21-Feb-2009 -- The visit to this Degree Confluence Point (DCP) was part of an over 200-km long off-road expedition through the Rub` al-Khāliy desert (the "Empty Quarter") that started near the small town of Gayathi at the SW border of the UAE with Saudi Arabia.
While headed towards the town of `Arāda in SE direction, we reached the DCP on Day 2 of our trip after camping in the wild near the international border. This DCP is located in the midst of big sand dune formations with valleys in between. While myself and Anil Nangla drove up to the DCP, the rest of the group consisting of Pervez, Naved, Hamza, Fateh, Anil Berry, and Rifaat waited for us in the sand valley below.
Earlier in the evening we had an interesting experience. After covering a little over 100 km through a difficult terrain, we decided to settle down for the day and set up a camp at a nice location, which happened to be about 4-5 km inside the international border. As we were settling down and preparing to light the bonfire, a guard from the border police arrived and enquired about our plans. He was followed by another vehicle with 2 more guards therein. While they were surprised as to how we found our way from the direction we had come from, they had severe reservations about our being there as they thought we were very close to the border. After a lot of persuasion and their back and forth radioing in to the border post and onward to their HQ, we were ordered to move away at least 10 km more inside the border. The camp was uprooted, cars reloaded and we drove in pitch dark before we put up the camp again.
It was quite interesting and irritating to deal with that situation at that moment and with border guards who could speak only in Arabic, a language which none of us, except Pervez, could utter more than a few words. However as they say, all's well that ends well. Having successfully completed the expedition, this situation is also recorded as a pleasant memory :-).
Incidentally, the area is so isolated that we didn't come across any signs of human life other than these 3 border guards during the 2 days we spent in the area.