The Most Incredible Natural Rock & Geographical Formations in AlUla

al ula rock formation, From Elephant to Fish, Face Rock, Volcanoes and Lava Flows, the deserts of AlUla keep astonishing visitors with several eye catching rock and geographical formations.


THE MOST INCREDIBLE NATURAL ROCK AND GEOGRAPHICAL FORMATIONS IN ALULA

From Elephant to Fish, Face Rock, Volcanoes and Lava Flows, the deserts of AlUla keep astonishing visitors with several eye catching rock and geographical formations.

AlUla, the city that lies in the northwest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a place of exceptional natural beauty and deep history, a home to a wide range of flora, fauna and human communities for thousands of years. Centered around its famed oasis and framed by sandstone mountains, AlUla’s geography, environment and climate have enabled human communities to flourish here.

AlUla is a unique and extraordinary landscape because of the three distinct geological eras packed together in one region.

The earliest of the geologic ages which formed the rocks of AlUla was during the Precambrian Arabian shield rocks, which are marked by different layers of sedimentary rock. Laid down over millions of years, these rock layers contain a permanent record of the Earth’s past, including the fossilised remains of plants and animals buried when the sediments were formed.

Second, the area’s underlying sandstone was created during the Cambrian period over 485 million years ago, and tectonic activity has helped further shape its dramatic geology, creating volcanic landscapes, basalt plateaus and sandstone massifs. These geological features enable the area to act as a water catchment basin with an area of nearly 700 square kilometres, allowing the valley to flow southwards towards AlUla’s settlements. Trilobite trace fossils discovered in AlUla’s sandstone date to at least 252 million years ago and provide evidence of some of the earliest life in the area. The soft and porous rock, perfect for carving, also acts as an aquifer that can store the vital fresh water resources required to sustain life in an arid environment.

Following that was the black basalt layer formed by volcanic eruptions creates the dramatic plateaus called the Harrat.

The desert of AlUla is famous for its several geological rock formations, formed over millions of years by the hands of the best sculptors, the wind and the water, to form natural shapes untouched by human hands, and to become exceptional natural shapes that are unseen except in this vast natural desert. With the contrasts of these colours and the lush green oasis running through the middle, it makes AlUla like no other place on earth.

read also : AlUla Trail Race Brings Together Sport, Heritage, & Nature for more than 1,000 Athletes in the most Stunning of Settings

the most important Al Ula rock formations

 

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  1. Elephant Rock

The Elephant Rock is one of the world’s most popular rocks and the highlight of the region of AlUla. Looking at it from afar, this rocks seems like an elephant with a ground-bound trunk. The Elephant Rock is also known as Jabal-AlFil in the Arabic language. Standing at a height of 52 meters, the giant rock climbs three stories into the Arabian sky.

This mammoth stands out among the other hand-carved, ornate structures of nearby Hegra’s Nabataean tombs as it was shaped by natural forces. The trunk and body of this red sandstone beast were shaped through water and wind erosion that was caused over millions of years.

The huge elephant stands in a landscape of golden sands, surrounded by other rocky formations which are equally impressive in size. Regardless, the Elephant Rock still overshadows all that falls in its sight and acts as a reminder of the sands of time. The beauty of this mighty elephant increases at nightfall where it becomes more lifelike in the warm lights that have been installed at the site. Visiting the rock at night is advantageous to avoid the hot weather during the summer day.

 

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read also : The new Tafoni concept store is now in AlUla!

  1. The Mushroom Rock

You can find several Mushroom-shaped rocks in the deserts of AlUla. The most famous is located in Sharaan Nature Reserve.

mushroom rocks are a wonderful natural phenomenon usually formed as a result of the erosion of sedimentary layers over millions of years. The remaining part of these layers is exposed again to wind, resulting in the lower parts of the layer breaking down more quickly.

The Sharaan Nature Reserve itself consists of 1,500 square kilometres (579 square miles) of soaring red-rock canyons, sprawling desert and valleys carpeted in delicate wildflowers offer a treasure trove of natural wonders. The mission of Sharaan Nature Reserve is to restore, protect and conserve the sensitive ecosystem native to AlUla. Efforts are currently underway to restore the area, allowing for its natural inhabitants to reclaim the land.

 

  1. The Fish Rock

this Desert Fish was recently gone viral on social media through a photo taken by the photographer Khaled AlEnazi, as he spotted a rock in the form of a fish in the desert sands and transformed through millions of years ago into one of the most important ancient archaeological inscriptions and strange rock formations that marks the lands of AlUla.

 

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  1. The Face Rock

Amongst the monumental tombs of Hegra, next to Jabal AlAhmar (Which means The Red Mountain due to the colour of its rocks), you will notice a formation that resembles the profile of a human head gazing out over the desert landscape. As with all of AlUla’s rock formations, sunrise and sunset are prime times to visit, when the light plays on the sandstone, seeming to illuminate the rocks from within — a magical sight for observers and photographers alike.

 

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  1. The Arch Rock

One of AlUla’s most recognisable rock formations, The Arch (also known as Rainbow Rock) is well worth the 90-minute drive from the centre of the city. Its bridge-shaped structure, which resembles a rainbow flanked by two clouds, is a rare sight indeed. Enthrall by this sprawling display of sandstone, don’t miss spotting semi-precious desert diamonds on-site. You can eye these multi-coloured pieces of quartz embedded in the rock itself and scattered on the surrounding ground.

The Arch Rock hosted Symphony Under the Stars back in March 2022 as part of AlUla Skies Festival events, which was dedicated to the spectacular starry night of the desert of AlUla. Under the backlit Arch Rock, Italian pianist Dardust led a magnificent Symphony Under the Stars in a show like no other. This modern take on classical music had the audience on their feet for a spectacular performance.

 

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  1. The Dancing Rocks

The Dancing Rocks are so-called because these formations are sculpted by nature to appear as if they are swaying in unison. Located in the Raggasat Valley, the rocks seem to dance together, slightly removed from the surrounding rock formations. This place is famous for hiking activities and dune buggies experience. Reach Dancing Rocks in 45 minutes from the city centre, while hiring a four-wheel-drive vehicle with an experienced driver is recommended.

 

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  1. Gharameel Desert

About an hour outside of the city centre, discover dark, thin pillars of stone stretching up to the sky. This is Gharameel. You’ll need to go off-road to reach the site, so we recommend hiring a four-wheel-drive vehicle with an experienced driver. Your reward is a view unlike any other, made even more dramatic at night when AlUla’s dark skies showcase a brilliant display of stars above the rocks. Stargazing packages welcome you to gaze at Gharameel’s stone pillars and follow their spires upward toward the twinkling stars.

 

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  1. Volcanoes

At the remote desert areas of AlUla, find stark, black volcanic rock and inactive volcanoes which stand atop sandstone and are surrounded by seas of golden sand to make for truly dramatic, other-worldly sights. Some of those areas are visitor friendly with guides to experience the hiking around the top of a volcano. Khaybar, the neighbouring Oasis in the south of AlUla is well known for its two famous; The White Volcano and the Black Volcano.

 

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  1. Lava Domes and Flows

The earliest human activity is evidenced in AlUla in Harrat Uwayrid and elsewhere in northwestern Saudi Arabia in Harrat Khaybar. These important volcanic areas comprise two of the largest in Saudi Arabia. Harrat Khaybar includes a spectacular 100-kilometre long vent system containing lava domes, tuff rings, basaltic cones and the Jabal Qidr stratovolcano. The dramatic lava flows of volcanic events can be seen across the region. Harrat Khaybar has at least seven post-Neolithic (less than 4,500 years old) and eight historical (less than 1,500 years old) lava flows. The last eruption in the Harrat Uwayrid is believed to have occurred around 640 CE. According to Bedouin legends, the explosion erupted fire and stones, killing herdsmen and their animals. The best way to see these formation is by taking a helicopter tour to see the incredible formation from a panoramic sky view.

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AlUla Moments Announces OneRepublic in Next Line up of Concerts at Maraya

A new lineup of international and regional artists will take the stage at Maraya, the world’s largest mirrored building.


The performances, part of AlUla Moments concert series, coincide with the Ancient Kingdoms Festival, which is set to take place in November 2022.

The first newly announced concert will be on Thursday, November 10th, with international GRAMMY nominated megastars OneRepublic performing at AlUla for the first time. Their debut album Dreaming Out Loud in 2007 included the 20m selling smash single Apologize, shattered digital sales and airplay records worldwide, receiving a GRAMMY nomination. The band released several albums thereafter, achieving over 5B streams on Spotify to date.faia-younan-1

The pop-rock band will perform songs from their popular albums: Oh My MyHuman, and others. Along with their Top Gun: Maverick themed song – I Ain’t Worried, they will also play selected tracks from their newly released Never Ending Summer as part of the album’s tour.

Moving from western music to eastern, on Friday November 18th, the young Syrian Faia Younan will return to Maraya for the 2nd time. After a successful performance in November 2021, she will bring the joy again to Maraya with her unique mix of fresh, light, original, Arabic and Syriac songs.mostafa-helmy-maestro

Egyptian soprano Mai Farouk and the Arab Orchestra will take the stage on Friday, November 25th. Mai started her career at the age of 8, when she learnt to sing at the Egyptian Opera House with Maestro Selim Sahhab’s band. She performed a big number of traditional Arabic operetta and songs from the Egyptian mid-20th century music of the Egyptian iconic singer Umm Kalthoum and Mohammed Abdul Wahab.

The Arab Orchestra will be directed by Maestro Mostafa Helmy. The renowned Maestro participated in a number of musical records with Egyptian and regional music talents and music distributors. As well as his role as a music professor at the faculty of Specific Education, he led the Orchestra at the Arabic Music Festival in its last four editions. For lovers of original traditional Arabic and Egyptian music, this will be a not-to-miss concert.1920x1080-eng

Tickets for OneRepublic, Mai Farouk and the Arab Orchestra are on sale now. For Faia YOunan it will go on sale in the evening of October 20th, 2022. To book your tickets visit experiencealula.com

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AlUla On Wheels, the Unique Roller Skating Extravaganza in AlUla to be Hosted this Weekend by Legendary Swizz Beatz

AlUla On Wheels, the immersive roller rink experience powered by Swizz Beatz’ global creative agency, Good Intentions, has been delighting AlUla residents and visitors alike since it opened in AlUla on October 6th.


The roller rink, brought to the public by AlUla Moments and featuring neon-lights and bumping music blasted from one of AlUla’s oldest boys school, will reach a crescendo this weekend as curator, music producer and performer Swizz Beatz takes center stage.

A fun, entertaining and cultural experience and a blazing example of the AlUla movement that of music and arts that started with Azimuth and will continue throughout the winter events calendar and beyond.

The closing weekend of AlUla On Wheels taking place on October 20th to 22nd is dubbed “The Swizz Weekend”, with a roster of talent and surprise guests pumping up the energy with the best creatives engaged to deliver a stellar weekend of fun.

Good Intentions, the global culture and creative company owned by Swizz Beatz and his partner Noor Taher, has commission a mural by the one and only RexChouk, displaying an ode to Swizz’s camel team, Saudi Bronx, in addition to the unique Ruff Ryders.

The weekend will also include the official listening party for the highly-anticipated album, MOYA, executive-produced by Swizz Beatz and local producer on the rise, Ntitled. The album showcases “the Saudi sound & story’ with a variety of talented local Saudi artists like Ntitled, Jeed, Kali-B, Aziz.wav, Shiloh, Rayan and producers Saud and NBL.

The weekend will also feature Saudi’s very own Pass the Kabsa Podcast, live from the rink in conversation with Good Intentions, the musicians behind the MOYA album and the brilliant creatives engaged on this project.

 

Closing Weekend Program:

 

Thursday October 20th:

7:00pm – 8:30pm: Pass the Kabsa Live Podcast and Panel – In Conversations with Good Intentions, The Creatives of Saudi and MOYA musicians.

11:00 PM: MOYA Listening Party & Swizz Beatz LIVE AlUla On Wheels

Friday, October 21st: 11:00 pm Swizz Beatz DJ’s LIVE AT AlUla On Wheels

 Tickets are on sale now. To book your ticket visit experiencealula.com

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AlUla International Airport Received the First Flynas Direct Flight from Cairo

In a significant step that connects two ancient cities, AlUla International Airport celebrated the arrival of flynas first direct flight between AlUla and Cairo on Thursday, October 6th, 2022.


An arrival ceremony took place at AlUla airport with the presence of flynas, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), and AlUla International Airport representatives.

flynas confirmed that launching flynas first direct flight between AlUla and Cairo aims to support the Saudi Vision 2030’s plans to transform AlUla into a world-preferred visitor destination known for its history and culture, praising RCU’s cooperation and support to achieve mutual objectives to make AlUla even more accessible to international visitors.

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Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer at RCU said: “Today we welcome the connection between two cities with globally significant historical and cultural appeal with flynas’ first direct flight between AlUla and Cairo. With increased airlift capacity from domestic and international cities, we will continue to build a sustainable tourism eco-system in AlUla opening up our stunning landscapes, heritage sites, and unique events to more people globally.”

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AlUla offers high-end curated experiences in heritage, art, culture, wellness, and adventure. As a vital city located along the famous incense-trading route running from southern Arabia, north into Egypt and beyond, AlUla’s oases dotted the area and offered a much-needed respite for caravans of weary travelers, providing a welcoming place to rest, commune, and recharge.

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The inaugural flight arrives in AlUla the same day as superstar Egyptian singer Angham performs for the first time at Maraya. Angham has a huge profile in the region and Saudi fans were quick to get their tickets to the 550-seat show highlighting the common culture between Cairo and AlUla.

flynas will operate two weekly direct flights between AlUla and Cairo, scheduled every Saturday and Thursday, from AlUla International Airport to Cairo International Airport.

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flynas recently announced the resumption of its flights from AlUla to Riyadh, Dammam, and Dubai, with two weekly flights for each destination. flynas was the first-ever airline to launch international scheduled flights to AlUla from Dubai back in November 2021.

flynas connects more than 70 domestic and international destinations through its fleet of more than 38 aircraft, and it has transported more than 60 million passengers since its establishment in 2007.

For more information about AlUla, visit experiencealula.com

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The Power of Music, Art & Creativity on Display AlUla Wellness Festival’s Five Senses Sanctuary

As the flagship experience of AlUla Wellness Festival, Five Senses Sanctuary, has already become the region’s leading retreat for wellness practices, yoga, physical and mental health.


Returning to AlUla from 29 September to 8 October, this second edition of the sanctuary promises to be bigger and better than before. Perfect for corporate groups, friends and family groups looking for fun and healthy bonding experiences, the 10 days event will feature more opportunities to engage and stimulate all five senses. In this edition a particular focus will be on the healing power of music; the use of art as therapy and dance and the movement of the body connected to the holistic forces of the moon and the stars. The exciting mix of immersive experiences is aimed at furthering self-connection, revising inner-feelings and igniting positive change.

As in the first edition, Five Senses Sanctuary will introduce an impressive list of yogi celebrities, motivational speakers, engaging workshops, musical performances, customized retail inspired by AlUla and much more.

International practitioners from edition one of Five Senses Sanctuary will be back to continue their connection to AlUla and its landscapes. These include international classical yoga, mindfulness and wisdom coach, Manish Pole; guitar player and singer Dan Moores – who will enchant the attendees with his selection of inspiring songs; and author, psychologist and Handpan musician, Valentina Adeeva, to co-create healing and peaceful music within group sessions.

Locally-renowned practitioners returning include Khaled Nahfawi, who will introduce dedicated sessions inspired by AlUla’s outdoors and nature – a popular trend in wellness.  Ghalia AlMadani will lead a new series of mindfulness rituals, restoration breath works and other influencing health practices. Nancy Zabaneh will offer her series of meditation sessions to the Sanctuary’s attendees.

As the guardians of AlUla’s nature, heritage and culture, the female talents of arts school, Madrasat Addeera will run dedicated sessions to showcase their creativity, speak about their experiences and interact with visitors in a continued drive to amplify their voices to the world.

Five Senses Sanctuary will be located in a new spot close to Ikmah Oasis, with easy access for all visitors. Five Senses Sanctuary will run from 29th September till 8th of October. Set in a stunning and tranquil landscape, spectacular outdoor spaces will host carefully programmed and curated activities, classes and exclusive retreat packages that take place throughout the 10-days. Each day will be programmed with a variety of individual activities that can be enjoyed on their own or that form a tailored program as part of an exclusive focused package targeting a variety of different outcomes. Weekends will offer unique entertainment, with rare classes, unique workshops, immersive experiences, motivational international speakers and much more.

THE PROGRAM

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  • The Opening Program – Face painting, music and breathworks

Tribal Face Painting – the activity aims to define both art and demonstation of social belonging to the person. In the history of native American tribes, face painting has been used for artistic expression since ancient times. The art of transforming faces with make-up and masks is a universal phenomenon. In Five Senses, AlUla themes will be used as an inspiration for the facial painting designs, to bring the story and feel of AlUla into the overall experience.

Aware Meditative Music – Aware experience is a meditative music experience led by Bogdan and Mattias through the sound of violin, drums, and profound sound of the voice. Aware takes participants into a relaxing state and gradually creating space for uplifting energy through profound sounds.

Musical Breathwork by Alchemy Art Rewire and Leo Prakash –  This experience with music will settle the participants down into their body, brings the system into coherence, nourish cells, and build emotional resilience, leaving them in an energized yet centered state. The music acts as a unifying force and a guide. The benefits of this workshop will last for days.

Commenting on his participation at the program, Alchemy says: “I am looking to support people to discover their awareness, understand the new meaning of mind limitations and behaviors, rewire the way they process daily life, and feel the peace within we all deserve to be acknowledged by”.

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  • Poetry and motivational talks:

The program features motivational speakers such as Manish Pole and Mimi Yoga, who intend to motivate and inspire their audience by different topics to challenge or transform them.

Performance Poetry sessions will be conducted by Raghad Fathaddin. The Performance Poetry is about involving the audience emotions and ideas to express while listening to a poet.

While Bilal Allaf will Conduct live movement and poetry sessions. Bilal is a Saudi performing artist and director. With every movement he takes, he discovers the beauty of all that is around him, carefully choosing his steps on the dynamic terrain of the country’s diverse landscapes.

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  • Yoga

Different sessions of Yoga will be conducted throughout the days, to ignite the energy, flexibility and wellbeing. The sessions provide different classes such as Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini Yoga, Yin Yoga, Mat Pilates, Conscious Ecstatic Movement. The movement classes will be conducted at Pavilion A.

Other types of classes aim to inspire meditation, breathe and aligning with nature will be featured: Aerial, Silent, Restorative Yoga, Animal Flow and mobility fitness. The theme also includes other sessions of Sound Healing, Breathwork, Yoga Nidra, Chakra Balancing Meditation and Kigong, which can all be attended at Pavilion B.

Talents instructing these classes are Mimi Yoga, Robin Martin, Sarah Medina, Josh Kramer, Shaikha Hamad, Ghalia AlMadani, Konstantina Maridaki, Rayan AlGhalayini, Roaa Alshahhaf and Lojjain Alrefaee.

Mimi Yoga, a yoga talent and Says: “I always dreamed of creating a global community where I could share how yoga changed my life. Yoga taught me to trust that life is good, whether or not things are going well. It helped me enhance my patience, feel self-love, stay in the moment, and truly relax. And now, I can share my practice with you all day, every day and anywhere.”

Speaking about her participation at the previous edition of Five Senses, Ghalia AlMadani says that her experience in magical AlUla was extraordinary: “I was inspired the moment I landed in AlUla from its breathtaking nature, to experience the beautifully designed & executed event- Five Senses Sanctuary. My heart was full and I was beyond proud of the quality of experiences I attended of my fellow instructors and facilitators”.

 

  • Talks and music

Five Senses Sanctuary talks are also back with an exciting line up of speakers specific to the central theme of art, music and creativity. Perhaps one of the most important of the five senses, taste, will be explored via a series of indulging but healthy food and beverage experiences including live cooking demonstration sessions and more. With WILDFLOWER Café returning, Chef Marcelion will be offering his favourite recipes. This edition the café will be open to all visitors with no ticket required and motivational talks on offer for all to enjoy.

At the café, guests can meet, enjoy a variety of healthy snacks and beverages, engage in smaller workshops and browse through a retail area offering a premium selection of wellness products and local KSA brands. Featuring MZN products made of natural and organic ingredients to create beautiful and effective skincare products, the brand brings soap bars, hand cream, body oil, massage oil and body scrubs.

A range of motivational and inspirational speakers will attend to deliver their experiences to the audience. the objective is to create a comfortable yet nourishing environment where both talent and guests can connect, grow and inspire others. Five Senses Sanctuary builds a community and foster exchange between regional and international talent, as well as promote the local talent and have them engage with international talent.

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Cooking Demonstrations sessions are offered to activate the senses with these live cooking shows and demonstrations showcasing the healthiest food trends and recipes to help attendees eat and live well.

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Massages and treatment:

  • Stress-release massage – Developed over 2,500 years ago, Thai Yoga Massage is a dynamic bodywork therapy based upon yoga and Ayurveda practices. It’s a full body treatment that relieves muscular tension, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and balances the body energetically
  • Sound Healing – The use of music has been proven to lower the perceived levels of stress in patients, while greatly reducing the physical manifestations of stress as well – such as heart rate, blood pressure, or levels of stress hormones.
  • Natural Facials – A revitalizing and refreshing experience for the face, using massage and long strokes to help increase vitality and circulation – all with natural ingredients to hydrate the skin and leave you fresh after a sweaty day.
  • Reflexology – A revitalizing and refreshing experience for the face, using massage and long strokes to help increase vitality and circulation – all with natural ingredients to hydrate the skin and leave you fresh after a sweaty day.

 

Different options of tickets are offered starting from SAR 50, with free access to WildFlower Café and free to attend motivational and inspirational talks from 9 AM till 11 PM.

To book your ticket to Five Senses Sanctuary and get to know all classes visit experiencealula.com

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Dragons Spotted in the Ancient Desert City of Alula!

Ahead of the global premiere of HBO’s house of the Dragon.


Fire-breathing dragons have been spotted squatting in the 2000-year-old Nabataean tombs of Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in AlUla, Saudi Arabia.

The highly anticipated epic fantasy drama, ‘House of the Dragon’, the prequel to HBO’s global phenomena series Game of Thrones, headed to the spectacular landscapes of AlUla as part of a promotional campaign to launch the series which airs today worldwide and in the region on OSN+.

The clip – released on social media – was shot on location at the archaeological and using CGI introduces Daemon Targaryen’s dragon, Vhagar, spreading carnage with his flames and formidable size.

The celebrations continued with the House of the Dragon’s sigil emblazoned on AlUla’s iconic natural rock formation Elephant Rock, and a gigantic Balerion dragon skull seen in the Diwan at Jabal Ithlib, one of Hegra’s most fascinating sites, and within the stunning landscape of Wadi Al Fann.

The striking activations will continue throughout the series with more dragon action to be seen around AlUla’s natural and man-made monuments. The OSN+ activations were created by producer and director Tom Jauncey of creative content studio Beautiful Destinations to strike a chord with diehard fans while tempting the uninitiated to check out the show ahead of the thrilling journey in ‘House of The Dragon’, a series set to dominate the TV landscape.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood,” the series, which is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen.

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“With its historical and archaeological significance in the region, as well as its striking rock formations set across the Saudi Arabian desert, AlUla was undoubtedly an ideal location for OSN+ to activate one of the biggest television premiers, House of the Dragon, the prequel to HBO’s Game of Thrones, both globally and in the region,” said Ashley Rite, VP of Marketing & Growth at OSN+. “We are pleased to have collaborated with the Royal Commission for AlUla on such an immersive activation and experiential campaign.”

Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer, at the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) explained: “With the otherworldly landscapes of AlUla and ancient sites built by civilizations stretching back 7000 years, AlUla is the perfect location to stand is as the home of the dragons. With so much history and as the crossroad of civilizations, AlUla has its own myths and legends and stories to tell and we are very happy to lend our destination to the HBO and OSN teams and be part of the Game of Thrones phenomenon.”

Saudi Arabia offers a 40% cash back rebate for international and local feature films, television series, and documentaries planning to shoot in the Kingdom. Film AlUla, The Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency, established to promote and support international film and TV production in the County of AlUla, supported the activations with location scouting and permitting.

AlUla offers filmmakers a diversity of landscapes to shoot including desert landscapes, interesting rock formations, luscious oases, and historical landmarks. Film AlUla supports with filming incentives and on-the-ground facilitation and has most recently welcomed Ric Roman Waugh’s US action thriller ‘Kandahar’ starring Gerard Butler and homegrown production ‘Norah’ written and directed by Tawfik Alzaidi.

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AlUla Offers Ramadan with A Difference

A myriad of Iftar and Suhoor menus, heritage and cultural tours and adventure experiences make AlUla the place to spend quality time together and do something different this Ramadan.


This Ramadan, AlUla invites you to celebrate the Holy Month among the city’s ancient landscapes and natural beauties. Whether fasting or relaxing, there are spectacular Iftar and Suhoor settings in AlUla’s newest restaurants, as well as  outdoor morning and evening adventures to gather in nature, connect and revive the traditional old sentiments of Ramadan.

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Enjoy Iftar and Suhoor surrounded by Mother Nature:

Habitas AlUla, Shaden or Sahary Resort, are offering Iftar and Suhoor menus inspired by the local Saudi and Arabic food mixed with a taste from AlUla farms’ fresh ingredients. These stunning settings provide the perfect place to break your fast.

Alternatively, AlUla’s newest arts and dining precinct, AlJadidah, will offer a lively gathering of diners under the festoon lighting of this pedestrian friendly area. At newcomer, Somewhere, enjoy a selection of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean dishes in the magical outdoor oasis, or break your fast with the delicious Italian fare at get Circolo restaurant located in Oasis Square. Vegetarians should try the ever-so-healthy Moonshell in AlJadidah’s Gathering Square. If you are looking for something even more casual, have your Iftar or Suhoor from the food trucks in the Art Square area.

At the geological wonder of Elephant Rock, enjoy your Iftar meal from the famous SALT food truck during the scenic sunset views while admiring the surrounding rock formations of this magical place. Or take the opportunity to have your Suhoor there while gathering with your family and friends around the night fire in the stylish seating circles surrounding the Elephant rock.

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The offering at Pink Camel Pastry Boutique includes the best coffee and Macarons in AlUla with tables set into the sand and surrounded by the beautiful palms and the fragrant citrus trees of AlUla Summer Oasis.

AlUla Old Town has become the beating heart of AlUla and with its Ramadan decorations is even more special to visit.  Enjoy the traditional Iftar and Suhoor in the popular upscale Suhail Old Town restaurant, offering a modern Saudi Arabian fine dining concept serving dishes inspired by ancient spices of the Arabian Peninsula and time-honoured traditions. Other restaurants in the mesmerizing seating areas in the Incense Road Market include Merkaz restaurant, AlNakheel or AlRahba Café, offering unique iftar and Suhoor menus and a selection of traditional Ramadan beverages.

Why not make your own food or grab a take away coffee and snack from Wacafe, ACME or Le Moulin Bakery and head up the hill to the Harrat Uwayrid viewpoint for spectacular sunset or sunrise with a 360 degree scenic view of all of AlUla

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Swap TV for an outdoor adventure this Ramadan

It’s not too late to experience the thrilling and adrenaline rush activities in AlUla, this year, the unique outdoor and natural activities have been extended and will run all year round, so you can enjoy them at your leisure without the crowds. Celebrate the Holy Month while challenging your mind and body and enjoying the natural surroundings.

Try one of the hiking trails in AlUla, offering either early mornings or evening departures, the surprising Hidden Valley Hike offers views around every rock and the The Ridge Walk Hike will take you around the rim of a volcano, the trails offer you the opportunity of getting amongst nature and appreciating it in a way that sightseeing will never deliver.

For more thrilling activity, try Via Ferrata and Canyon Hammock, Zigzag your way across the canyon, suspended in a harness, completing aerial challenges and manoeuvring through floating obstacles. Rock Climbing, Abseiling, or flying through the valley using the tallest Zipline rope in Saudi Arabia – all these activities are on offer for those after a Ramadan with a difference. Operated by the experts ‘Warrior’, all the activities are suitable for beginners who will be guided by tour guides to maintain the safety of the users.

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The new bike path offers a mountain biking adventure on a spectacular route, cycling through AlUla’s amazing sandstone mountains. The level of the challenge changes throughout the 14 KM-long journey.

From the land to the sky, AlUla’s beauty is arguably best admired from the air. Enjoy a 30 minute helicopter flight over AlUla and see AlUla’s iconic landmarks such as Hegra, Dadan and Jabal Ikmah, the Old Town and Elephant Rock. The tour is family-friendly and is suitable for children above 3 years old accompanied by their parents.

And as day turns into night, leave the festive lighting of the city and head an hour into the desert for the most magical Stargazing Experience. Sit back and reflect on the wonders of the world and travel back thousands of years in history to explore AlUla by night as 7000 years of civilisations have done before us.

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Reconnect with Saudi’s magnificent heritage this Ramadan

All the heritage tours will be available during Ramadan. If you’re fasting, your time will fly, and if you are visiting for the first time you can do it without the crowds during the quieter Holy Month.

Tours to visit Hegra, the UNESCO World’s Heritage Site, will be available everyday with tours departing throughout the day. Vintage Cars provide a fun and stylish was to upgrade your visit or you can. tour using bicycles offered for visitors free of charge.

Visit Dadan and Jabal Ikmah and explore the ancient civilisations and kingdoms of Ancient Arabia while listening to your expert Rawi (Tour Guide) who will be educating you on the epic history of the region. You can also book the experience in a vintage car.

While AlUla Old Town has become synonymous with the vibrant Incense Road market – there are fascinating stories you can learn by booking a tour with a Rawi of this 800-year-old maze and the 10th century castle that provides stunning views of the town and the oasis.

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All activities and more will be running throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Eid and Summer Holidays.

To know more and to book your experiences, visit: www.experiencealula.com

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Saudi Tour; AlUla’s Cycling Champions Roll Into Town

As the riders and officials for Saudi Tour arrive in AlUla, team BikeExchange-Jayco, of which AlUla is the official destination partner, took the opportunity to explore some of the sights and heights.


Saudi Tour is set to kick off today with 16 teams competing in what will be the first time AlUla hosts the UCI event. The most anticipated stage 4 of the event is a 4km long climb which includes 2.7km at 12% and apart with a gradient of 22%, leading to a lunar-style plateau that offers stunning views over the valley of AlUla.

AlUla’s BikeExchange-Jayco team headed straight out to the Harrat to check out the climb.

“Amazing, what an amazing city, amazing view”, said Luka Mezgec.

“A lot of hills a lot of sand, it’s nice yeah, super beautiful”, said Lawson Craddock.

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AlUla Says Bienvenue to France as First Direct Flight Arrives in The Ancient City

Officials including Phillip Jones, RCU, and Gérard Mestrallet, AFALULA arrived on the first direct flight from Europe at AlUla’s Airport last night — The weekly non-stop flight will operate from 30 January to 27 March 2022, as winter season events enter full swing.


Carrying 75 passengers onboard, the SAUDIA inaugural direct flight from Paris touched down in AlUla last night.

The flight departed from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport and arrived at AlUla International Airport at 10:30 pm, after a comfortable 5-hour flight.

Marking the first direct flight from Europe, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was welcomed at Alula Airport by Saudi officials including AlUla Airport Director, Eng. Abdulwahab Bokhari.

Onboard guests on the inaugural flight included officials from SAUDIA, Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), Gérard Mestrallet, Executive Chairman of the French Agency for the Development of AlUla (AFALULA).

Guests arriving in AlUla will attend the equestrian events as part of the destination’s Winter at Tantora festival including Pierre Durand, ex-Olympic Champion show-jumper.

Timed to coincide with the winter event season in AlUla; the new flight will welcome French visitors to explore the ancient desert city and take part in one of many arts, music, cultural events on offer.

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Alula Moments Announces Maraya Musical Concerts in December with International Artist Cheb Khaled & Lena Chamamyan

AlUla Moments continues to present its series of popular musical nights at Maraya in December with artists Cheb Khaled and Lena Chamamyan.


Lena Chamamyan will be in concert at Maraya on the 10th of December, followed by Cheb Khaled on the same stage on the 17th of December. Visitors who wish to have exclusive offers for early bird tickets can sign up at www.experiencealula.com

The different styles of music of the artist reflect the AlUla moments season’s diversity in attracting all types of listeners and music lovers and from different ages.

lena-chamamyan-stockholm2Lena Chamamyan presents classical lyrical music that reflects her background of studying classical opera and her participation in global music projects. Her unique style blends traditional styles of eastern songs from the Arab world and Armenia with western classics and merging traditional eastern instruments and harmonies with their western counterparts. The result is a sense of spirit and improvisation which thrills audiences.

With a concert entitled “The Road of The Sun”, Lena promises her Saudi audience a special event. A travel along a musical road between the Levantine, Gulf, Andalusian and Armenian folk add to jazz and modern classic pop. On stage, the orchestra leaded by the Armenian Russian maestro Alexandr Iradiyan is composed by jazz musicians and strings section from Egypt. The music is arranged by the Turkish Belgian arranger Cihan Sezer.cheb-khaled-1

Cheb Khaled, the Algerian singer, started his career at age 14 when he founded the Cinq Étoiles (Five Stars) band and started performing in nightclubs and at weddings. Khaled is considered one of the pioneers of the Global Raï musical art, a type of Algerian popular music that arose in the 1920s in the port city of Oran. Khaled has sung duets with many international and Arab singers throughout his long musical career.

Both Khaled and Lena will be performing in AlUla for the first time, while each of them is preparing a special concert to entertain the audience and making it an unforgettable moment for their concerts’ attendees.instagram_1080x1080_en_wh_wl

Lena says: “I am proud to perform my first-time concert in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the city of ancient civilisations’ crossroads in AlUla, and of course at Maraya, a unique venue of kind architecturally and musical programming. With much enthusiasm, I am preparing in collaboration with international partners a variety of music that can reflect the venue authenticity, blending Folk, Jazz, Classical and oriental pop”.cheb-khaled-english-artwork

Commenting on his concert and visit to AlUla, Khaled says: “Saudi Arabia is a beloved place to my heart since my first concert in the Kingdom in 2017 so I am excited to visit the Kingdom again and sing in the ancient city of AlUla. I’ve always wanted to visit AlUla and I am hoping to visit its monumental sites while I am there. For the fans, I am preparing quite a few surprises to make it an unforgettable night in AlUla”.

Khaled and Lena’s concerts will be the last events before the official start of AlUla Moments festivals which start on December 21st, with several musical nights to be announced later that satisfy all tastes of music lovers.

Sign up for early bird tickets at experiencealula.com

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