Arabian Peninsula


Geographical location

The Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic جزيرة العرب, DMG Ǧazīrat al - ʿ Arab), Arabia is also, with 2.73 million km ² the largest peninsula in the world and is located on the Arabian plate. Geologically, it belongs to Africa, geographically it is considered one of Asia. The largest state in the peninsula is Saudi Arabia.


The Arabian Peninsula is bordered by the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the west and south-west, the Arabian Sea in the south and southeast and the Persian Gulf in the northeast. The Arabian Peninsula is in front of the West Antarctic and western India the largest peninsula of the earth and is counted in Southwest Asia, although it is geologically a part of Africa. Along with several neighboring states to form the Middle East.

Tectonically seen this peninsula is the Arabian plate. Geologically, the peninsula to the old African continental mass, even if it is separated by the grave breach of the Red Sea. The peninsula is with the Great Nefud in the north and the Rub al Khali in the south almost entirely a desert area; it is among the five largest desert areas of the world.


On the Arabian Peninsula are the present states of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman in the south and in the east in Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. In the north, Jordan and Iraq have a share of the peninsula. Of these States, Saudi Arabia is the largest area by far the country. Bahrain is located on a barrier island.

At the region borders to the west of Egypt, in the north of Israel, Lebanon and Syria, and in the east of Iran.

The population of the Arabian Peninsula in 2008 was about 60 million inhabitants.

Pre-Islamic history

An early empire on the uninhabitable in many parts of the Arabian Peninsula in the south was the fabled Saba, which at times all of Southwest Arabia and ruled colonies in Eritrea and Tanzania had. In the 3rd century BC, won the kingdom of Himyar, which lay on the southwestern tip, the domination of Old - South Arabia; conquered it by 300 and Hadramaut, which was significant because of the incense and myrrh cultivation since time immemorial. In the north, consisted initially of the Kingdom of the Nabataeans, then the kingdom of Palmyra, later the kingdom of the Ghassanids and Lakhmids.

Well protected by the Sassanids succeeded at the beginning of the 6th century the Himyarkönig Yusuf As ʾ ʾ ar ar Yath, called Dhu - Nuwas, to build an empire in the south of the peninsula; Nuwas adopted the Jewish faith. After a persecution of Christians by Yusuf Asar Yathar subjugated 525 Aksumitisches the kingdom of Abyssinia himjaritische the kingdom. As descendants of the Himyarite elite asked the Sassanid Empire in Persia in 570 for support of Yemen again became a Sasanian protectorate. Under King Saif ibn Dhi Yazan ( 576-597 ) succeeded with Persian aid, the final expulsion of the Aksumites, but took over the Sassanids 597 direct rule in Yemen.

The eastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula were the end of the 6th century under Sassanian rule. In Bahrain, ruled as a vassal king al - Mundhir Sassanian ibn Sawa from the Arab tribe Tamim, Oman King Dschulandā ibn al - Mustakbir of the tribe of Azd. Stood before you place each one Sasanian governor to the side. In the year 630, the entire Arab peninsula came under the rule of the company founded in Medina Islamic state.