The Arabian Peninsula (Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية šibh al-jazīra al-ʿarabiyya or جزيرة العرب jazīrat al-ʻArab), also known as Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia situated north-east of Africa. 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 most prominent feature of the peninsula is desert, but in the southwest there are mountain ranges which receive greater rainfall than the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. Harrat ash Shaam is a large volcanic field that extends from the northwestern Arabian Peninsula into Jordan and southern Syria.
Geologically, this region is perhaps more appropriately called the Arabian subcontinent because it lies on a tectonic plate of its own, the Arabian Plate, which has been moving incrementally away from the rest of Africa (forming the Red Sea) and north, toward Asia, into the Eurasian plate.