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"Arabian Nights" Days

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Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam
Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home.
When the wind's from the east and the sun's from the west
And the sand in the glass is right,
Come on down, stop on by, hop a carpet and fly
To another Arabian night!
Aladdin, "Arabian Nights"

Arabia: land of Ali-Baba, genies, belly dancers, sheikhs, Sultans, evil Grand Viziers (as well as some good ones), dashing thieves and harem girls. When Western Europe was having its Dark Age, the Islamic world was having its Golden Age, both preserving and enhancing the knowledge of civilization.

Here, the Middle East is depicted as a wondrous region full of magic and mystery, inspired by the artistic and scientific legacies of figures such as Golden Age caliph Harun al-Rashid, revolutionary surgeon al-Zahrawi, and "father of algebra" Muhammad al-Khwarizmi. Expect to see glittering cities crowded with secrets and intrigue, striking figures who practice distinct customs, and exotic landscapes foreign to most Western audiences.

Mostly based on the Muslim world which stretched from Southern Europe and North Africa all the way to South Asia during the Middle Ages. Expect for sprawling deserts to be omnipresent, despite the fact that people from some parts of the region (ex. Portugal, Turkey, and Bangladesh) lived nowhere close to a desert. Maritime Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia), while a bastion of Islam nowadays, is excluded as it wasn't part of the Muslim world in the Middle Ages.note 

Historically, as noted above, this time period is analogous to the Dark Age Europe of the 7th to the 11th century, though this is rarely referenced (and sometimes outright contradicted).

Sometimes this trope is instead based on the 16th-19th centuries' Ottoman Empire. This type of Arabian Nights Days tends to put less emphasis on magic and more on harem girls.

This trope can be a form of Cultural Blending, as the "Islamic world" was (and is) home to various different cultures and languages, such as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and many others.

A popular trope for this setting is Genie in a Bottle, traditionally a Literal Genie. Flying Carpets are popular too, as are rubies and sapphires bigger than your fist. The look and feel of a Bazaar of the Bizarre often draws heavily on this period as well. Expect at least one reference to the "sands of time."

See also Mystical India and Far East, which treat India and East Asia in a similar way, respectively. Compare Orientalism, wherein non-Western cultures are stereotyped to be inherently strange and exotic. Compare and contrast Qurac, a modern-day counterpart to this trope with far more negative connotations.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Arabian Nights: Adventures of Sinbad: As if the title itself isn't enough of a sign, the series adapts the stories of Sinbad the Sailor, as well as many other tales from the Arabian Nights (with Sinbad often replacing the protagonists of the original stories, though Ali Baba and Aladdin are also supporting characters in this show).
  • The whole planet of Zahhak from Avesta of Black and White has an Arabian theme going on as it's hat mostly thanks to its current ruler Kaikhosru, complete with deserts, Arabian styled architecture and Bedlah Babe's.
  • Blue Ramun is set in the fictional Silkdeep Empire. Towns like Fargain are scattered throughout the Empire's vast desert, loose cloaks and turbans are de rigueur, and protagonist Jessie comes from a Bedouin-esque tribe of nomads. Jessie's bloodletting/ surgical knives also resemble curved daggers from in the Middle East.
  • Dinosaur King: The heroes travel to Ancient Persia where they befriend a princess named Zahra and come across a street scoundrel named Aladdin who bears a strong resemblance to the Disney version. They also have to deal with a band of 39Explanation  Thieves who are working with a vizier to takeover the kingdom.
  • The Doraemon movie Doraemon: Nobita's Dorabian Nights where they head to a storybook world of Arabian Nights.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • In the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, the participant Pintar has an outfit similar to the Mid-Eastern style of the trope.
    • The fusions for the main characters, such as Gogeta and Gotenks, have outfits that have a similar Mid-Eastern theme.
  • Free!: The first ending "Splash Free" featured the main five boys in an Arabic kingdom, each with elaborate outfits that fit the new world.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Makoto Mizuhara finds himself (along with several other people) catapulted across dimensions to the world of El-Hazard. Once the site of an unimaginably advanced civilization that destroyed itself in an apocalyptic war, it is now home to a culture of this trope, sprinkled here and there with the remnants of ancient ultratechnology.
  • Much of the anime adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan is set in Pars, the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Persian Empire, and the Arabian influence can be seen in the many characters' clothing, armor, weapons, surrounding architecture, etc.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is featured briefly in Arabia and the gang encounters a group of Arabian stand users.
  • Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic draws inspiration from The Arabian Nights, but with more shonen and fantasy elements.
  • In Marginal #4 KISS kara Tsukuru Big Bang, L Nomura's ending Image Song "Kokoro Hitotsu" features him as an Arabian dancer, and the music video is filled with oasis and desert motifs.


    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: In Asterix and the Magic Carpet, a King’s daughter is to be sentenced to death unless it rains in her kingdom. A friendly fakir rides his magic carpet to the Village to bring Cacofonix back with him to sing for the rain and to save the princess’ life. Although the story is set in India, it plays out most of the best for an Arabian fantasy story.
  • In the Douwe Dabbert story "The Gate to the East", Douwe ends up in an unnamed, stereotypical middle-eastern country. Shortly after this, the series becomes more firmly rooted in the real world - just two albums later, Douwe is traveling with the historical East India Trading Company.
  • Fables portrays the free European fables as being stuck in the modern world after the adversary took over. When they ally with the Arabian Fables they expect them to be living in hiding in the middle east. Instead it turns out they are still living in their own traditional lands, complete with flying carpets, since the Adversary has only recently started targeting them and they are actually a cohesive force that can fight him, unlike the Europeans (who, when they were conquered, had a very medieval mindset with each fief and principality on its own).
  • Iznogoud: The Baghdad in which the series is set owes more to an Affectionate Parody of Arabian Nights than to historical accuracy.
  • The Sandman (1989): "Ramadan" features a Baghdad rich, magical, and powerful, with exotic markets, pleasurable palaces, and flying carpets. Its leader Caliph Harun al-Raschid finds it so wonderful that he is haunted by the knowledge that it will someday end. He calls on Morpheus to preserve it forever, and Morpheus obliges by changing it into a more mundane version of the city but causing the Arabian Nights Days version to live on in stories and dreams.
  • Suske en Wiske: The story "Prinses Zagemeel" takes place in an unidentified Middle Eastern country, with classic elements like evil wizards, giants, and a princess.

    Film — Animated 
  • Disney's Aladdin franchise. The original "Aladdin" is nominally set in China, but given the fact that "China" as described in the story is identical to the average Arabian city of the time, it's likely that the author was just engaging in a bit of exoticism.note 
  • The Thief and the Cobbler: One of the butchered cuts of the film outright sets the story in Baghdad, although the original only ever calls it "The Golden City". Fits the trope regardless.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 2019 film revival of Aladdin, like its animated original. And, of course, numerous other live-action adaptations of the "Aladdin" story, of which there are too many to possibly list. Very rarely, if ever, does a cinematic Aladdin actually live in China, where his story nominally takes place, and even then China likely referred to the nation's far western borderlands that are dominated by Muslims, Persian and Turkic people, not Han Chinese far away on the other side of the country. Indeed, West China, which connected the Han to the Muslim and Central Asian world, was still seen as exotic by Middle Eastern people as much as it was seen as a frontier by the Chinese. As for the film, it alluded to a South Asian nation where this version of Jasmine's mother was from, and the film's use of Bollywood tropes also nudged towards how India and the Middle East cyclically influenced each other culturally.
  • In the 1979 film Arabian Adventure, An evil caliph offers his daughter's hand in marriage to a prince if he can complete a perilous quest for a magical rose. Helped by a young boy and a magic carpet, Prince Hasan, has to overcome genies, fire breathing monsters and treacherous swamps to reach his prize and claim the hand of Princess Fuleira.
  • The Morocco that Bing Crosby and Bob Hope find themselves in Road to Morocco, is a borderline fantasy setting.
  • Ray Harryhausen's trilogy of films about Sinbad the Sailor - The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger - all start out in this type of setting, although being Sea Stories, they spend a lot of time on the open ocean, with a third act on some Isle of Giant Horrors or Lost World.
  • The Thief of Bagdad, a 1924 silent movie and a more famous 1940 remake. The 1940 version was extremely influential on later Hollywood films with an Arabian Nights theme. Ray Harryhausen was a big fan, and Golden Voyage in particular bears a heavy Thief of Bagdad influence.
  • Three Thousand Years of Longing goes the Turkish route rather than the Arabic, with a genie coming from the court of the Queen of Sheba to Istanbul, and seeing the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless,


  • Arabian Nights. The single most important Trope Maker, not to mention the Trope Namer. Ironically, a lot of the content in Arabian Nights was told by and/or features Persians and other non-Arab ethnic groups. Though given how Middle Eastern and West Asian civilizations cyclically influenced each other, especially with Islam coming from Arabia, it's all understandable.
  • Bazil Broketail: Ourdh is an ancient empire to the south of the Argonath. While they do have pseudo-Islamic stereotypes (extreme patriarchy, concealing female clothing that's mandated, religious fanatics), they're polytheist and have pagan Mesopotamian/Egyptian motifs as well (ziggurat temples feature heavily for instance).
  • Castle in the Air, which bears the same relationship to the Arabian Nights as its predecessor Howl's Moving Castle does to Western fairy tales.
  • The Desert of Souls and The Bones of the Old Ones by Howard Andrew Jones are set in the 8th Century Caliphate, with generous heapings of fantasy added to the historical fiction.
  • Klatch on the Discworld is Arabian Nights Days in Sourcery, the first book Klatchians play a major part in, but by the time Jingo rolls around it's more of a late-19th/early-20th-century Lawrence of Arabia style Middle East, with a few Arabian Nights elements left in.
  • The Fangs of K'aath by Paul Kidd and its sequel are set in Osra, a fictional sultanate which is essentially a combined Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Egypt, Persia, and the Abbasid Caliphate. Despite the inhabitants being funny animals, Islam and Christianity are both more or less the same, though perhaps both slightly more liberal. While there is sorcery, its day-to-day use seems to be mostly limited to Utility Magic such as dyeing fur.
  • The Father of Locks by Andrew Killeen has a meticulously researched 8th century Baghdad setting.
  • The city of Sirr in The Fractal Prince is a sci-fi interpretation of the trope. It is a great city built in the ruins of a fallen space station in the middle of the Wildcode Desert. Its inhabitants use technological flying carpets as their primary mode of transportation and bind Jinns, actually uploaded human minds living in the Wildcode, into jar-like miniature computers to use them as servitors. The theme of the place is essentially Magic from Technology.
  • The Gauntlet (2017): The titular game has this theme. It contains a city of Middle-Eastern design called Paheli, and everyone there dresses accordingly.
  • The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio: Orphaned Carlo, living as an apprentice with his uncle, is given a treasure map by a mysterious bookseller, who promptly vanishes. Finally cast out by his uncle, he makes his way to the Middle East, where he sets out along the Golden Road to find the treasure. Taking up with a lazy and dishonest camel-puller, a girl out for revenge, and a wandering philosopher, he encounters caravans, brigands, violent nomads, and plenty of adventure on the way to discovering what treasure really is.
  • The Horse and His Boy takes place largely in Calormen, a fantasy culture with a clear debt to the Arabian Nights; it also appears in several other installments of The Chronicles of Narnia. The Arabian Nights even provided C. S. Lewis with the name "Aslan" (he found it in a footnote to an English translation; it is the Turkish word for "Lion".)
  • Jack The Mad King: The third novel is called Jack in the East and has the titular protagonist travel to this world's equivalent of Arabia to rescue the sultan's daughter.
  • The world of Kingdom's Disdain is partially inspired by the Islamic Golden Age; combined with standard Medieval European Fantasy.
  • The Land of Green Ginger is somewhere between a parody of this trope and a nigh-Troperiffic tribute — djinn, magic carpets, sultans, and desert cities included.
  • A variation in The Librarians And The Lost Lamp. While the events take place in the 21st century (one storyline in 2006 and one in 2016), the focus is on this trope as told in Scheherezade's Arabian Nights. Apparently, everything that she wrote about in her book (at least, the original edition, which Flynn discovers in 2006) has actually happened. There's a nod to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when the Forty (the modern-day version of Ali Baba's Forty Thieves) force Flynn and a Baghdad historian to help them find Aladdin's lamp. As they enter the lamp's resting place (where it was placed by Ali Baba and Sinbad), they see dozens of different lamps. Flynn deliberately makes a grab for a clearly Arabic one, when, in fact, he knows perfectly well that, in the original story, Aladdin obtained the lamp in China. When the Big Bad grabs the fake lamp, it rapidly heats up and burns his hand, at the same time starting a cave-in, while Flynn and the historian make off with the jade lamp of Zhy dynasty design, which turns out to be the real deal. In the 2016 plotline, Stone is annoyed at the cheap Hollywood version of this trope being displayed in a Vegas casino, constantly complaining about everything the casino gets wrong.
  • Five-year-old H. P. Lovecraft was crazy about this kind of "Arabian romanticism", after his mother bought him the Andrew Lang edition. Naming himself Abdul al-Hazred, he insisted that he was a Muslim. His mother bought him some appropriate ceramics and decorations and made him a proper outfit. The sense of exotic enchantment and wondrous cities with elaborate architecture and gardens is enshrined in his Dreamland tales. He probably read the Holy Q'ran too. Fans have identified "The Nameless City" as having been partially inspired by Iram of the Pillars and some of the tales in the Shah Nameh.
  • Edward Said devoted his Orientalism to debunking this sort of myth — or, more precisely, pointing out how the pervasiveness of this sort of myth prevented Europeans from having any sort of perspective on what the Middle East was, and is, actually like, as well as the fact that "orientalism" often misinterprets what's actually in Arabian Nights to begin with, especially the meaning of "fatalism", and the pervasive idea of sinister, effeminate guys (think Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon) and silent, puppetlike women. Of course, modern scholars point out that Said didn't have the whole picture, either.
  • And George Meredith's The Shaving of Shagpat, an entirely original story that could fit right into the original Arabian Nights, is fantastic and funny.
  • "The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd" by Patricia C. Wrede. Caliph Arenschadd is not a terrible ruler, on the whole, but he's bad-tempered and proud, particularly of his magical abilities, which has led to a situation where he tends to express his displeasure by putting curses on people. Even that's not so bad, since the curses tend to be more annoying and inconvenient than really harmful, so it's just a matter of enduring until the vizier comes through with the appropriate counterspell.
  • Washington Irving's Tales of the Alambra is set during the Spanish Reconquista: Arabian Nights Days with Badass Spaniards.
  • The Thief of Baghdad has a modern-day Russian man end up in this trope thanks to a genie and Omar Khayyam. Suffering from magic-related amnesia, the protagonist learns the trade of thievery from Omar and embarks on the task of ending the rule of the evil Emir of Baghdad. On the way, he encounters Nasreddin, the Emir's guards, the Emir's entire harem (who are quite happy to see him), and... aliens (because why not?). The sequel, The Shamer of Shaitan, has the protagonist being sent back to Arabia (with his memories intact, this time) to take on Shaitan himself. The third novel Return the Thief! has ancient Arabia once again in need of the Thief, as it is on the brink of war. This time, the story is told to the author not by the titular character but by Nasreddin, who somehow ends up in modern times and seems to adjust pretty well.
  • William Beckford's Vathek mixes this with Gothic Horror. The novel purports to be "An Arabian Tale, From an Unpublished Manuscript", and chronicles the fall from power of the Caliph Vathek (a fictionalized version of the historical Al-Wathiq), who renounces Islam and engages with his mother, Carathis, in a series of licentious and deplorable activities designed to gain him supernatural powers.
  • Yashim Series: An Ottoman Eunuch in the Nineteenth Century and his boon companion, a Polish Noble Fugitive. They fight crime.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Charmed episode "I Dream of Phoebe" — genie in a bottle? Check. Flying carpets? Check. Men with scimitars? Check. Magical desert city? Check.
  • Parodied on Impractical Jokers when Joe is punished by playing the Genie in an Aladdin-style play. The wire operators send him flying all over the stage and into the set pieces.
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: The Sixth Ranger Magishine has a magic carpet as his mode of transportation, and a magic lamp-shaped firearm as his weapon of chose, the latter complete with a genie living inside who acts as his sidekick. So does his counterpart, Solaris Knight, from the American adaptation Power Rangers Mystic Force.
  • Agrabah, as portrayed in the Once Upon a Time spin-off. As the Enchanted Forest is modelled after medieval Europe, it's only fitting that Agrabah gets patterned after the Middle East. Plenty of genies and flying carpets, with a Bedlah Babe or two thrown in.

  • ItaloBrothers did a remake of the Ch!pz song, "1001 Arabian Nights" which is all about everyone on a magic carpet ride through these countries.
  • Ray Stevens' "Ahab, the Arab" is an example of this. The titular Ahab is loaded with jewels and an attractive woman, whom he has stolen from a sultan. Upon threat from the sultan, Ahab and the woman escape successfully. Ironically, the woman herself is not an example, as she is shown eating junk food, listening to a transistor radio, and reading MAD.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica, while typically set in Mythic Europe, frequently includes elements of this trope either due to the influence of Islamic culture upon European scholastics and the Fourth Crusade (and Reconquista). In particular, the 4th Edition supplement "Blood and Sand" covers the Levant while the 5th Edition book "The Cradle and the Crescent" details the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Transoxiana.
  • Carpharnaum is set in an Arabian Nights inspired fantasy world which includes djinn, dragons, and magic.
  • Coriolis: The Third Horizon is a Space Opera take on the concept, drawing heavily from the Arabian Nights and Middle Eastern mythology for its feel and more mystical aspects such as the Icons.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Al-Qadim campaign setting. Thematically the land of Zakhara is a blend of the historical Muslim Caliphates, the stories of legend, and a wealth of Hollywood cinematic history.
    • Faerûn of the Forgotten Realms, where Al-Qadim was later placed, also has Calimshan, which seems to be a combination of the Ottoman Empire, Morocco, and generic Arabian culture. As the Third Edition guide puts it, it has "exotic markets, thieves' guilds, decadent harems, desert landscape" and so on. Appropriately, it's placed south of Amn (the Spain analogue) and north of Chult (sub-Saharan Africa).
  • GURPS Arabian Nights is about roleplaying within this trope, while some lands within the world of GURPS Banestorm reflect it. GURPS Castle Falkenstein: The Ottoman Empire is about a version of the Ottoman Empire, in a Gaslamp Fantasy world, that's very heavy on the Arabian Nights elements.
  • The Arabian Nights expansion of Magic: The Gathering (actually inspired by the above Sandman example). It was later retconned into the plane of Rabiah. Another Arabian-inspired plane called Alkabah is briefly seen in IDW's comic series.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The Keleshite Empire is a stand-in for early Islamic empires. Their empire is built on trade and genie wishes, and is in a longstanding but uncomfortable truce with the Taldor Imperium (who resemble the Romans and/or Byzantines).
    • The ancient nation of Osirion recently won its independence from Kelesh, and has decided to restore the Pharaohs and get back to building pyramids.
    • Katapesh, a lawless mercantile nation that resembles the North African coast. It's a haven of piracy, smuggling, and slavery.
  • Savage Worlds: The Land of Fire expansion for the RPG Hellfrost describes itself as 'a land of flying carpets, bound jinn, glittering palaces, scheming wizirs, regal sphinxes, and trap-laden tombs bloated with fabulous treasure!'
  • Tales of the Arabian Nights is a Gamebook-style game that runs on Random Encounters from different Arabian Nights archetypes and characters. The game board is even based on an ancient Arabian map.
  • Warhammer: Araby fits most of the portrayal. Araby is a sub-continent of the Southlands, located to the south of the Old World, and bordering Nehekhara (Ancient Egypt run by animated mummies). It is a huge and decadent empire, composed of many theocratic Caliphates, all ruled over by the Sultan of All Araby. They even had their own Crusades after one Sultan tried to launch an invasion of the Empire at a Tzeentchian daemon's urging.

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). The plot concerns the attempt of the hero Belmonte, assisted by his servant Pedrillo, to rescue his beloved Konstanze from the seraglio of Pasha Selim.
  • Kismet: With extreme cleverness and a fair amount of luck, the poor but wily Poet rises from the streets of Baghdad, avoids losing a hand when put on trial for theft, and is instead given the title of Emir by the Wazir of Baghdad.

    Video Games 
  • In After the End: A Post-Apocalyptic America, this is parodied by the Neo-Moor Orientalists, descendants of non-Muslims in Florida (which they have named Agrabah). They picked up Shriner lore, Arabian Nights, The Qur'an, and a copy of Disney's Aladdin, and mixed it all together with local influences to create a curious, unique culture and religion. They are technically accepted as a peculiar, heterodox form of Islam by the Traditionalists and Imamites, realistic depictions of the descendants of American Muslims who avert this trope.
  • Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse has this as overriding theme, as it's set in the Al-Qadim sub-setting of the Forgotten Realms. Scimitar-wielding corsairs, genies, scheming viziers, and magic carpets all make their obligatory appearances.
  • Given the source material, any Licensed Game based on Disney's Aladdin is bound to have at least a little of this in every level.
  • Arabian Magic and Arabian Fight, two Beat 'em Up games set in a heavily-fictionalized version of the Middle East during the middle ages, complete with genies, flying carpets, and evil sorcerors as their main villains. Incidentally, they're both released in 1992 and made by different companies (Fight by Sega, Magic by Taito).
  • Billy Blade and the Temple of Time: One of the timelines that Billy Blade can visit is Ancient Persia, which has him fighting against turban-headed guards and traversing palaces.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped has the levels of Hang 'em High, High Time, and Flaming Passion, all set in what is presumably Abbasid-era Baghdad; the second warp chamber in the central warp station is themed around the Middle East as well. Flying carpets are common in the levels, serving as platforms that help Crash cross large pits. Interestingly, all three of them contain colored gems, making it the only setting that contains more than one colored gem.
  • Doki Doki Panic is largely based around this trope, since it was originally developed and released as part of a festival run by Fuji TV in 1987, which had a cast of Arabian characters (a full family plus the girlfriend of the parents' older son) as its mascots. As a result some elements, such as the flying carpets, are also in Super Mario Bros. 2. In turn, Mario Kart 7 has a track based on the Subcon desert called Shy Guy Bazaar, complete with Super Mario Bros. 2 references and Middle East-inspired music; the track later returns in Mario Kart Tour as a Nostalgia Level.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has the Redguards, Tamriel's race of dark-skinned humans, who have significant Arabian/Moorish influences to their culture. They hail from the desert province of Hammerfell, have a strong martial tradition including scimitars as a favored weapon type, dress in a very North African/Arabian style, breed some of the best horses in Tamriel, and draw heavily from these cultures for their Fantastic Naming Convention. In the vein of Culture Chop Suey, they combine these traits with heavy influences from Japanese Samurai culture.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, the 1001 Arabian Nights gacha set has this theme, featuring the members of UNDEAD wearing traditional clothing and wielding scimitars, and Arabian exchange student Adonis lounging with a white tiger.
  • The setting of Ever Oasis draws from Egypt in its aesthetics, character designs and names.
  • In Faery: Legends of Avalon, one of the three worlds you get sent to is partly based on Middle Eastern mythology (with Ancient Egypt making up the remainder). It's populated genies, peris, and so forth — some of whom were the inspiration for various human stories and myths, although they don't necessarily live up to the tales.
  • Al Maajik in Fantasy Life. It's also the setting's magic capital.
  • The Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion of Final Fantasy XI, complete with an evil Grand Vizier who heads the mysterious, veiled Immortals.
  • Fate/Grand Order features Scheherazade, the teller of Arabian Nights itself, as a servant as she's decked out as a Bedlah Babe. The Queen of Sheba also has some of this trope influence her Ms. Fanservice looks. Neither of them are actually Arab.
  • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light: The city of Guera has this aesthetic.
  • Almyra in Fire Emblem: Three Houses evokes this to an extent. The names of people from the area are either Arabic or Persian such as Nader, Shahid and Khalid aka Claude, and due to not being under the enforced Medieval Stasis Fódlan is under implies they're experiencing a counterpart to the Islamic Golden Age.
  • Guild Wars Nightfall has the region of Vabbi in the continent of Elona which is modeled after this; other regions include Istan, the Desolation, and Kourna in which the first two are modeled after Ancient Egypt and the third as sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic the Academy faction has this theme in V and VII, with wizards in Arabian attire riding flying carpets, commanding armies of golems, djinn and titans.
  • King's Quest VI: The Isle of the Crown is vaguely Arabic in culture, but is covered in lush vegetation.
  • The Gerudo from the Legend of Zelda (debuting in Ocarina of Time) series seem to be very loosely based off of this trope, where the harem girls are thieves. Also, their king, Ganondorf, happens to be the main antagonist in the series, and he happens to be skilled with sorcery. The Gerudo are a One-Gender Race, save for on emale born every 100 yers, though in some games, it has been milenia since a male Geru was last seen, so the harem girls are now the entire population of their desert town.note  though men aren't allowed beyond the gates. Additionally, Gerudo soldiers and travelers are often seen wielding scimitars.
  • In Monster World IV, the whole world is a fantasy version of this.
  • Mount & Blade: Warband and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord have this in the nations of the Sarranid Sultanate and the Aserai, respectively, as both are Arab-inspired nations.
  • Al-Mamoon in Ni no Kuni. Its name even means something like "a safe place" in Arabic (and doubles as a pun on the fact that its ruler is a cow woman).
  • Arabian Nights Island from Poptropica is themed after Arabia, with a camel, a desert, a bazaar, a palace, and thieves.
  • The Prince of Persia series is set firmly here, with many franchises having the hero save a princess from an evil Vizier. Technically, the setting is Persian, rather than Arabic, and some of the later games do make an effort to get the architecture and cultural references right, but a lot of the narrative tropes remain the same.
  • Quest for Glory II is built off this trope, including flying carpets, genies in rings, and versions of Harun al-Rashid, Ja'afar and Iblis.
  • The Alin from Rise of Legends are based on this trope. Their floating cities are located in a vast desert, and their lands are full of magical creatures made up of fire and glass. There are, of course, genies. Interestingly, the Alin are on the verge of being overrun by the so-called Dark Alin, creatures born of magic fueled by an alien artifact. The intro film shows Alin forces besieging a Vinci city in a clear case of Magic Versus Technology. This never happens in the game, however. The other Fantasy Counterpart Cultures in the game are the Vinci (Renaissance-era Italy fueled by Leonardo's Steampunk and Clock Punk inventions) and the Cuotl (a Mayincatec culture using technology given by their Sufficiently Advanced Alien masters). And while the Alin-Vinci battle never happens in the game, the ending heavily implies that, with the Alin no longer under threat, they are looking West towards the Vinci city-states to expand their territory.
  • In Rugrats Castle Capers, "Ali Baby and the 40 Fleas" takes place in an Arabian city, where the babies ride on flying carpets. Angelica, who serves as the stage's boss, takes on the form of a genie.
  • The main setting of the Shantae series is Sequin Land, which takes much of its influence from Turkey, with elements including the designs of the various towns, Shantae's belly dancing style, and Sky's love of falconry. The backstory of the setting also has the land as having been previously protected by scores of genies, with Shantae being the half-human offspring of one of them.
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings: Sonic is the game's protagonist, and his sidekick throughout the game is Shahra, "Genie of the Ring". Their enemy is Erazor Djinn, a genie who aspires to erase the entirety of the Arabian Nights book. He was once the Genie of the Lamp from the story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, who was punished for misdeeds and imprisoned in his lamp until he granted the wishes of one thousand people.
  • Team Fortress 2 had Arab-themed sets for the Demoman, Sniper and Spy (One Thousand And One Demoknights, Lawrence Of Australia and Saharan Spy respectively). Out of the three, the Saharan Spy was considered overpowered.
  • Twisted Wonderland: Being based on the world of Aladdin, the Scarabia dorm qualifies by default. The dorm building itself is located in a vast desert, and the chapter of the main story focusing on Scarabia sees the characters reenacting the last part of the movie's plot.
  • Wario Land 4 has Arabian Night, a haunted Arabian town that exhibits noticeable verticality. Thus, magic carpets are necessary to traverse its buildings.
  • Wizard101: Mirage, in a high fantasy sort of way.

    Western Animation 
  • 1001 Nights, a Canadian Animated Adaptation of The Arabian Nights, naturally features this trope, although given the series creator Shabnam Rezaei actually is from the Middle East and grew up hearing the original stories, this makes it stand out from most other examples.
  • The Adventures of Prince Achmed takes its main plot from the Arabian Nights story "The Ebony Horse", and it even has Aladdin as a supporting character.
  • Alfred J. Kwak: The Evil Genie of Darkness originates from an ambiguously Middle Eastern kingdom which still looks to be in medieval times. This occurs in one of the early episodes that are a little more fantastical. The later episodes with more political leanings depict the Middle East in contemporary light.
  • The Arabian Knights: One of the cartoon segments on The Banana Splits show.
  • The heroic Rahmoud from the Dungeons & Dragons (1983) episode "The City On the Edge of Midnight" is this sort of nomad in the deserts of the Realm.
  • Fantastic Max, looking for the right kind of sand for his sandbox, ended up in the land of Dinar. There he was mistaken for the long-lost prince, who was actually leading a band of loveable rogues in a The Desert Song-like situation.
  • The heroic Gundar the Desert Hawk and his people in Filmation's Flash Gordon are meant to evoke the feel of Arab nomads on the planet Mongo.
  • Mr. Benn: The outfit that Mr. Benn said reminded him of a carpet seller he'd seen while on his way out of his house in "Aladdin (Magic Carpet)". It even came with a flying carpet. The ensuing adventure took place in a very predictable locale, complete with a genie in a bottle.
  • Casbahmopolis in Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? looks more or less like this. Of note is the character of Neefa Feefa, an "eyeball dancer" who performs in an outfit that covers everything except her eyes, not unlike a burka.
  • Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, though the Arabian setting acts more like a background that grants place for stories set elsewhere.
  • Shazzan is about two modern children who become stranded in this sort of world, with a benevolent genie as their protector.
  • Super Friends was fond of Fantasy Counterpart Cultures for its alien planets, so they naturally did an episode set on the planet Zagdad where the team has to save the planet's sultan from an evil space genie.


Alternative Title(s): Ancient Arabia


Arabian Nights

The opening to Disney's "Aladdin" TV series

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArabianNightsDays

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