The biggest peninsula in the world is the Arabian Peninsula. It spans an area over 1,250,000 square miles.
Political Boundaries and Population
The peninsula is made up of Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The peninsula is surrounded by the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea. The population estimate as of 2008 was 77,983,936. Many of the residents in the Persian Gulf states are non-nationals.
The Arabian Plate
The peninsula is set on its own tectonic plate (Arabian Plate), which is why some researchers feel it should be called the Arabian subcontinent. Studies have shown that the Arabian Plate has been moving into the Eurasian plate and away from northeast Africa.
The biggest peninsula in the world has a diverse landscape. It has pastures for livestock and sheep grazing. There are also fertile valleys. The central plateau is called the Nejd. The peninsula also has vast range of deserts.
The Nefud desert to the north is characterized by its stony appearance. To the south lies the Great Arabian Desert (Rub' Al-Khali). This desert is noted for the sand which goes 600 ft (180 m) beyond the surface.
The Arabian Peninsula also has marshy coasts by the side of the Red Sea. These alternate with some dry portions. There are also mountain ranges that parallel the coast of the Red Sea. As one gets nearer to Yemen, the higher the mountains become. The tallest peaks are in Yemen. The highest peak is Jabal Al-Nabi Shu'ayb at 3,666 m.
The peninsula has little in the way of lakes and rivers. As a rule, the weather is arid and hot. There are a few areas where it is cool. The higher altitudes are cooler.
The coastline of the Arabian Sea is breezy even during the summer. This is brought about by the offshore cold up-swelling. Various forms of wildlife are found, but there are no dense forests.
There is a 2,500 feet (760 m) high plateau that spans most of the peninsula. This slopes to the east from the escarpment on the Red Sea coast to the Persian Gulf. Its interior features are notable for the valleys and cuestas.
The biggest peninsula in the world was known to the Romans as Arabia Petraea. However, they included the Sinai Peninsula, Jordan and Syria in their description. It was turned into a province with Petra as the capital.