Alula UNVIELS New Experiences and Opens Bookings

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AlUla, the historical crossroad of ancient civilizations, has officially reopened for visitors this weekend and The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has unveiled the full suite of experiences that are being phased in over the coming months.


  • AlUla heritage sites open for bookings
  • New experiences announced for winter months
  • AlUla Old Town opening in December
  • Adventure Canyon experiences unveiled

AlUla, the historical crossroad of ancient civilizations, has officially reopened for visitors this weekend and The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has unveiled the full suite of experiences that are being phased in over the coming months.

Heritage sites, Hegra, Jabal Ikmah, and Dadan are the first to reopen for bookings.

The Hegra experience includes full immersion into the Nabataean ways of life at sites including the most iconic, Tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza, plus Jabal Ithlib, The Diwan, Jabal Alhamar, and the well.

Hop-on, hop-off transportation stops at seven areas of significance for visitors to explore at their leisure.touring-hegra_800x533-copy

Visitors can download the Experience AlUla app for an immersive location-specific digital guide, or have a Rawi (Arabic storyteller) provide a more personal tour of the sites.

By the end of December, a handicraft pavilion at Hegra will also host a series of interactive activations designed to provide an entertaining appreciation for the Nabataean Kingdom and ways of life. These will include:

  • visitors can try their hand at making a necklace made of date stones, a replica of a necklace that archaeologists discovered in Hegra in 2015;
  • a fun and interactive spotlight the Nabataean society and ways of life with the live theatre performance, the Tomb of Malkiyun the Diviner (Qasr AlSania);
  • a sensory glimpse into Bedouin life at The Alfegeer Mudhouses with handicraft workshops, live performances, and cooking;
  • visitors will be able to get their name beautifully reproduced in the Nabataean script to take home as a framed memento.

At the ancient city of Dadan, the capital city of the Dadanite and Liyhanite Kingdoms and one of the most developed cities in the 1st millennia BCE, visitors will get the chance to become an archaeologist for the day.

Archaeologists are currently undergoing extensive excavations at Dadan to explore this relatively unknown period in AlUa’s 7000 years of human settlement. From December, a family-friendly 40-minute ‘Archaeology for Everyone’ workshop will have kids digging for artifacts to get in on the action. Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour the extensive site in a vintage jeep.

Other experiences announced for later in the year include camel tours of key tombs and night-time experiences including light shows and night-time markets.

In what will be a world-first, from late December, AlUla Old Town will be open to the public. Once the restoration and site security work has been completed, the visitor experience will include Rawi tours of Tantora Plaza and sundial and views from AlUla castle; the opportunity to experience a busy Souq as it was in its heyday handicraft pavilions and souvenirs to shop for, as well as new dining options.

Outside of the heritage sites, there will be plenty of other activities to keep visitors entertained.

A new Adventure Canyon area will offer a suite of experiences for those looking for high-energy thrills.

Keen hikers can book a space on the Adventure Hiking Trail. Run by experienced tour operator Husaak, the trail offers a half-day hike led by an experienced guide through the AlMadakeel landscapes with stops for stunning views of the desert and oasis.

From mid-November, visitors will be able to appreciate the landscapes, rock art, dunes, and peaks of the desert while zipping around in these fun three-person dune buggy vehicles or book an evening Stargazing tour at AlGharameel rocks. Famous as one of the most dramatic landscapes for stargazing, the one hour experience, also run by Husaak, includes a traditional Bedouin set-up with an expert guide to provide insights about the importance of the stars and constellations in AlUla’s culture and history.

Another trail available from mid-November is the leisurely two-hour Cycling Trail which runs through palm groves and citrus trees. A Horse Riding Trail through the oasis is also slated for later in the year.

Available from December, a family-fun bump and pump bike track is being constructed as well as a zipline by Warrior at the new Adventure Canyon by experienced operators Warrior.

For a more relaxing experience, the AlUla Fresh Farm visit offers visitors a glimpse into life on an AlUla farm complete with farm tours, fruit picking, animal feeding, and seed planting. From the 2.3 million date palm trees to the 29 types of citrus fruit, farms play an important role in AlUla’s economy and daily life.

AlUla will also welcome some new permanent experiences in the arts and cultural space. The AlUla Girls’ School near Old Town is being transformed into an arts hub and will offer a wide range of workshops and classes from fine art to jewelry making and the revival of ancient handicrafts such as ceramics, weaving, and glasswork.

Restaurants have also been given careful consideration and further announcements are to be made in the coming weeks about some exciting new dining options. In the meantime, key local cafes Barzan and AlMakher are working with RCU to ensure a year-round offer of fabulous local cuisine. A Winter Park area will include pop-up food trucks for a more casual grab and go eating option.

Accommodation options in the short term include tented desert resorts, Sahary AlUla Resort, Shaden Resort, and self-catered RVs for unique outdoor immersion. From January 2021, the exciting modular-designed eco-resort Habitas AlUla will be available and Ashar Resort will return with new rooms and suites added.

Prices for the heritage sites have been set at rates applicable to the experiences available at the time of booking. Concessions are available for children and AlUla residents. Visitors are advised to sign-up to experiencealula.com to get the latest updates.

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