The calc-alkaline, gneissic El Shalul granite is the westernmost gneiss dome or core complex within the Arabian–Nubian Shield. Previous studies have indicated that it represents either a window into the underlying pre-Neoproterozoic Sahara metacraton or a melt derived from the metacraton. U–Pb LA-ICP-MS dating of magmatic zircons from two samples of the variably foliated El Shalul pluton gives ages of 637 ± 5 Ma and 630 ± 6 Ma, excluding it from representing exhumed cratonic rocks. The ages are, however, indistinguishable from the age of the Um Ba'anib pluton, constituting the core of the Meatiq Gneiss Dome, as well as several other plutons in the Eastern Desert, indicating an important magmatic pulse in the Arabian–Nubian Shield in Late Cryogenian time. Major and trace element data indicate a within-plate setting. Bulk rock Nd-isotope and Hf-isotope data on zircons from the El Shalul pluton indicate derivation of the primary melt from a relatively juvenile source, either the lower crust of a mid-Neoproterozoic volcanic arc or as a result of fractionation of a mantle-derived mafic melt. Sm–Nd bulk rock isotopic data indicate a model age of c. 720 Ma for the protolith from which the melt was derived. Time-corrected Hf-isotope data obtained on the magmatic zircons indicate that the bulk of the source rock was extracted from the mantle around 810 Ma.