In the Arabia Felix collection there are five galleries: the Environment of Arabia Felix; the Fauna of Arabia Felix; the Flora of Arabia Felix; the Heritage and Culture of Arabia Felix; and the People of Arabia Felix. I have interpreted Arabia Felix to be the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula stretching from Dhofar in the east, through to Yemen in the west, and south to the island of Socotra (part of the Republic of Yemen).
4 imagesThe environment of Arabia Felix - south Yemen, including Socotra, and Dhofar (southern Oman) - is dramatically affected by the annual monsoon (khareef). The monsoon transforms the harsh desert-looking environment into a lush green paradise in a matter of days. Many of the plants and trees have adapted to this climate by storing water in their stems or trunks, for example, the bottle tree (Adenium obesum) and the baobab (Adonsonia digitata).
7 imagesOn Socotra, more than 700 species of fauna and flora are endemic. On the Arabian peninsula itself, Dhofar (southern Oman) has more than 60 species, including two genera, which are found only in that region.
3 imagesOn Socotra, more than 700 species of fauna and flora are endemic. On the Arabian peninsula itself, Dhofar (southern Oman) has more than 60 species, including two genera, which are found only in that region.
10 imagesThe architecture of Yemen and Dhofar (Oman) are quite different from each other. Also included here are examples of heritage and culture from days gone by, including ancient inscriptions, rock art, gravestones, and archaeological ruins.
4 imagesToday many of the people of Arabia Felix speak languages which have no written form. For example, in the Dhofar mountains, inhabitants speak Jebbali (Shehri), and on Socotra, people speak Socotri. Both languages originate from ancient South Arabian languages which existed before the coming of Islam to Arabia Felix.