The Arabian Peninsula, also referred to as the Arabian subcontinent, is the world’s largest peninsula. Situated on the Asian continent, northeast of Africa, it is bounded by Jordan and Iraq on the north, the Arabian sea on the south, the Persian Gulf on the east, and by the Red Sea on the west. Primarily desert, the central plateau contains fertile valleys, the Red Sea coasts are dry and marshy, Gulf beaches provide white sand, and mountain ranges traverse the peninsula, reaching their highest points in Yemen. The climate is subtropical with hot summers and warm winters.
The peninsula holds eight countries: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates , Oman, Yemen and, the largest, Saudi Arabia at the center. Bahrain is an island nation lying off the east coast of the peninsula.
Containing vast reserves of oil and natural gas, the area plays a critical geopolitical role. The major source of income comes from the oil industry, though tourism plays an increasingly large role. For many centuries the oyster beds of the Persian Gulf produced some of the world’s finest pearls, and pearling was once a thriving and profitable occupation.
The population is comprised of Arabians, Iranians, Indians, and many expatriates from Europe and other parts of Asia. Culture revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab and Bedouin culture, but the largest cities are quite cosmopolitan. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on the architecture, music, cuisine and lifestyle are evident and co-exist with the ultra-modern. Muslims continue to be called to prayer from the minarets of mosques, five times each day. Cuisine is influenced by Turkish, Persian, and African food. Islamic dietary laws are enforced: pork is not consumed and other animals are slaughtered in accordance with halal. A rice dish with fish or shrimp, Kebabs , and shawarma, a marinated grilled meat dish of lamb, mutton, or chicken are popular. Flat, unleavened bread and dates and fresh fruit are common at most mealss. The traditional beverage is coffee, served in the Turkish style.
Kuwait is the eleventh richest country in the world per capita. Petroleum products now account for the grand majority of export income. Kuwait City is the political and economic capital of this consitutional emirate.
Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands, the largest of which is Bahrain Island. The King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. As a tourist destination, Bahrain receives millions of visitors yearlly. Most hail from the surrounding Arab states although international visitors are steadily increasing. Bahrain hosts an International F1 Circuit.
Qatar is primarily surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Its only land border is with Saudi Arabia.
Oman, a sultanate, is bordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast.
Yemen’s mountains provide outdoor sporting opportunities. Mountain climbing and hiking tours offered by local and international alpine groups. The coast of Yemen and Socotra island also provide many opportunities for water sports. Socotra island is renowned as a surfing destination.
Saudi Arabia is the largest state in Western Asia, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is the world’s second largest oil exporter. Tourism in Saudi Arabia is largest for religious pilgrimages. Mecca receives millions of pilgrims each year during the month of Hajj. Red Sea beaches with turquoise water are known for some of the world’s finest diving, and also receive both local and international travelers.
The United Arab Emirates is situated in the southeastern part of the Arabian peninsula. The capital is Abu Dhabi, a center of political, industrial, and cultural activities. Cosmopolitan Dubai City boasts thriving business and tourism centers. Luxury villas co-exist with more traditional structures, but Dubai hosts some of the most luxurious properties in the world. LaCure is sure to offer a luxury villa that suits any discerning traveler’s needs. Ranked among the 10 most visited tourist destinations, Dubai offers sunshine, sandy beaches, warm waters, world-class lodgings, and international dining and entertainment venues. The beach resort destinations at Jumeirah, literally Arabic for “beautiful”, attract millions of international visitors each year.
The Arabian peninsula offers a wealth of Islamic and Bedouin culture and history, world class shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment venues, and beautiful white sand beaches.