It was taken from the International Space Station, some 400km above the Earth

We have a lot of stunning natural landscape in the UAE, but the most impressive of all has to be the massive stretch of desert the country shares with Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen known as the Empty Quarter.

Occupying more than 225,000 square miles, it is the earth’s biggest sand sea, and NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold captured the following image of it while floating in the International Space Station, some 400km above the Earth.

In his post to Twitter, Arnold describes the Empty Quarter as “a massive and mysterious wilderness of towering dunes and ancient dry lakes”. And he’s not wrong.

According to The National, the Rub’ al Khali (as it’s officially known) was once a lush, fertile area containing lakes and rivers, and was regularly used as a trading route by caravans in 300 AD.

This isn’t the first awesome shot of the GCC that astronaut Ricky has captured from space. Check out this fantastic nighttime photo showing the lights of the many cities that border the Arabian Gulf. Simply stunning.

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