A three dimensional chemistry transport model, CHIMERE, was used to simulate the aerosol optical depths (AOD) over the Arabian Peninsula desert with an offline coupling of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The simulations were undertaken with: (i) different horizontal and vertical configurations, (ii) new datasets derived for soil/surface properties, and (iii) EDGAR-HTAP anthropogenic emissions inventories. The model performance evaluations were assessed: (i) qualitatively using MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) deep blue (DB) AOD data for the two local dust events of August 6th and 23rd (2013), and (ii) quantitatively using AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) AOD observations, CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) aerosol extinction profiles, and AOD simulations from various forecast models. The model results were observed to be highly sensitive to erodibility and aerodynamic surface roughness length. The use of new datasets on soil erodibility, derived from the MODIS reflectance, and aerodynamic surface roughness length (z0), derived from the ERA-Interim datasets, significantly improved the simulation results. Simulations with the global EDGAR-HTAP anthropogenic emission inventories brought the simulated AOD values closer to the observations. Performance testing of the adapted model for the Arabian Peninsula domain with improved datasets showed good agreement between AERONET AOD measurements and CHIMERE simulations, where the correlation coefficient (R) is 0.6. Higher values of the correlation coefficients and slopes were observed for the dusty periods compared to the non-dusty periods.