Difference Between Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea (With Table)

India and Africa are separated by the Indian Ocean, which is nicknamed after India. It is the world’s third-biggest marine body, covering 68.556 million square kilometers and accounting for 20% of the vast expanse of water in the whole world.

The Arabian Sea is a section of the Indian Ocean in between the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean region. Because it is located in the northwest corner of the Indian Ocean, it is evident that the Arabian Sea and the Great Indian Ocean share the land. However, there are several distinctions between these two bodies of water.

Indian Ocean vs Arabian Sea

The difference between the Indian Ocean and the Arabian sea is that the Indian ocean is an ocean and the Arabian sea is a sea. Oceans are greater in size and have a much more diverse aquatic life underneath them. The Indian Ocean is located in the Indian peninsular region whereas the Arabian sea shares the territorial boundaries with the Indian ocean towards southern Asia.

The Indian Ocean is a basin of saline water that covers around one-fifth of the total worldwide ocean basin. It is the world’s tiniest, newest, and most physically complicated of the three main waterways (Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian). It spans for further than 6,200 miles between the southernmost points of Africa and East Asia, covering an area of roughly 27,243,000 sq miles

The deepest part of the Indian Ocean is 12,200 feet, with the Sunda Deep in the Java Trench off the southwest shore of the Indonesian island of Bali reaching 24,400 feet.

The Arabian Maritime is located on the northern corner of the Indian Ocean, encompassing approximately 1,500,000 sq miles and serving as a major shipping route connecting Asia and Europe and accessible especially to the Indian ports. The Horn of Africa as well as the Arabian Peninsula border that one on the west, Pakistan on the northwest, India on the east, and the rest of the Indian Ocean on the southeast. The Gulf of Oman links the Mediterranean water body to the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz to the northwest.

Comparison Table Between Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea

Parameters of ComparisonIndian OceanArabian Sea
Water Body TypeOceanic water body that comprises 20% of the entire world’s oceanic water.Sea water comprises 3 percent of all the water bodies in the world.
Area70.56 million square kilometers 3.86 million square kilometers.
Deepest PointThe Indian Ocean’s deepest point is 8,047 m Java trenchDeepest point is 4,652 meters.
Bordering CountriesIndia, Sri Lanka, Australia, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.India, Iran, Maldives and the Gulf of Oman and Pakistan too.
Rich inThe Indian Ocean oceanbeds are rich in minerals like nickel, Cobalt and Manganese.  The coast of the Arabian sea is rich in oil and petroleum.

What is Indian Ocean?

The third humongous and yet smallest of the three oceans; the Indian Ocean, the body of water, comprising around 20% of the planet’s seafloor. It is bounded to the north by Southwest Asia (which includes the Hindustan aka Indian peninsula, thus the name), the Middle East and Egyptian basin on the west, the Malay Archipelago, the Sunda Isles, as well as Oceania and Australia on the east. The 20° east longitude extending south from Cape Agulhas separates this from the Atlantic Ocean, while the 147° east longitude separates it from the great Pacific ocean.

In the Gulf Region, the Indian Ocean reaches its highest point at about 30 ° n latitude. At the southernmost points of Africa and East Asia, this ocean is approximately 11,000 kilometers wide, with a total size of 73,556,000 square kilometers, which includes the Red Sea and the Middle East region including the Arabian and Caspian sea.

The heritage of the Indian subcontinent is founded on rich cultural interactions that started 7 millennia ago in the Gulf Region, the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Arabian Sea, whenever a web of trading ties was established.

It eventually evolved into major inhabited areas inside geographically defined boundaries along the Indo – pacific coasts, and its maritime belt now includes 36 states with a combined population of more than 10 billion people. It was once called an “overlooked ocean” since it was the smallest and youngest of all oceans.

What is Arabian Sea?

The Arabian Sea here is between the Middle East as well as the subcontinent in the northern end of the Persian Gulf. It has a total size of 1,500,000 sq miles, with both the Gulf of Oman to the northwest and also the Gulf of Aden to the southwestern. The sea’s height fluctuates as it approaches the Persian Gulf to the southeast, but it’s usually around 8,910 feet.

Several gulfs and straits link the Arabian Sea to neighboring water bodies, providing a constant route through the sea. The Gulf of Oman, which joins the Arabian Sea towards the Gulf Region, are the two largest but also most significant of the gulfs that flow through into the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, gulfs aren’t the only way to get through the Arabian Sea; two major rivers flow towards its shores.

The Arabian Sea is supplemented by water running down the Indus and Narmada streams (Indian tributaries), which have been the main routes to the sea.

The Arabian Sea’s depth surpasses 9,900 feet for the most part because there are no islands in the center. Other than in the northeast, off India and Pakistan, deep water gets near to the neighboring nations. The Lakshadweep coral reefs are part of the Maldives Slope, an underwater ridge that continues farther southward into the Indian Ocean and rises well above the surface to produce the Maldives’ small islands.

Main Differences Between Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea

  1. The Indian ocean is counted from the 3 biggest oceans in the world whereas the Arabian sea is the 5th biggest sea throughout the world.
  2. The Indian Ocean is located in the Indian peninsula whereas the Arabian sea is located in the Mediterranean region near UAE.
  3. Indian ocean beds are rich in minerals like manganese, nickel, and cobalt whereas the Arabian sea coast is reserved for petroleum and natural oil.
  4. The Indian Ocean’s deepest point is the 8,047 m Java trench whereas the deepest point of the Arabian sea is 4,652 m.
  5. The Indian Ocean is bordered by Australia, India, and Sri Lanka whereas the Arabian sea is bordered by India, Iran, Maldives, and the Gulf of Oman.


Both the water bodies are greatly busy shipping and transport routes. The Indian Ocean is the youngest ocean of all has the deepest point of approximately 8000 meters and the deepest point of the Arabian sea is nearly half of the Indian Ocean i.e. 4652 meters. However, the common country which both the gigantic water bodies share in India and hence the traveling and trade route of India is busiest in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian sea.

According to the statistics, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea both constitute around 22 percent of the entire world’s water density. These water bodies must be preserved from the pollution which is recently being caused by travelers and traders due to busy routines.


  1. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Arabian_Sea
  2. https://www.britannica.com/place/Indian-Ocean
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