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.

Ref:  www.alwaysadventure.net 

* 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 

Ref: www.footstepsofthesiger.com 

* 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

Ref: http://luxurytravelstories.com/empty-quarters-expedition/


NOTE: Additional Expedition Information on Sub-Links     (<-- See the left column)