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    About
    AlUla

    This magical place
    holds secrets
    to be discovered.

    Explore AlUla’s
    Wonders of Time

    AlUla is a place of extraordinary human and natural heritage. (Heritage Sites will reopen October 2020)

    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

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