Gulf of Aqaba

The Gulf of Aqaba is a large gulf of the Red Sea. It is located to the east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian mainland. This and the Gulf of Suez are the two gulfs extending from the northern portion of the Red Sea; the Gulf of Aqaba is east of the Gulf of Suez. Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia all have coastlines on the Gulf. It reaches a maximum depth of 1,850 m in its central basin (the Gulf of Suez is significantly wider but less than 100 m deep).



The Gulf of Aqaba measures 24 kilometres (15 mi) at its widest point and stretches some 160 kilometres (99 mi) north from the Straits of Tiran to a point where the border of Israel meets the bordersof Egypt and Jordan.

 The Gulf of Aqaba, like the coastal waters of the Red Sea, is one of the world's premier sites for diving. The area is especially rich in coral and other marine biodiversity and contains a number of underwater wrecks, some accidental shipwrecks, others vessels deliberately sunk in an effort to provide a habitat for marine organisms and bolster the local dive tourism industry as in Aqaba, or deliberately sunk by Israelis during their occupation of Sinai, in order to receive insurance reimbursements.

At this northern end of the Gulf are threimportant cities: Taba in Egypt, Eilat in Israel, and Aqaba in Jordan. All three cities serve both as strategically important commercial ports and as popular resort destinations for tourists seeking to enjoy the warm climate of the region. Further south, Haql is the largest Saudi Arabian city on the gulf. On the Sinai, Egypt side are Nuweiba, Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab, the major centers of tourism and Bedouin settlement.


The largest population center on the Gulf of Aqaba is Aqaba, with a population of 108,000 inhabitants (2009), followed by Eilat with a population of 45,000 (2009)


The International Hydrographic Organization defines the southern limit of the Gulf of Aqaba as "A line running from Rs al Fasma Southwesterly to Requin Island (2757′N 3436′E / 27.95N 34.6E) through Tiran Island to the Southwest point thereof and thence Westward on a parallel (2754'N) to the coast of the Sina Peninsula"




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