When you think of exploring Arabia you usually think of Sir Richard Burton and Johann Burkhardt, or maybe T.E. Lawrence or even Gertrude Bell. These are all on wikipedia’s list.
Here is another list from Zahra Dickson Freeth’s out of print Explorers of Arabia from the Renaissance to the end of the Victorian era, along with any wikipedia links that exist.
Lodovico Varthema, gentleman of Rome (entered Mecca 1503)
Joseph Pitts (captured English sailor in Mecca c 1685) [google books limited view]
Carsten Niebuhr (cartographer)
Jean Louis Burckhardt (rediscovered Petra)
William Palgrave spy, former Jesuit and British diplomat (1826–1888)
Carlo Guarmani (Italian) author of 1864-1866 Classic Works ‘Al Kamsa’ (about the Arabian horse) and ‘Journey from Jerusalem to Northern Najd’
Charles Doughty author of 1888 travel book Travels in Arabia Deserta republished by T.E. Lawrence
The Blunts Anne Isabella Noel Blunt and her husband Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Arabian horse aficionados
Top, William Palgrave’s map of Arabia;
Bottom, Lady Anne Blunt, in Bedouin attire