When we think of Saudi Arabia, the first thing comes to mind is vast oceans of sand hills and fascinating deserts. But, do you know that the Kingdom also has islands in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf which are 1285 in number?
The long area joining the Saudi Arabian Red Sea and Arab Gulf coasts islands is spread through the waters of those beaches. The islands in these two coastal areas are different in size from large or medium to very small islands. Some of the islands are only appeared as rocks on the water surface.[irp]
The Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea host 1150 islands, which is representing 89% of the total number of islands while the Arab Gulf contains about 135 islands, constitute 11 percent of them. These islands are considered major tourist attractions because of the diverse nature of their geology.
The origin and structure of Saudi islands vary from one another. Some are a coral origin; some are sandy or volcanic. The majority of Saudi islands have plain surfaces and are having shores, soft sands, but some islands in the Red Sea have the high Rocky Mountains.
Farasan Island: The largest Saudi is Farasan Island. Farasan Archipelago is the biggest island located in the Red Sea. It consists of more than 200 islands. Farasan is spread over 380 sq. kilometers and is the largest.
The naturally diverse oceanic life that has found on the island of Farsan has only existed on a few isles across the world. There are different kinds of birds, coral reefs, rocks and exceptional marine life.
This island is rich in Baltic amber stones and it is the main source of income for the most of the people lived there. Coastal Mangrove trees are also abundant in Farsan. Furthermore, the water in this part of the island also has rare coral reefs, flowering plants, and seagrass.
In the specific time of the year, a large number of Turtles and seabirds are seen on the beaches of the island. Other islands include Amna, Kadmil, Kamah Island, Damask, Zafaf, Dushk, Safeed and Kira.
The island of Sujaid: The biggest island Farasan is followed by the island of Sujaid. It comes second in terms of size with an area of 150 square kilometer
The island of Tiran is having an area of 61.5 sq.km. It is also in Red Sea islands.
The Arabian Gulf islands: The Arabian Gulf is consisting of 150 islands. The largest of the Arabian islands in the Gulf Abu Ali in the north of Jubail with an area of 59.3 sq. km approximately.
There are also some of the well-known harbors in Arabian Gulf islands, including Batinah, Harkos, Jannah, Musallamah, Al-Jarid, Daghina, Karan and Qarmah. Turtles and seabirds are not only nestled on the island's beaches but also found in large groups at specific times of the year.
Harkos Islands: One of the most important Saudi islands is “Harkos”, as it is a natural home for different kinds of birds and turtles residing in the Arabian Gulf. The farthest island of the Kingdom is Alarabiya located within the Arabian Gulf, as it located 50 marine miles away from the Saudi coasts.
The three most important Saudi islands in the south of the Arabian Gulf can be found near the entrance of Khor al-Adid at the north of Ras Abu Qamis, and they are Hawisat, Huthba, and Sayad. Saudi islands in the Arab Gulf are mostly on a level surface with a maximum height of just 13m.
Due to the environment of the Saudi islands, climatic conditions and the lack of their economic resources, they are not populated except for the islands of Farasan Al-Kabeer, Sujaid, and Qmmah; all of which are Red Sea islands of the Farasan Archipelago. Furthermore, the islands of Taroot, Abu Ali and Qunna in the Arab Gulf have some villages, population, and business or economic centers.
Source: Al Arabiya