I just thought that I would update this since Reptilians got a dessert world and it's nothing like what I suggested. The dessert world for reptilians has plenty of resources, but the dessert world that I came up with doesn't. All it has are salt flats and cacti. I'm going to need to change the name now to something else to differentiate the two planets. How about "arid" or "wasteland" or "heatstroke?"
I still think that my ideas of using salt blocks and cactus wood to build up a colony at first would be a unique and challenging play style though.