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The Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la ( or ), also known as Ara­bia, is a penin­su­la of West­ern Asia sit­u­at­ed north-east of Africa. It is the largest penin­su­la in the world, at 3,237,500 kilo­me­ters squared (1,250,000 square miles). The Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la con­sists of the coun­tries of Yemen, Oman, Qatar (which is locat­ed on the Qatari penin­su­la, anoth­er penin­su­la with­in the Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la), Bahrain, Kuwait, Sau­di Ara­bia and the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates as well as parts of south­ern Iraq and Jor­dan. The penin­su­la formed as a result of the rift­ing of the Red Sea between 56 and 23 mil­lion years ago, and is bor­dered by the Red Sea to the west, the Per­sian Gulf to the north­east, the Lev­ant to the north and the Indi­an Ocean to the south­east. The Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la plays a crit­i­cal geopo­lit­i­cal role in the Mid­dle East and Arab world due to its vast reserves of oil and nat­ur­al gas. Before the mod­ern era, the Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la was divid­ed into four dis­tinct regions: Hejaz, Najd, South­ern Ara­bia and East­ern Ara­bia. Hejaz and Najd make-up most of mod­ern-day Sau­di Ara­bia. South­ern Ara­bia con­sists of mod­ern-day Yemen and some parts of Sau­di Ara­bia and Oman (Dho­far). East­ern Ara­bia con­sists of the entire coastal strip of the Arab side of the Per­sian Gulf (The Khaleej).