Arabian Peninsula


Arabian Peninsula

Peninsular region, southwest Asia.

With its offshore islands, it covers about 1 million sq mi (2.6 million sq km). Constituent countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and, the largest, Saudi Arabia. It is generally arid and is covered almost entirely by the Arabian Desert. The modern economy is dominated by the production of petroleum and natural gas. The world's largest proven reserves of those minerals are in the Arabian Peninsula. Its political consolidation was begun by the Prophet Muhammad, and it was the centre of the orthodox caliphate until 661, when that office passed to the Umayyad dynasty in Damascus. After 1517 much of the region was dominated by the Ottoman Empire, though the peninsula's people, who had remained largely tribal and nomadic, revolted repeatedly until the World War I (1914–18), when the Ottoman Empire dissolved. Thereafter, individual nation-states followed their own histories, though many maintained close ties with European powers such as the United Kingdom.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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