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Gulf of Aqaba

Gulf of Aqaba

The Gulf of Aqaba (Arabic: خَلِيج الْعَقَبَة, romanized: Khalīj al-ʿAqaba) or Gulf of Eilat (Hebrew: מפרץ אילת, romanized: Mifrátz Eilát) is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian Peninsula. Its coastline is divided among four countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.


The gulf is east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian Peninsula. With the Gulf of Suez to the west, it extends from the northern portion of the Red Sea. It reaches a maximum depth of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) in its central area: the Gulf of Suez is significantly wider but less than 100 m (330 ft) deep.

The gulf measures 24 km (15 mi) at its widest point and stretches some 160 km (100 mi) north from the Straits of Tiran to where Israel meets Egypt and Jordan.

Like the coastal waters of the Red Sea, the gulf is one of the world's premier sites for diving. The area is especially rich in coral and other marine biodiversity and has both accidental shipwrecks and vessels deliberately sunk in an effort to provide a habitat for marine organisms and bolster the local dive tourism industry.


At this northern end of the gulf are three important cities: Taba in Egypt, Eilat in Israel, and Aqaba in Jordan. They are strategically important commercial ports and popular resorts for tourists seeking to enjoy the warm climate. Further south, Haql is the largest Saudi Arabian city on the gulf. On Sinai, Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab are the major centres.

The largest population center is Aqaba, with a population of 148,398 (2015), followed by Eilat with a population of 50,724 (2020).


The International Hydrographic Organization defines the southern limit of the gulf as "A line running from Ràs al Fasma Southwesterly to Requin Island (27°57′N 34°36′E) through Tiran Island to the Southwest point thereof and thence Westward on a parallel (27°54'N) to the coast of the Sinaï Peninsula".