History of the KNOWN Empty Quarter Expeditions:
* Bertram Thomas, 1931 (south to north through the eastern lobe, requiring 63 days - a true crossing).
Ref: H.StJ. Philby, 1933, "The Empty Quarter: Being a Description of the Great South Desert of Arabia Known as Rub' al Khali "
* Harry St. John (Abdullah ) Philby, 1932 (north to south and back, then Wabar west to As-Salayil, requiring several months - two true crossings).
Ref: H. StJ. Philby, 1933, "The Empty Quarter: Being a Description of the Great South Desert of Arabia Known as Rub' al Khali "
* Wilfred Thesiger, 1946-48 (crossed part of the eastern lobe, later traversed along the northern edge). Note: we sadly announce the passing of Wilfred Thesiger, "Al Mubarak bin London" on 24 August 2003 at age 93.
Ref: Thesiger, 2008, "Arabian Sands", Penguin Classics, Updated Ed.
* ARAMCO: incursions for oil exploration, 1937 - 1962.
Ref: Multiple ARAMCO reports; National Geographic, 1965.
* National Geographic/ARAMCO Expedition, 1965, from Dhahran to Wabar and back.
Ref: National Geographic, 1965
* Mandaville et al., 1984, Dhahran south to Wabar and west to As-Sulayyil - a very long, true crossing.
Ref: Photos, sextant log, other documentation sent to website manager.
* Lothingland and others, 1988, Dhahran to Wabar and back.
* Three Zahid Expeditions, 1994-1995
Ref: see below. Also: Scientific Reports section of this website.
* NEC Empty Quarter Expedition, 1999, Crossed the eastern lobe - a true crossing.
* Halloran-Mikati-Ro-Ro Expedition, February 2003, Crossed the northwestern lobe - a true crossing. Ref:
* Footsteps of Thesiger Expedition, Nov - Dec 2011
Started at Salalah, Oman, on 31 October 2011, Ended in Abu Dhabi, on 14 December 2011
- Adrian Hayes
- Saeed Rashid al-Mesafri
- Ghafan Mohammed al-Jabri
Traverse (South to North) ending on Abu Dhabi's National Day:
Salalah, Oman -> Dhofar Mountains -> Wadi Marhit -> Mugshan -> Qsr al-Sareb -> al-Nashash -> Liwa -> Jebel Hafeet -> al-Ain, Abu Dhabi
1200 kilometers, 6 camels
* Hajar Ali Expedition (First Female Empty Quarter Expedition) March 2012
Started in al-Ayn, Abu Dhabi, Ended in Salalah, Oman
1200 kilometers, 6 days, 4WD Vehicle
NOTE: Additional Expedition Information on Sub-Links (<-- See the left column)