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Open to international travellers for the first time in recent history, AlUla offers a rich and rare combination of heritage, culture and natural beauty. Located in the northwest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the city of AlUla was at the crossroads of the ancient incense trading routes.
So, while there is the opportunity to be among the first visitors in modern times, AlUla has been famous as a welcoming place of hospitality for thousands of years. That’s true of the people of AlUla today. Everyone you meet has a smile for you and wants to tell you a story or show you a special place.
Come discover the extraordinary heritage sites, beautiful wilderness and epic landscapes as AlUla shares the secrets of a land with 200,000 years of largely unexplored human history.
Heritage at the Heart
Only recently re-discovered by the world, AlUla is a living museum with breathtaking landscapes, work-of-art rock formations, an incredible oasis and a fascinating immersion into the heritage, culture and mysticism of the Arabian Peninsula.
Hegra is Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an ideal place to starting point. The Nabateans established Hegra as their principal southern city in the mid-first century BCE. (Petra was the principal northern city of the Nabateans and is approximately a six-hour drive north). Today the stunning site is home to over 100 monumental façade tombs and extensive tomb inscriptions.
Centuries older than Hegra, the mystical city of Dadan, was built meticulously from stone astride the valley’s oasis. Archaeologists are continuing to uncover more about Dadan and believe it to be the most developed 1st millennium BCE cities in northern Arabia.
AlUla Old Town
Explore the labyrinth of mud brick buildings, take a walking tour with a rawi (local storyteller), explore the bazaar, browse the shops for spices, dates, and pottery. There are numerous restaurants to choose from, and then walk off lunch heading up to the top of Musabin Nusayr Castle, a 10th century citadel that overlooks Old Town.
Nature and Outdoors in The World’s Largest Living Museum
There’s a sense of openness, vastness and quiet that invites visitors to wander in AlUla’s living museum. From mazes of dramatic rock formations, sand-swept dunes, lush valleys with citrus groves and ancient basalt lava flows. Be sure to leave plenty of time in your itinerary in AlUla to take in AlUla’s natural offerings.
On the Oasis Trail
At the heart of the community of AlUla is the oasis, lush greenery of 2.3 million date palms, running like a river through the desert landscape.
For centuries the oasis provided sustenance to the local community. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to explore the oasis and take in the aromatic air filled with dates, oranges, and mint. Meet the locals on an easy and immersive three-kilometre walk through the oasis, that takes visitors from Dadan to Old Town.
The Darkest of Night Skies
Grab a warm jacket, lean back, look up to the sky and see an entire universe reveal itself above you. This stargazing experience, set in the remote Gharameel area of AlUla, offers some of the best views of the night sky you’ll ever see. Local storytellers will explain the stars and consolations, while visitors enjoy a traditional dinner.
Sunset at Elephant Rock
Three storeys high is the geological marvel of Jabal Alfil (known also as Elephant Rock). Take a seat as the sun is setting, enjoy Arabic coffee and sweets in a landscape of golden sands, and watch the colours come to life and the shadows begin to fall on the sandstone outcrops as the night sky rolls in.
Where to Stay
AlUla has an exclusive range of accommodation options. From luxury semi-tented villas to boutique eco-friendly desert resorts. Most of the hotel properties are surrounded by AlUla’s trademark sandstone mountain outcrops, situated in prime positions to enjoy the great outdoors and starry night skies, and to enjoy the vastness and quiet of AlUla.
A roll-out of new luxury boutique hotel developments is underway, with several exciting new hotel openings scheduled for 2022.
Next week in LATTE – 10 Unmissable Experiences in AlUla.
For a complete visitor’s guide, videos and more see experiencealula.com
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Trade enquiries welcome! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For group and FIT booking arrangements to AlUla, please see Abercrombie & Kent
Contact Details: 1300 851 800
DESTINATION OF THE MONTH
WEEK 1 OF 3
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