Thuraya comes to the rescue of 2 Emiratis lost in the desert

Sometimes things done out of habit prove to be lifesavers in disguise. This was true in the case of the two UAE nationals who lost their way in Rub’ al Khali (or the Empty Quarter) on the UAE – Saudi Arabia border. The Empty Quarter is the deadliest and driest desert on earth. As luck would have it, they had a Thuraya XT satellite phone on standby.


The duo was heading for a desert location called Umm Qurun, a Saudi border guard spokesman said in a press statement. The men were located on Thursday, June 27, after they had been reported missing the previous day. One of them later said they had expected to perish in the desert.


The Emiratis had strayed 350 kilometers into the desert before their car ran out of fuel. According to Saudi newspapers, border guards found them inside their Lexus car, trying to dodge a bad sandstorm that was raging in the area.


Rub’ al Khali, which covers 650,000 sq. km, is the largest sand desert in the world, encompassing much of the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula across Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE and Yemen. During summer, it is a veritable death-trap with temperatures frequently soaring past 50 degrees Celsius.

Thuraya's robust satellite network provides coverage in the most remote locations, ensuring congestion-free satellite communications to keep users connected at all times. The Thuraya XT satellite phone is one of the world’s most durable satellite phones and features external casings made of the latest hi-tech polycarbonate material.

Thuraya XT
Thuraya XT - Reliable. Always.

What makes the Thuraya XT phone truly unique is its SOS feature, enabling users to utilize emergency services whenever and wherever required. In remote areas that are outside GSM coverage, Thuraya SOS uses GPS technology to reliably pinpoint caller location and notify the nearest emergency service and pre-selected contacts. The phone’s durable battery provides up to 6 hours of talk-time and 80 hours of standby time.

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