Nate in the desert

Nate walking in the desert

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 kilometres (250,000 sq miles) including parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, and 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 is stranded in the desert following the cargo plane crash.

The player explores the Rub' al Khali desert in Chapter 18 - The Rub' al Khali.

The fabled lost city, the Atlantis of the Sands, is located somewhere in the middle of the desert.


  • 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.


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