Desert Hills provide 1 Production. Desert Hills may be improved with Mines, which makes them vastly more productive than other Desert tiles. All Hills have a +3 Combat Strength modifier, which can strengthen city defenses, as well as protect vulnerable units.
Desert Hills are rarely a first choice for improvement or priority when settling, considering their relative lack of yields even with a resource. However, for civilizations like Australia and Mali, or a city intending to build Jebel Barkal, Petra, or the University of Sankore, they can be useful or even highly productive!
Even less appealing than flat desert, about the only thing desert hills are good for is defending in a battle. Unfortunately, the Bedouins, Tuaregs, Berbers, and other desert tribesmen tended to just charge wildly down them.