Peninsula between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, in SW Asia; area 2,600,000 sq km/1,000,000 sq mi. The peninsula contains the world's richest oil and gas reserves. It comprises the states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
A sandy coastal plain of varying width borders the Red Sea, behind which a mountain chain rises to about 2,000–2,500 m/6,600–8,200 ft. Behind this range is the plateau of the Nejd, averaging 1,000 m/3,300 ft. The interior comprises a vast desert area: part of the Al-Hamad (Syrian) Desert in the far north, Nafud in N Saudi Arabia, and Rub'al Khali in S Saudi Arabia.
The Arabian civilization was revived by Mohammed during the 7th century, but in the new empire created by militant Islam, Arabia became a subordinate state, and its cities were eclipsed by Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo. Colonialism only touched the fringe of Arabia in the 19th century, and until the 20th century the interior was unknown to Europeans. Nationalism began actively to emerge at the period of World War I (1914–18), and the oil discoveries from 1953 gave the peninsula significant economic power.
Poluostrvo između Persijskog zaliva i Crvenog mora.