The Sinai Peninsula has been a part of Egypt from the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt (c. 3100 BC). This comes in stark contrast to the region north of it, the Levant (present-day territories of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine), which, due largely to its strategic geopolitical location and cultural convergences, has historically been the center of conflict between Egypt and various states of Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. In periods of foreign occupation, the Sinai was, like the rest of Egypt, also occupied and controlled by foreign empires, in more recent history the Ottoman Empire (1517–1867) and the United Kingdom (1882–1956). Israel invaded and occupied Sinai during the Suez Crisis (known in Egypt as the Tripartite Aggression due to the simultaneous coordinated attack by the UK, France and Israel) of 1956, and during the Six-Day War of 1967. On 6 October 1973, Egypt launched the Yom Kippur War to retake the peninsula, which was unsuccessful. In 1982, as a result of the Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, Israel withdrew from all of the Sinai Peninsula except the contentious territory of Taba, which was returned after a ruling by a commission of arbitration in 1989.
Its modern Arabic name is سِينَاءSīnāʼ (Egyptian ArabicسيناSīna; IPA: [ˈsiːnæ]).
The modern Arabic is an adoption of the biblical name, the 19th-century Arabic designation of Sinai was Jebel el-Tûr.
In addition to its formal name, Egyptians also refer to it as Arḍ ul-Fairūz (أرض الفيروز 'the land of turquoise'). The ancient Egyptians called it Ta Mefkat, or 'land of turquoise'.
In English, the name is now usually pronounced aɪ/. The traditional pronunciation is eɪ/ or aɪ/.