The Rub' al Khali (Arabic: الربع الخالي, "The Empty Quarter") is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world, featured in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. It covers an area of 650,000 square kilometers (250,000 square miles) including parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It is neither crossed nor inhabited by local groups (hence the name "Empty Quarter"). It is said that the Iram of the Pillars is located in the desert.
Nathan Drake ends up stranded in the desert following the cargo plane crash. After spending days wondering the desert, he eventually finds a settlement. He is confronted by Marlowe's men, who were sent to investigate the plane wreckage. He is eventually rescued by Bedouin tribe leader, Salim, who offers his assistance in rescuing Victor Sullivan. After saving Sully from a convoy, he and Nate ventures into the Atlantis of the Sands to put an end to Marlowe's schemes. After defeating Marlowe and Talbot, with the help of Salim, the two escape the city as it collapses.
- The first documented journeys by Westerners across the desert were made by Bertram Thomas in 1931, and John Philby in 1932. Between 1946 and 1950, Wilfred Thesiger crossed the area several times and mapped large parts of it. All three men are alluded to in the teaser trailer for Uncharted 3.
- Only John Phiby worked with T. E. Lawrence in 1921.