Rub al Khali

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Rub al Khali

Rub al Khali (ro͞ob äl khäˈlē) [Arab.,=empty quarter], great desert of the Arabian peninsula, c.225,000 sq mi (582,750 sq km); one of the largest sand deserts in the world. The desert occupies much of the southern interior of the peninsula, from the highlands of the Nejd (to the north) to the plateaus of Hadhramaut (to the south); it slopes from an altitude of 3,300 ft (1,006 m) in the west to near sea level in the east. Sand dunes rise to over 660 ft (200 m) in the southwest; there are salt marshes and pans in the southeast. Rub al Khali is connected to the Nafud desert in the north by the Dahna, a narrow corridor, 800 mi (1,287 km) long. The desert comprises more than 25% of Saudi Arabia. It is extremely dry and virtually uninhabited. Oil of excellent quality has been found there and is exploited. The al-Ghawar oil field is one of the world's largest.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rub Al Khali


a sandy desert on the southeastern Arabian Peninsula, in a tectonic depression between mountains extending along the western, southern, and eastern seacoasts of the peninsula. Area, approximately 650,000 sq km.

The Rub al Khali, one of the world’s largest deserts, is a plain with elevations from 100–200 m in the east to 500–1,000 m in the west. Approximately 80 percent of the territory is covered by moving sands forming barchans (up to 150–200 m high), ridges, and individual massifs. In the east there are vast salt marshes; in places there are rocky plains. The annual precipitation reaches less than 50 mm per year; frequently there is no precipitation for several years in succession. There is no permanent surface run-off, and the ground waters are deep. In the sections not covered by sands there may be gypsum and limestone crusts. Vegetation grows primarily in the low areas between sand ridges (camel thorn, saltworts). The population, consisting mostly of Arabs, is nomadic and is engaged in camel raising. There are occasional oases on the outskirts of the Rub al Khali.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Rub Al Khali, the largest sand desert in the world, was then considered to be the last great unknown on earth.
"One challenge we have is the pricing of gas is very low in Saudi Arabia and does not make unconventional gas or tight gas in the Rub Al Khali economic," he argued.
The joint venture company, the South Rub Al Khali (Srak), started the second phase of exploration on July 26, it said in a statement yesterday.
The ADDC starts with a short super special stage on Saturday and finishes on March 29 after five gruelling desert stages through the towering sand dunes of Abu Dhabi's Rub Al Khali.
The talk will be delivered by Mark Evans, a fellow of the New York Explorer's Club and Royal Geographic Society, who was part of the historic expedition that traversed the Rub al Khali for the second time in recorded history.
Block 57, also know as Al Afif onshore oil block, lies in the southwestern part of the sultanate and is situated between South Oman Salt Basin and the Rub al Khali Basin.
Tilal Liwa Hotel is a sand-coloured, authentic 'Oasis of Hospitality' built in the traditional Arabian style of architecture with lush date trees, and featuring elegantly appointed rooms and suites overlooking to the undulating sand dunes of Rub Al Khali desert.
Explore the majestic Rub Al Khali desert and escape to sheer solitude in the deserted hideaway resort with room rates starting from Dh449 ($125) with the Danat Weekend package.
Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali) is the most barren desert in the world.
Nestled in the dunes near Rub Al Khali desert in Abu Dhabi, Tilal Liwa Hotel is the only property of its brand type of its kind in the Danat portfolio.
Shell has stuck it out longer in its South Rub Al Khali Co (SRAK) project with state-run Saudi Aramco after finding small quantities of gas.Kidan is rich in sour gas and is near the 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) Shaybah oilfield, one of the biggest in the country.