If describing Rub al Khali in a few words, it all sums up to ‘World’s largest sand dessert’, but essentially it is much more than that. Also known as Empty Quarter it spans across areas of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates as well as Yemen. Not only is Empty Quarter the largest desert it the world it is also has the biggest oil field.
With tall golden and dunes there are also areas where the sand is predominantly red or even a shade of orange, most due to the presence of the mineral feldspar. Surprisingly, this dessert area with its scorching sun during the day where temperature can shoot up to 56 °C also had lakes once upon a time. These shallow lake sites can be easily identified because of the dissolved minerals that are now raised and hardened areas found mostly in the centre of Rub al Khali.
This desert has also for years fascinated and continues to fascinate explorers. Many even believe that it is the lost city of Ubar. This idea was further cemented when explorers found ten feet tall fortresses and pottery which shows marked influence of Greek, Syrian and Roman culture. It was also found that the city disappeared as it had collapsed into a sink hole and this only added to the mystery.
Standing like a mirage in this expanse of land is Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. When you first set eyes on this star among Luxury Hotels in Abu Dhabi, you would definitely think that is unreal. Most Abu Dhabi Hotels are known for their luxury, but this resort takes it to an incredible new level. The whole theme is very Middle Eastern and you feel like you’ve stepped into a tale from of Arabian Nights. The private villas, suites, spas and even the dining have combined the past with the present, the blend is so perfectly balanced that it feels just about right.