The vast, bone-dry desert stretching across the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula has been known since it was first explored by Wildred Thesinger in the 1940s as ‘the Empty Quarter’. To the Bedouin tribes, its wasteland of shifting sand is the redoubtable ‘Rub’ al Khali’, which their camel trains used to cross carrying frankincense from the port cities on the coast to Egypt and the Mediterranean. Now, it’s almost completely uninhabited save for a handful of remote military outposts, but if you include Salalah in your tour, you can look forward to experiencing the region’s distinctive atmosphere in a day trip or, better still, by camping a night or two amid its huge dunes.
All too often, deserts can turn out to be a bit of a disappointment. But the Rub’ al Khali is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Giant sand hills of red feldspar sand shimmers to distant horizons in every direction, creating a glorious spectacle at sunset time.
The camps we use are ultra comfortable and well set up, close to some of the most impressive dunes. You can venture into them with your guide on foot, by camel or in a 4WD on a “dune bashing” trip. Either way, expect some fabulous photo opportunities of your trip! Night times are no less enthralling. The skies of the Rub’ rank among the clearest in the world.
Join us for overnight expeditions into this fascinating landscape, which you’ll explore by camel and 4WD, sleeping in traditional Bedouin tents.