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Gulf of Aqaba

The Gulf of Aqaba, also known as the Gulf of Eilat is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, found to the East of the Sinai Peninsula and to the West of the Arabian mainland. There are four countries on the coastline of the Gulf: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

The Gulf stretches around 160 kilometres north from the Straits of Tiran to where Israel meets Egypt and Jordan, and measures 24 kilometres at its widest point and has a maximum depth of 1,850 metres in its central area.

As with the coastal waters of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba is also rich with coral and marine biodiversity, and with its accidental shipwrecks and other vessels that have been sunk deliberately to provide marine habitats, it is one of the world's premier diving sites. The gulf is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. At the 11 kilometre coastline of Eilat in Israel around 250,000 dives are completed annually accounting for about 10% of the tourism income of the area.

Eilat is also one of the three important cities located at the northern end of the Gulf, the others being Taba in Egypt and Aqaba in Jordan. These are not only popular tourists resorts but also strategically significant commercial ports. Other major cities on the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba are Haql in Saudi Arabia and Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab on the Sinai Peninsula.