MICE Middle East Websites

Crossing the Empty Quarter Expedition officially launched

As part of the Sultanate’s 45th National Day celebrations, with the blessing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and under the patronage of HH Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said in Oman and HRH Prince Charles - The Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom and HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in Qatar, the ‘Crossing the Empty Quarter’ expedition was unveiled to media at an official event held at the Diplomatic Club in Muscat on Sunday.  For only the second time in recorded history an attempt is being made to cross the Rub al Khali, the biggest sand desert in the world. A team of Omani and British explorers will leave from Salalah in Oman on 10th December and walk across the desert through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Doha in Qatar.


The press conference, which unveiled details of the journey, was held under the auspices of His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was attended by Ambassadors of the United Kingdom and the State of Qatar in addition to a number of government officials and representatives of the media. During the proceedings, Mark Evans spoke of the details of the expedition, the targets of this noble journey and the historic facts of the original journey that took place almost 85 years ago.


On this occasion HE Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented: “Oman history holds many important historic events that haven’t had light shed upon them such as the first recorded crossing of the Empty Quarter took place in 1930. This expedition comes as part of the 45th National Day, celebrating the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said - the first patron of the youth and reflects his determination to equip and inspire Omani youth to be prepared for future challenges. We are very proud of the many achievements of our Omani young people, and their continuous efforts that raises’ the Omani flag on the world stage in a whole variety of ways. This challenge is further evidence of the potential of Omanis to face the various difficulties to achieve honorable goals, stemming from their noble characters. We wish the participants all the best on this journey in their quest to build on the achievements of their ancestors.”


The journey aims to inspire young Omanis to embody the fundamentals of responsibility and self-dependence and endurance in order to overcome challenges of the 21st century and achieve their goals.  They will depart on the 10th of December 20105 on a two month journey with the expedition team that includes two Omanis; Mohammed Al Zadjali and Amour Al Wahaibi, and British explorer Mark Evans. They will depart from Bait Mirbat Salalah with the aim to reach Doha at the end of January 2016, a journey of 1,300 kilometers.


The 2015 expedition will trace the route taken by the first men credited with making the crossing in 1930. British explorer Bertram Thomas and Sheikh Saleh bin bin Kalut took sixty days to reach their destination negotiating their way through warring tribes, sand storms and an unforgiving landscape, combatting scorching heat, freezing nights, blinding sandstorms and surviving on a diet of brackish water, dates, dried meat and packet soup. The 2015 expedition will again be conducted solely on foot and by camel train. 


Mark Evans, General Manager of Outward Bound Oman and head of the Crossing the Empty Quarter expedition team said: “We are proud to be undertaking this historic and challenging expedition, and look forward to starting the journey in a little over one months’ time.  One of our key objectives is to encourage and inspire young people, and instill the idea that success in life can only be achieved by sustained hard work, willingness and team spirit.”


Another expedition team member, Mohammed Al Zadjali said: “I am excited to be taking part in this challenge, which reminds us of the historical events in the Sultanate of which many people are not aware. The original Empty-Quarter crossing by Bertram Thomas and Sheikh Saleh bin Kalut was undertaken in 1930 and their achievement was met with global acclaim, however many people today have forgotten this great accomplishment. I am honored to carry the Omani flag during this fantastic expedition and spread this message to the Omani Youth, and express to them that ambition is the key to achieving goals with hard work and planning.”


The Awareness Campaign

To capture footage of the expedition, a media team will accompany the expedition party on the first leg of the journey from Salalah to the Saudi border.

The Crossing the Empty Quarter expedition is also accompanied by an intensive awareness in  schools and  media campaign using traditional media, social media, commercial malls, cinema screens, and Muscat and Salalah airports and  Oman Air inflight screens.



Alongside the expedition there will be a ten week Instagram Competition for young Omanis.

They will be invited to be inspired, take on the challenges and take a picture inspired be different themes and quotes.

Competition winners will receive one of 36 free places on a life changing Outward Bound Oman ‘Skills for Life’ course aimed at giving youth the tools to achieve their future dreams and goals (14-17 years category), or one of six places on the UNESCO Connecting Cultures Course held in Oman where winners will represent Oman on the international stage (18-25 years category)


Expedition Partners

The Crossing the Empty Quarter expedition is grateful for the generous support provided by a number of government and private companies in preparing for this event, including; Outward Bound Oman, the Omani-Qatari telecommunication Company (Ooredoo), Muscat City Center, Oman Airport Management Company, Oman Air, VOX cinema, Muscat Grand Mall, Al Futtaim Automotive (FAMCO), Thuraya, City Cinema and Nomas, CfBT.

Back to Home Page

Once upon a timee.... more
Petra’s popular Movenpick Nabatean Castle Hotel has officially reopened following the completion of an extensive renovation and enhancement project. more
The inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS) 2018, hosted and organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), continued to attract an increasing number of visitors for the third day in a row more
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise the PATA Annual Summit 2020 from May 15-18 in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). more
IBTM Arabia, part of IBTM’s global portfolio of meetings and events industry trade shows and the most established event of its kind in the MENA MICE industry, has announced that its 2019 event will take place at Jumeirah Etihad To more
Movenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai has announced the line-up of hospitality experts managing its Q4 opening. The team of industry professionals will be led by Maria Lamarche, who joined the new property as General Manager a more
Introducing Oman\'s largest lyric-style theatre, with a seating capacity of 3,200, built-in projection and riggings, orchestra pit and acoustic systems perfect for live events! Named after the Sultan Qaboos Rose, the architectural more
On Wednesday the 26th of September Il Terrazzo Restaurant, located in Amman Marriott Hotel, hosted its first Italian Street Food & Wine Festival. Since Italy doesn’t only stand out for its artistic cities and picturesque beaches, more
Not only did InterContinental Jordan participate in the 10th edition of Horeca that took place in Amman, but it also came back home with the most medals out of all competing hotels and venues. more
Following the success of the previous two events, the Middle East’s biggest slide and dance party ‘Aquaventure After Dark’ will return on Friday 26th October for a spooktacular special ‘Haunted Edition’ fuelled by Coca-Cola®. more
ATF Vietnam 2019
EMITT Istanbul
Bangladesh General Insurance Company Ltd.
Motaz Othman Account at TripAdvisor
Movenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau.
The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, BANGKOK
Chez Razzak Tours - Bangladesh
Maximus BD Tours & Travels DMC Bangladesh
Explore the hidden gems of Khon Kaen at PDMF 2018
Urban Beauty - Thailand
Chengdu International Tourism Expo 2018
Advertise with us.
Memorable Moments at Movenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba
Honeymoon Middle East

Copyright Travel and Tourism Guide - Middle East 2011

P.O.Box 841113 Amman 11180 Jordan, 37 Samir Rifai Street 3rd Floor, Amman - Jordan

Mobile: +962 785557778 fax: +962 6 5713689

Email: motaz.othman@micemiddleeast.com  Website: www.ttgmiddleeast.com

Motaz Othman Email