Middle East region. The Middle East has been one of the most convulsive regions in the world in recent decades. It was determined by two essential factors: first, the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 in the middle of Palestine, the starting point for the long Arab-Israeli conflict; secondly, the great oil wealth that its subsoil treasures and that has aroused monopoly and imperialist desires throughout the 20th century.
The main newspapers of all countries have reflected, since the end of the Second World War, news and images about the events that have characterized this region, essentially populated by Arabs of deep Muslim religious faith.
The East is synonymous with Asia and the East is Asian. Therefore, the region that concerns us is framed from the geographical point of view in the Eurasian continent, specifically in the west of the territory known as Asia, encompassing the entire Arabian peninsula (the largest in the world) and Iran.
The Middle East is located in the northern and eastern hemispheres, approximately between 13 ° and 370 ° north latitude and 34 ° and 63 ° east longitude.
The thirteen countries that are part of the Middle East share a combined surface area of 5,402,000 km, a figure that represents approximately 4% of the earth’s landmass. See list of countries in Middle East.
North: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan.
East: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.
South: Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
West: Red Sea, Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and the Mediterranean Sea.
Middle East climate
When you think of the Middle East, deserts automatically come to mind. But the climate is by no means as one-sided as one might think.
Subtropical Mediterranean climate
The coasts of the Mediterranean and the Black and Caspian Seas have a subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. The winters in the Mediterranean are a few degrees warmer than in the two more northern seas. The summers, on the other hand, show average values of 22-28 degrees everywhere.
The Mediterranean summers are dry, the winters humid. On the Black and Caspian Seas, there is less rain in the summer half of the year; In contrast to the Mediterranean, however, you have to expect precipitation. Significantly higher amounts of rain of 900 to 2,500 mm fall there over the course of the year. In the Mediterranean, only 500-900 mm per year are to be expected.
The north of the Middle East is criss-crossed by numerous high mountains. Their climate often shows an alpine character. Snowy winters with average values in the minus range contrast with cool to mild and also humid summers. The precipitation amounts are quite high with 800-3,000 mm annually.
The desert climate dominates the Arabian Peninsula east of the coastal mountains. The summer is extremely hot. Then the maximum daily temperatures are often even above 50 degrees. The winter are with average values of 11-20 ° C mild. The consistently high fluctuations of the thermometer between day and night are as extreme as the average temperatures. A difference of 20-30 degrees is completely normal.
It only rains a few days a year. Only 25-250 mm fall annually. In some areas it stays dry for years. Only the mountains in Oman and in the southwest of the peninsula receive significantly more moisture (400-1,000 mm), as they are under the influence of the monsoons from the Indian Ocean in the summer months. In the other regions, the sparse rain falls during the winter months.
While the center of the Arabian Peninsula has very little humidity, it gets very humid on the coasts, especially in summer, with 75-85%.
The plateaus of Anatolia and Iran, but also Armenia and eastern Georgia, have a continental climate. In addition to hot summers, these regions have frosty-cold winters.
In summer, the mean daytime temperatures are 22-30 ° C, with peak values of more than 40 degrees being measured. In winter, the thermometer in the highlands of Iran shows an average of 2 degrees. In the other regions of the continental zone, temperatures even below zero are measured on average. In the course of the day and year, temperature fluctuations of 20-30 ° C are not uncommon in this zone.
The surrounding high mountains prevent rain clouds from reaching the plateaus. Therefore it is very dry all year round with rainfall between 100 and 400 mm.
Middle East Best travel time
For the desert regions, only the cooler winter months come into question.
The mountains are recommended for winter sports enthusiasts from December to March.
Mountaineering, hiking and trekking tours are possible in the summer months.
For a beach holiday on the coasts of the subtropical areas, the time from June to September is best.
Visitors ideally undertake tours and sightseeing in the subtropical and continental areas of the Middle East during the climatically most pleasant times April to June or September / October.
Holidaymakers should avoid the fasting month of Ramadan.
Also see Abbreviation Finder for a list of abbreviations and acronyms of all countries in the Middle East.