Salim is a sheikh of the desert dwelling Arab ethnic group, the Bedouins. He wears a blue headscarf with a bandolier strapped to his blue torso. In multiplayer, he has bells that can be heard and a big sword on his back.
As Nathan Drake realises he will not be able to defeat Katherine Marlowe's men, Salim and the Bedouins come charging in on horseback, attacking Marlowe's agents. Salim rides up to Drake and prepares to shoot him, Nate pleads for his life. Seeing his distress, Salim spares him. And takes him with them as they fight their way out.
— Salim and Nate share a brief joke during the attack.
Salim takes Drake back to his camp, and tells Drake that he should not be there. Drake asks why he was spared, and Salim tells him that it would have been "impolite" to kill an enemy in distress, and then asks if Drake is his enemy, to which Drake shows no ill will. Drake explains that he only wishes to rescue Sully, and explains that their enemy, Marlowe, is crossing the Rub' al Khali desert, in search of Iram of the Pillars and Sully is her captive, as he is the only one who who knows the way there. Salim then explains that they must stop Marlowe from reaching Iram so she will not unleash the power of the Djinn. The next day Salim's scouts spot Marlowe's caravan in the canyon heading to Iram and he, Drake, and the Bedouins attack the convoy, successfully saving Sully.
After rescuing Sully, they ride towards the Atlantis in the Sands. However, the three heroes (along with some Bedouins) are split up in the sand storm surrounding the city. As Drake and Sully escape the crumbling city, Salim comes with two other horses, rescuing them. Once they escape, the three of them watch as the city is engulfed by the desert.
Salim's multiplayer skin makes a jingling sound whenever he moves, which makes him more noticeable.
Salim is very similar to Tenzin from Uncharted 2; both are from foreign lands, speaking foreign languages, both save Nate from near-death in exotic environments, and both assist Nate in his quests. But while Tenzin knows no English, Salim does.
"Yallah", a word used by Salim, means "let's go" or "come on" in Arabic slang.