More than half the area of Saudi Arabia is desert. Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

Dubai: A Saudi citizen who had been missing for the past three months has been found dead by a camel herder in the Al Quway’iyah desert of the Al Qassim region, local media reported.

The herder is said to have accidently found the body of a dead man in the desert and immediately informed authorities about it.

Police patrols together with ambulance were dispatched to the scene and upon being inspected, it turned out that the body of the deceased belonged to the citizen who had gone missing since June 23, 2021.

The brother of the deceased said he was the first to identify the body, adding that the body was not in a state of decomposition, indicating he had died recently.

He noted that he found money and identification documents in his brother’s pocket, adding: “It seems that the deceased stopped on the highway 13 km after Al Quway’iya towards Riyadh, got off the car that took him from Jeddah, and walked through the desert until he became tired and thirsty and unfortunately passed away.”

Over the years, rescuers have embarked on scores of missions across Saudi Arabia’s vast deserts. A vast majority were found within 24 hours. A few were miraculously rescued, beating the odds by surviving in the desert for days.

Over the past year, 131 people have gone missing in Saudi Arabia’s deserts.

According to the statistics issued by the Ingad Search and Rescue Association in Riyadh, accidents last year resulted in the deaths of 20 people from hunger and thirst, but 100 of them were found in good health, while there are no details about the 11 other cases.

Geographically, 41 people went missing in Riyadh, 13 in Sharqia, 5 in Najran, 1 in Asir, 2 in Mecca, 3 in Medina, 31 in Ha’il 31, 10 in Qassim, 11 in Tabuk, 3 in Al Jawf, and 11 in the Northern Borders. More than half the area of Saudi Arabia is desert.

The country has three major deserts, including the Rub’ al Khali (The Empty Quarter), which extends over much of the southeast and beyond the southern frontier. It is one of the largest sand deserts in the world. Partially unexplored, Rub’ al Khali has an estimated area of about 650,000 sq km with lesser portions in Yemen, Oman, and the UAE.