Ask Difference

Persian Gulf vs. Arabian Sea — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 4, 2023
The "Persian Gulf" is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia, lying between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. The "Arabian Sea" is a region of the northern Indian Ocean, located between India and the Arabian Peninsula.
Persian Gulf vs. Arabian Sea — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea


Key Differences

The "Persian Gulf" and "Arabian Sea" are two distinct bodies of water, each with its own unique geographical, historical, and cultural significance. The Persian Gulf, a mediterranean sea, is situated in Western Asia and is bordered by several countries including Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest. This gulf has played a pivotal role in trade, geopolitics, and history, particularly in the context of the Middle East.
On the other hand, the "Arabian Sea" is part of the northern Indian Ocean. This sea lies to the west of the Indian subcontinent and to the east of the Arabian Peninsula. Historically, the Arabian Sea has been a crucial maritime route for trade between the East and the West, making it a significant hub of commerce and navigation.
Geographically, the Persian Gulf is relatively smaller compared to the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea. They are connected by the Strait of Hormuz, which is a vital passage for global oil transportation. This strategic strait allows passage from the Persian Gulf into the Arabian Sea and onward to the broader Indian Ocean.
Culturally, both the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea have been cradles of ancient civilizations. The regions surrounding the Persian Gulf, for instance, witnessed the flourishing of Mesopotamian civilizations, while the coastal areas of the Arabian Sea saw the rise of the Indus Valley Civilization. These waters have, therefore, seen centuries of human civilization, trade, conflict, and cooperation.
In essence, while the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea are both significant bodies of water, they differ in terms of their geographical size, location, historical significance, and the countries that border them. Yet, both have been central to the evolution and dynamics of the regions they're situated in.

Comparison Chart

Geographical Location

Western Asia
Northern Indian Ocean

Bordered by

Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, etc.
India, Pakistan, Oman, Yemen, etc.



Historical Significance

Mesopotamian civilizations
Indus Valley Civilization, maritime trade routes

Connection Point

Connects to Arabian Sea via Strait of Hormuz
Connected to Persian Gulf via Strait of Hormuz

Compare with Definitions

Persian Gulf

A mediterranean sea in Western Asia.
The Persian Gulf is rich in oil reserves.

Arabian Sea

Home to diverse marine life.
Dolphin sightings are common in the Arabian Sea.

Persian Gulf

Central to Middle Eastern geopolitics.
The Persian Gulf region is strategically important.

Arabian Sea

A region of the northern Indian Ocean.
The Arabian Sea has warm, tropical waters.

Persian Gulf

Connected to the Arabian Sea by the Strait of Hormuz.
The Persian Gulf flows into the Arabian Sea.

Arabian Sea

Vast and deep compared to the Persian Gulf.
The Arabian Sea is known for its monsoons.

Persian Gulf

Lies between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.
The Persian Gulf has witnessed many historical events.

Arabian Sea

Lies between India and the Arabian Peninsula.
Mumbai is a major port on the Arabian Sea.

Persian Gulf

Has significant oil and gas reserves.
Many countries rely on the Persian Gulf for energy.

Arabian Sea

Historically vital for East-West trade.
Ancient traders sailed the Arabian Sea.

Common Curiosities

Which is larger, the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Sea?

The Arabian Sea is larger than the Persian Gulf.

Are the "Persian Gulf" and the "Arabian Sea" geographical locations?

Yes, both are significant bodies of water located in the Middle East and South Asia, respectively.

What is the significance of the Persian Gulf in global energy?

The Persian Gulf has significant oil and gas reserves, making it crucial for global energy.

Is the "Persian Gulf" a part of the "Arabian Sea"?

No, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea are distinct, but they are connected via the Strait of Hormuz.

What countries border the "Persian Gulf"?

Countries like Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates border the Persian Gulf.

Are the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea connected?

Yes, they are connected by the Strait of Hormuz.

Which ancient civilization flourished near the Arabian Sea?

The Indus Valley Civilization flourished near the Arabian Sea.

Which major rivers flow into the "Arabian Sea"?

Major rivers like the Indus and the Narmada empty into the Arabian Sea.

Are the "Persian Gulf" and the "Arabian Sea" crucial for global trade routes?

Yes, both bodies of water are pivotal for global shipping and oil transportation.

What is the approximate size of the "Arabian Sea" compared to the "Persian Gulf"?

The Arabian Sea is considerably larger, covering approximately 3,862,000 km², while the Persian Gulf is around 251,000 km².

Are there significant oil reserves in and around the "Persian Gulf"?

Yes, the Persian Gulf is renowned for its substantial oil reserves and production.

Is the climate similar around the "Persian Gulf" and the "Arabian Sea"?

While both regions experience hot climates, specific weather conditions like humidity and temperatures may vary.

Which ocean does the "Arabian Sea" form a part of?

The Arabian Sea is a part of the northern Indian Ocean.

Is wildlife in the "Persian Gulf" and the "Arabian Sea" under threat?

Yes, wildlife in both areas faces threats from factors like pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

Are the "Persian Gulf" and the "Arabian Sea" significant in terms of military strategy?

Absolutely, both have been and continue to be of strategic military importance due to their locations and resources.

Is there a controversy regarding the naming of the "Persian Gulf"?

Yes, the name is politically sensitive, with some Arab countries preferring "Arabian Gulf."

Does the "Persian Gulf" have any other popular names?

Historically and geographically, it’s known as the "Persian Gulf," although, as mentioned, there are political naming disputes.

Are the "Persian Gulf" and the "Arabian Sea" noted in historical trade and maritime routes?

Yes, both have been crucial in historical maritime routes, such as those used for the spice trade.

Are the "Persian Gulf" and the "Arabian Sea" subject to international maritime laws?

Yes, both bodies of water are governed by international maritime laws and are subject to territorial claims and negotiations.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger
Previous Comparison
Ethene vs. Ethyne

Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms