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    About AlUla

    This magical place
    holds secrets
    to be discovered.
    Explore the

    Wonders of Time


    AlUla is a place of extraordinary human and natural heritage.

    We invite you to come journey through a living museum of preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops, historic dwellings and monuments, both natural and human-made, that hold 200,000 years of largely unexplored human history. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long been a crossroads of ancient civilizations — a place of deep history, but one that is constantly evolving. AlUla is an extraordinary example of this and you can soon help write the next pages of its history.

    Uncover the

    History of AlUla


    For thousands of years, northwest Saudi Arabia attracted people who came to take advantage of the abundant resources offered by its fertile oases.

    AlUla was one of them, and became a vital crossroads along the famous incense-trading routes running from southern Arabia north into Egypt and beyond. With oases dotting the area, it offered a much-needed respite for weary travelers, becoming a popular place to rest, commune and recharge.

    AlUla was also capital of the ancient kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan, which controlled the caravan trade. The site of Hegra, modern Mada'in Salih, was the principal southern city of the Nabataean kingdom, famed for its spectacular monumental tombs. Today, Old Town AlUla is an abandoned labyrinth of streets tightly packed to create a defensive wall, and seemingly built over an ancient settlement.

    This largely undiscovered expanse holds a timeless mystery that has been carried through its complex history. Layer upon layer of human history and a wealth of natural wonders are waiting to be explored from dramatic rock formations and sand-swept dunes to archaeological ruins that trace the lives of the ancient cultures who built cities here.

    Soon, this land will be yours to discover.

    AlUla is home to a series of fascinating historical and archaeological sites such as Ancient Dadan, the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms.


    Paleolithic,
    ~200,000 BCE

    Stone tools

    Bronze Age,
    ~3,000-2,000 BCE

    Burials and funerary monuments evident throughout the landscape

    Ancient North Arabian Kingdoms (Dadan)
    ~600c. BCE – 3c. BCE

    Capital city of Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms

    Water management and development of intensive agriculture in the AlUla Valley

    Prosperity from incense trade to Mesopotamia, Egypt and beyond

    Ancient North Arabian scripts and languages (best seen at nearby Jabal ‘Ikmah)

    Nabataean Kingdom (Hegra)
    ~100 BCE – 106 CE

    Functioned as the southern capital of the Nabataean Kingdom, with Nabataean culture continuing for centuries after the kingdom’s fall

    Spectacular carved tomb facades

    Water management and development of agriculture in the Hegra Plain

    Prosperity from incense trade to the Mediterranean

    Roman presence in northwest Arabia
    106 – c. 300 CE

    Fort at Hegra

    Southernmost limit of the Roman presence in Arabia

    Early Islamic period (Qurh)
    at least ~600 – 1200 CE

    Prosperity from trade and pilgrimage

    Water management and development of agriculture in the southern part of the AlUla Valley

    Later Islamic period (AlUla Old Town)
    ~1200 – 1980s CE

    Prosperity from trade and pilgrimage

    Water management and intensive agriculture again in the AlUla Valley core

    Ottoman presence
    1517 – 1920 CE

    Forts to protect pilgrim travel

    Hijaz Railway with several halts in the region to modernize pilgrim travel

    Map Your Own Path

    Through AlUla


    Get a Sneak Peek

    While AlUla’s historic sites are currently closed for conservation until October 2020, you can catch a sneak peek at many of them by attending the Winter at Tantora festival from 19 December 2019 to 7 March 2020.

    This 12-week event celebrates the area’s music, art, culture and heritage through a number of performances, tours and experiences during one of the most pleasant times of the year to visit.

    Winter at Tantora
    Weather

    AlUla has a comfortable climate at least 9 months of the year, providing cooler temperatures and breezes on higher ground, making those locations great for summer activities. Pleasing temperatures may be found in shaded palm groves within the oasis as well.

    Changes in elevation can lead to significant variations in average annual temperatures across the region; the average difference from low to high areas is 12°C. Temperatures also vary significantly by season.

    Annual Temperatures
    Experience AlUla

    for Yourself

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