We present Holocene stable oxygen isotope data from the deep Arabian Sea off Somalia at a decadal time resolution as a proxy for the history of intermediate/upper deep water. These data show an overall δ18O reduction by 0.5‰ between 10 and ~6.5 kyr B.P. superimposed upon short-term δ18O variations at a decadal-centennial timescale. The amplitude of the decadal variations is 0.3‰ prior, and up to 0.6‰ subsequent, to ~8.1 kyr B.P. We conclude from modeling experiments that the short-term δ18O variations between 10 and ~6.5 kyr B.P. most likely document changes in the evaporation-precipitation balance in the central Red Sea. Changes in water temperature and salinity cause the outflowing Red Sea Water to settle roughly 800 m deeper than today.