The Rub al-Khali is still one of the most inaccessible areas on earth. In ancient times, frankincense caravans crossed this desert and gave rise to rich trading posts, of which, however, only a few traces can be found today.
On the border with Saudi Arabia, the huge dunes of the great Central Arabian Desert penetrate far into Omani territory. Its sands cover a quarter of the Arabian Peninsula. Since there is almost no water in this desert, it is hardly populated; hence its name Rub Al Khali, the "Empty Quarter".
The sand dunes rise from the plain like mountains. The deeper one penetrates into this fascinating landscape, the further one distances oneself from everyday life in Europe, its bustle and noise. You are immersed in absolute silence, surrounded by an endless sea of sand dunes. At night, the sight of the impressive Arabian starry sky, which unfolds its full effect without disturbing light sources, is fascinating. However, an excursion into this desert should only be undertaken with a local guide who is really familiar with the area.
The trade routes of the former incense caravans left traces, one of which can be seen at the excavation site of Shisr, which is about three hours' drive from Salalah, not far from the first sand dunes. That this is the legendary Ubar, as claimed by many tour operators, is not scientifically proven.