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Several Gulf States are visible across the eastern Arabian Peninsula that makes up the lower part of the image.

In addition to Saudi Arabia across the bottom, the islands of Bahrain in the left center lie next to the prominent peninsula that makes up Qatar.

The municipality of Dubai is the largest city of the Persian Gulf emirate of the same name, and has built a global reputation for large-scale developments and architectural works.

Among the most visible of these developments - particularly from the perspective of astronauts onboard the ISS - are three man-made archipelagos.

The red dots mark gas flares in oil fields of Iran and Iraq. The Persian Gulf (left) and the Gulf of Oman (right) were once the site of a rift, an area where two plates of the earth's crust pulled apart from each other.

The Indian Ocean filled in the widening gap between the two plates.

Explore the city easily from our well-placed hotel.

The Persian Gulf is flanked to the west by wedge-shaped Kuwait and by Saudi Arabia with its vast tan-, pink-, and white-sand deserts; to the south by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman; and to the east by the dry mountains of Iran.

The wetlands and rivers of Mesopotamia border the Gulf on the north.

Over time, the process reversed, and about 20 million years ago, the gulfs began to close up.

The ongoing collision of the two continental plates resulted in Iran's mountainous terrain (top) and its periodic earthquakes.

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