Uruq Bani Ma’arid, located on the western edges of the Empty Quarter desert, is the first reserve in the Kingdom to apply modern monitoring technology through drones to conduct environmental surveys and study wildlife.
The reserve, which occupies an area of 12,787 square kilometers, is known for its diversity and wealth of wildlife and is considered home to beautiful sites with natural views of the Empty Quarter, the world’s largest sand desert.
The reserve is where the Arabian oryx was last seen in the Arabian Peninsula before it died out here. An intensive program to restore wildlife has been carried out to resettle the oryx and other rare species, such as the Reem gazelle, the mountain gazelle, the ibex and the Arabian ostrich, which used to live in the region.
The National Center for Wildlife Development is seeking to add the reserve to the World Protected Areas and nominate it among the world conservation programs, such as the UNESCO World Heritage program and the Green List Program of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The reserve offers visitors recreational activities such as safari, hiking, hot air ballooning, camping, sandboarding, camel riding, sky gazing through telescopes and many other exciting activities while enjoying the views of desert plants and resettled breeds, as well as birds such as the houbara, sandgrouse, partridge and the lappet-faced vulture.