Arabian Desert Map

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Arabian Desert, Sahara, Egypt

The relatively mountainous Arabian Desert rises abruptly from the Nile and extends over an area of approximately 220,000 square kilometres (roughly equivalent in size to Utah). The upward-sloping plateau of sand gives way within 100 kilometres to arid, defoliated, rocky hills running north and south between the Sudan border and the Delta. The hills reach elevations of more than 1,900 meters.

The region's most prominent feature is the easterly chain of rugged mountains, the Red Sea Hills, which extend from the Nile Valley eastward to the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. This elevated region has a natural drainage pattern that rarely functions because of insufficient rainfall. It also has a complex of irregular, sharply cut wadis that extend westward toward the Nile.
The Arabian Desert is generally isolated from the rest of the country. There is no oasis cultivation because of the difficulty in sustaining any form of agriculture and except for a few cities on the Red Sea coast, there are no permanent settlements.

The importance of the Arabian Desert lies in its natural resources, especially oil.