Lacustrine sediments from southeastern Arabia reveal variations in lake level corresponding to changes in the strength and duration of Indian Ocean Monsoon (IOM) summer rainfall and winter cyclonic rainfall. The late glacial/Holocene transition of the region was characterised by the development of mega-linear dunes. These dunes became stabilised and vegetated during the early Holocene and interdunal lakes formed in response to the incursion of the IOM at approximately 8500 cal yr BP with the development of C3 dominated savanna grasslands. The IOM weakened ca. 6000 cal yr BP with the onset of regional aridity, aeolian sedimentation and dune reactivation and accretion. Despite this reduction in precipitation, the lake was maintained by winter dominated rainfall. There was a shift to drier adapted C4 grasslands across the dune field. Lake sediment geochemical analyses record precipitation minima at 8200, 5000 and 4200 cal yr BP that coincide with Bond events in the North Atlantic. A number of these events correspond with changes in cultural periods, suggesting that climate was a key mechanism affecting human occupation and exploitation of this region.