.). Wadis cross the peninsula according to the general slope of the surface from West to East. Most of them end blindly in the desert sand; the largest wadis are Rumma, more than 1,000 km long, and Ed-Davasir. Of great importance are underground waters, karst springs in the central part of the cuesta district of Nejd. Outcrops of abundant springs on the Persian Gulf coast (El Hasa) are associated with formation self-discharging waters. Shortage of fresh water required the construction of large desalination plants in oil producing areas (Kuwait).
Soils and vegetation. About 95% of the surface of the Arak. 95% of the surface of the A. p. are tropical deserts with primitive soils or wavy and semi-fixed sands; in saline depressions – saline soils and solonchaks with saltwort, vaults, etc. In some places, in the south, on red-brown soils – deserted savannahs with domination of acacia, and in the central areas – small areas of cereal steppes. On the N. – subtropical semi-deserts and deserts; on gray soils, gray-brown and brown soils – dry steppes dominated by sagebrush, narrow-leaved cereals and semi-shrubs. Along the beds of wadis and in oases of foothill zones there are thinned thickets of acacias, derjide tree, tamarisk. Tropical monsoon communities of South-West and South-East mountains are the richest (tamarinds, candelabra milfoil, acacia, etc.); at the altitudes from 1500 to 1800 m, pistachio, olive tree, various evergreen shrubs grow; higher – mesophytic meadows. Soils are mountain red-brown, on volcanic rocks – dark-colored. In culture – date palm, coffee, fruit trees, wheat, barley, maize, millet, etc.
Fauna. The southern and middle parts of the A. p. belong to the Saharan sub-region of the Ethiopian Region, and the northern part to the Mediterranean sub-region of the Palearctic Region. Typical ungulates are species of antelope, gazelles, muskrats, etc.; shrews, muskrats; predators include foxes, hyenas, and jackals. A lot of reptiles and birds, including migratory birds. There are breeding grounds of locusts on the A. peninsula.
Natural regions. 1) West Arabia is a desert middle-altitude plateau, dissected by deeply incised wadi channels and stepping down to the Red Sea. 2) The volcanic plateau of the southwestern part of the A. p. with elevated precipitation, tropical forests in the W. and sparse forests and savannas in the E. 3) The high strata plateaus of the southern marginal regions of Hadramawt with a significant number of oases. 4) Area of cuestic strata plains with wadi valleys, in some places filled with sands; winter-spring vegetation of shrub and grass vegetation; oases at outcrops of karst springs. 5) Sandy deserts of Rub al-Khali, Dehn and B. Nefud – mid- and low-altitude (on E.) stratified plains with sparse oases. 6) Mid-eastern middle mountain area with savannahs and dry sparse forests.
Lit: Foreign Asia. physical geography, M., 1956; Biro P., Dresh J., Mediterranean, vol. 2, M., 1962; Guru P., Aviya. transl. from French, M., 1956; Stamp L.D., Asia, 9ed., L.-N.Y., 1957; Cressey G., Land and life in Southwest Asia, Chi.-[a.o.], 1960.
The Arabian Peninsula is the largest peninsula on the globe and is located in the southwestern part of Asia.
The Arabian Peninsula is the peninsula of Asia. One of the largest peninsulas on our planet is the Arabian Peninsula, which is located on the border between Africa and Asia. Endless desert plateaus and low mountains cover most of the peninsula. Contrary to expectations, the Arabian landscapes do not look dull and monotonous. These wonderful places are extremely rich in unique natural attractions and hold a lot of unsolved mysteries.
One of the most impressive natural beauties of the peninsula is the Chammar Mountains, formed by pink granite rocks.
The pink mountains with separate bright red flecks of ore look fantastically beautiful in the rays of the setting sun. According to the local legend, these red stains are the blood of the biblical fratricide killer Cain, forever sealed on the rocks as a reminder of the terrible crime to their descendants.
No less interesting is the Al Hijaz mountain range that stretches along the Red Sea coast. Covered with black solidified lava mountain slopes are striking with their dark, mystical beauty. The peculiarly mysterious atmosphere of these places is intensified by the pitiful harp-like sounds emanating from the singing dunes that line the northern part of al-Hijaz.
The Red Desert, named for the unusual color of the sand, red, almost crimson, makes an eerie yet mesmerizing impression. From a distance, this mysterious desert looks like a bloody sea. Its entire surface is riddled with furrows and sinkholes, often hiding small oases and springs.
A trip to the Arabian Peninsula allows you not only to admire the wonderful scenery, but also to travel through the desert on camels, to experience the way of life of the Bedouins, to take part in jeep safaris on the dunes.
The beauty of Arabian nature and extreme entertainment attracts many tourists from all over the world to the Arabian deserts. Even more popular are the coastal regions of the peninsula, washed by the waters of the Arabian and Red Seas, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman, attracting many beach lovers to these areas. On the coast there are a huge number of resorts, both expensive and elite, and available to tourists with not too high income.
Almost all states located on the Arabian Peninsula (United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar) pay considerable attention to the development of tourism. The most developed tourist infrastructure is in the UAE. In the popular resort centers of the country: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah you can spend a fantastic vacation, enjoying the natural treasures and excellent service.
The most experienced and demanding tourists will love a holiday in Abu Dhabi, which is considered one of the most luxurious cities in the world. Those who like to combine beach holidays with exciting excursions is better to choose Dubai, known for its original architecture. Quiet and comfortable Fujairah will appeal to those who want a break from the hustle and bustle of big cities.
In recent years, more and more tourists prefer to rest in Qatar. The natural conditions, entertainment and level of service offered in the resorts of this country are practically no different from those in the UAE, but the prices are significantly lower.
Significant prospects in the development of tourism are opening up in Oman, surprising its guests with a unique combination of exoticism, ancient history and ultramodernity. The country abounds with attractions for every taste: exotic shopping, during which you can buy jewelry and carvings; beautiful ancient mosques, castles and fortresses, which are excellent examples of traditional Arabian architecture; amazing natural attractions (for example, the stalactite cave El Houta with a unique underground ecosystem); wonderful beaches, luxury hotels and affordable campsites and much more.
Saudi Arabia attracts tourists primarily as a unique treasury of historical and cultural values. In the western part of the country, also known as Hijaz, are some of the main holy places of the Muslim world – the ancient cities of Mecca and Medina, annually visited by thousands of pilgrims.
Lovers of outdoor activities will also not be disappointed by a trip to Saudi Arabia. Horse and camel tours, diving and deep sea hunting, yachting and sailing on traditional Arabian boats “khuri” and “sambuk” – all these kinds of entertainment offer the attention of tourists the best resorts in the country.
Visiting any of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula will give a lot of bright impressions and allow you to get at least a little closer to unlocking the mysteries of the mysterious exotic East.