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).