A Streptomyces isolate, designated strain SYSU D8023T, was isolated from a desert sand sample collected from Gurbantunggut desert, China. The characterisation of the isolate was achieved using a polyphasic taxonomic approach. The isolate was found to be Gram-positive and aerobic. The strain was found to be able to grow at 14-50 °C, pH 6.0-9.0 and in the presence of up to 7% (w/v) NaCl. Strain SYSU D8023T contains LL-diaminopimelic acid as a cell wall diamino acid. The polar lipids were identified as diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylinositol mannoside, an unidentified glycolipid and an unidentified phospholipid. MK-9(H6) and MK-9(H8) were detected as the respiratory quinones, and anteiso-C15:0, iso-C16:0 and anteiso-C17:0 as the predominant fatty acids. Pairwise comparison of the 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain SYSU D8023T has a sequence identity of 97.9% to Streptomyces barkulensis RC 1831T. The DNA G + C content of strain SYSU D8023T was determined to be 70.1 mol%. Based on the analyses of the phenotypic, genotypic and phylogenetic characteristics, strain SYSU D8023T was concluded to represent a novel species of the genus Streptomyces, for which the name Streptomyces desertarenae sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of the species is SYSU D8023T (= CGMCC 4.7455T = KCTC 49023T).