Persian Gulf

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Persian Gulf
Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf
Mohammad Hossein Bibi Kobadi, holder of an assisted stage swim record in the Persian Gulf recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records
Mohammad Hossein Bibi Kobadi (2nd from right) and team

The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran (Persia) and the Arabian Peninsula. The Persian Gulf has many good fishing grounds, extensive coral reefs, and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has come under pressure from industrialization, and in particular, oil and petroleum spillages during wars in the region.

Historically and internationally known as the Persian Gulf, this body of water is sometimes controversially referred to as the Arabian Gulf or simply The Gulf by most Arab states, although neither of the latter two terms are recognized internationally. The name Gulf of Iran (Persian Gulf) is used by the International Hydrographic Organization.


This inland sea of some 251,000 km² is connected to the Gulf of Oman in the east by the Strait of Hormuz. Its western end is marked by the major river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris. Its length is 989 kilometres, with Iran covering most of the northern coast and Saudi Arabia most of the southern coast. The Persian Gulf is about 56 kilometres wide at its narrowest, in the Strait of Hormuz. The waters are overall very shallow, with a maximum depth of 90 metres and an average depth of 50 metres. Countries with a coastline on the Persian Gulf are (clockwise, from the north): Iran, Oman (exclave of Musandam), United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar on a peninsula off the Saudi coast, Bahrain on an island, Kuwait and Iraq in the northwest. Various small islands lie within the Persian Gulf, some of which are the subject of territorial disputes between the states of the region.

At the Twenty-third session of the United Nations in March–April 2006, the name "Persian Gulf" was confirmed again as the legitimate and official term to be used by members of the United Nations.[1]

Oil and Gas

The Persian Gulf and its coastal areas are the world's largest single source of crude oil and related industries dominate the region. Safaniya Oil Field, the world's largest offshore oilfield, is located in the Persian Gulf. Large gas finds have also been made with Qatar and Iran sharing a giant field across the territorial median line (North Field in the Qatari sector; South Pars Field in the Iranian sector). Using this gas, Qatar has built up a substantial liquified natural gas (LNG) and petrochemical industry.

In 2002, the Persian Gulf nations of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, produced about 25% of the world's oil, held nearly two-thirds of the world's crude oil reserves, and about 35% of the world natural gas reserves.[7][8] The oil-rich countries (excluding Iraq) that have a coastline on the Persian Gulf are referred to as the Persian Gulf States. Iraq's egress to the gulf is narrow and easily blockaded consisting of the marshy river delta of the Shatt al-Arab, which carries the waters of the Uphrates and the Tigris rivers, where the east bank is held by Iran.

Open Water Swimming

There are competitive open water swimming competitions conducted throughout the Persian Gulf.

In 2012, Mohammad Kobadi completed an unprecedented 1,000 kilometer assisted stage swim in the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz to Arvand Kenar along the coast of southeastern Iran. His assisted stage swim took 85 days where he averaged 11.7 kilometers (7.2 miles) per day. His attempt was officially defined as an assisted stage swim (Sea/Gulf) as he swam in a shark cage with a neoprene wetsuit, fins, hand paddles, and a snorkel.

In 2014, His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, President of Bahrain Athletics Association, completed the Khalid Bin Hamad Swim Challenge, a 31.5 km marathon swim between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Sun set Beach Resort) and the Kingdom of Bahrain (The Sofitel Resort & Spa).

In 2015, Eric Watson swam 34.6 km across the Persian Gulf from the Sunset Resort in Saudi Arabia to the resort Sofital Zallaq in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 8 hours 31 minutes with the support of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa who conceived of and completed the first such crossing in 2014.

Pearl Diving

For thousands of years, most seawater pearls were retrieved by divers working in the Indian Ocean, in areas such as the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and in the Gulf of Mannar between Sri Lanka and India.

Documentary Films

Miracles of the Persian Gulf, written, directed and produced by Kazem Bayram, a documentary about underwater marine life in the Persian Gulf.

Golfe Persique, (Un jardin d'Eden) - Persian Gulf Or Garden of Eden by Kazem Bayram

External links