Despite being surrounded by waters on all sides, the Arabian Peninsula is mostly a massive desert. As a result, Arabia was generally a hinterland for most of early history and there aren't a lot of details on life in pre-Islamic Arabia.

How could the Arabian landmass be changed geographically or climatically so that it instead very fertile or even has a large rainforest like in the Congo or Amazon? Does it need more lakes/rivers? Does Earth need a wetter climate? Does the Arabian Peninsula need to be broken up into smaller pieces?

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    $\begingroup$ Wikipedia: "The African humid period is a climate period in Africa during the late Pleistocene and Holocene, when northern Africa was wetter than today. [It] was caused by changes in Earth's orbit around the Sun; changes in vegetation and dust in the Sahara which strengthened the African monsoon; and increased greenhouse gases. [It] began about 14,600–14,500 years ago [and] ended 6,000–5,000 years ago. The AHP led to a widespread settlement of the Sahara and the Arabian Deserts." $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jul 12, 2022 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ "There aren't a lot of details on life in pre-Islamic Arabia": Oh really? For example, what about Palmyra, the home of the famous Queen Zenobia. Or what about pre-islamic poetry? (I believe that a people we have poetry from is far from being unknown in history.) There was even a Roman emperor of Arab descent! $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jul 12, 2022 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP the fact that there's one medium-length Wikipedia article dedicated to Pre-Islamic Arabia but there isn't one solo article for pre-Christian Greece or pre-Islamic Persia proves my point. There is a good reason why the Romans and the Persians mostly ignored central Arabia before Muhammad was born. The Arabian Peninsula doesn't include Iraq and Syria. $\endgroup$
    – ITM_Coder
    Jul 12, 2022 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Here is some more Wikipedia reading for you, ITM. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Romans_in_Arabia Excerpt: "Then part of the Kingdom of Saba, the area of modern-day Yemen was called Arabia Felix (Latin for 'Fertile Arabia' or 'Fortunate Arabia') by the Romans, reflecting its perceived prosperity." $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jul 12, 2022 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


At the present the Arabian Peninsula finds itself at the end of the Hadley cell, where dry air falls down, creating an almost permanent high pressure, causing very scarce precipitations, all along what is called the Sahara desert.

By changing the air circulation so that more humid air can circulate in the region and fall to the ground as rain you can achieve your goal. In the past what is now the Sahara desert was covered by vegetation and was all but a desert, so it is not inconceivable.

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    $\begingroup$ Hadley Cell and Sahara is only half of the explanation here. The other half is large continental mass to the north and east of Arabian Peninsula. Just removing India would have allowed cyclones to more easily form in northern Indian ocean and more onshore to Arabian Peninsula. And if we had a wide ocean where Tibet and Himalayas are, Arabian Peninsula would have been lashed with cyclones just like Southeastern Asia and Caribbean. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jul 13, 2022 at 17:17

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