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Saudi Arabia, Land and Resources

Great Sandy Desert, wadis, Khali, Hejaz, ijaz

Considerably more than half the area of Saudi Arabia is desert. Rub‘ al Khali, known in English as the Great Sandy Desert and as the Empty Quarter, extends over much of the southeast and beyond the southern frontier. Partially unexplored, Rub‘ al Khali has an estimated area of about 650,000 sq km (about 250,000 sq mi). An extension of the Syrian Desert projects into northern Saudi Arabia, and extending southeast from this region is An Nafud, an upland desert of red sand covering an area of about 57,000 sq km (about 22,000 sq mi). Ad Dhana’, a narrow extension of this desert, links An Nafud and Rub‘ al Khali. A central plateau region, broken in the east by a series of uplifts, extends south from An Nafud. Several wadis (watercourses), dry except in the rainy season, traverse the plateau region. Its western limits are delineated by a mountain range extending generally northwest and southeast along the eastern edge of the regions of Al ?ijaz (Hejaz) and ‘Asir. The highest point in Saudi Arabia, Jabal Sawda’ (3,207 m/10,522 ft), is located in the southwestern portion of the country. Between the range, which has an average elevation of about 1,200 m (about 4,000 ft), and the Red Sea is a narrow coastal plain. In the east, along the Persian Gulf, is a low-lying region known as Al A?sa’. It is underlain by great petroleum deposits.

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Article key phrases:

Great Sandy Desert, wadis, Khali, Hejaz, ijaz, Asir, eastern edge, Persian Gulf, average elevation, Red Sea, mountain range, rainy season, highest point, Rub, Quarter, country, English


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