We investigate density current formation and flow in the northern Gulf of Eilat, Red Sea, using in situ observations and a high resolution, nonhydrostatic general circulation model. These density currents occur in relatively warm water ∼20°C and are probably the warmest in the world ocean. We demonstrate the intrinsic nonlinearity of density currents by comparing two high-resolution simulations forced by different heat flux. This nonlinearity, which is poorly represented in global models, is shown here to affect the properties of simulated density currents. Such a bias in simulating density currents in global models may lead to significant biases on the larger scale global ocean circulation and water mass distribution.