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Top 10 Things To Do At Tourist Attractions In Al Ula

Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry over the years has become more efficient and welcoming to visitors from other countries. And over the decade there have been discoveries of several locations in and around the region that helps promote Saudi Arabia tourism. One such region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Al Ula. The province of Al Ula eventually was a massive piece of barren desert land. But post certain discoveries made by historians and archaeologists. The region promises to be one of the most historically rich regions in all of Saudi Arabia. The recent developments have also intertwined with the recent announcement of the Riyadh Festival 2021 which will go on till March 2022. Below we have an exciting list of things to do Al Ula and some of the top Al Ula tourist attractions to explore.

Things To Do In Al Ula Tourist Places

10. Explore Jebel Khuraybah

Top 10 Things To Do At Tourist Attractions In Al Ula

Once a part of the ancient kingdom of Lihyan, the fortress and the three peaks of Jebel Khuraybah was also the capital city. The location has become a popular spot with historians, archaeologists and tourists. One of the most prominent spots at Jebel Khuraybah is the ‘Lion’s tomb’. The tomb lies right at the foot of the peaks made of precise cuts into the rocks. The unique feature of the tomb that earns it the name of the ‘Lion’s tomb’. Are the two stoned cut lions that mark the entrance of the tomb. The tomb is also home to a massive headless figure carved out of sandstone. While a climb to the central peak reveals a flight of stairs and walls connecting the three peaks to the ancient fortress city. Making it an extraordinary location for experiencing places to visit in Saudi Arabia.

Timings: 8 AM – 5 PM

Location: Dedan, Al Madinah

Best time to visit: Winter months of October to April

Entry fee: SR 15 – 30


9. Marvel The Wonder Known As Maraya

Maraya, Al Ula

The upcoming Riyadh festival is the next generation exhibition taking place in Riyadh and promoting Saudi Arabian tourism. The event focuses on art and culture as a whole. And one such marvellous piece of art made by the Saudi’s is the structure known as ‘Maraya’. The word ‘Maraya’ literally translates to mirror or reflection in Arabic. The majestic structure is a stunning piece of art set in the heart of the canyon of the Ashar valley. The structure is lined with close to a whopping 9,740 mirrors that perfectly reflect Al Ula’s beauty. According to the Guinness book of world records, the building is not just the worlds largest mirror-lined structure. But also serves as an art exhibition centre. Maraya has been hosting several events featuring some of the greatest artists from around the world. The building has hosted some of the top brass of Saudi Arabia on several occasions.

Timings: Operational hours

Location: Ashar Valley

Best time to visit: Winter months of November to March

Entry fee: Depending on the event/occasion


8. Stroll Through The Streets Of Al Ula Heritage Village

Al Ula Heritage Village, Saudi Arabia

Another recently made popular is the location of the Al Ula Heritage Village. The location is home to several abandoned structures made of a mixture of mud and hay. The current state of the houses is because the early settlers or the ancestors of the current resident of Al Ula were relocated sometime back. Since then the village has remained aloof from any human intervention and become a ghost town. However, the tourism industry in Saudi has relentlessly begun the restoration work of the village. There is a highway that goes through the city where the upper west side of the village has seen some major restoration works. Yet the lower eastern half of the village still brings back the nostalgia of the local residents of AL Ula who called the village their grandparents house. And remember growing up in these old torn down structures.

Timings: Daylight hours

Location: off Route 375

Best time to visit: Winter months of October to April

Entry Fee: Not available


7. Savour The Flavours of Saudi At Al Ula Heritage Restaurant

Al Ula Heritage Restaurant, Saudi Arabia

The list of things to do in Al Ula brings us to a restaurant set in the heart of Al Ula. Similar to one of the many local Saudi restaurants in the region. Like many of the surrounding restaurants, this popular eatery is set in a traditional Saudi style house. The highlight of the restaurant is the mouth-watering fresh and piping hot Kunafeh made by the chef. Kunafeh is an Arabic dessert made of vermicelli and cheese. The popularity of the restaurant can be imagined by the number of metal dishes that brave the open flames inside the restaurant. The flames of the burners never seem to go off once the eatery starts churning out these mouthwatering pies. Which kind of becomes a normal practice as the evening approaches. With each hot plate churning out a hot, new Kunafeh every 5 minutes.

Timings: Sat – Thu → 9AM – 12AM, Fri → 1PM – 12AM

Location: Al Hameediya, off Route 375

Best time to visit: Winter months of November to March

Entry Fee: SR 12 – 24


6. Marvel The Mighty Al Ula Fort

Al Ula Fort, Saudi Arabia

Another marvel from the 6th century is the Al Ula fort that stands strong even to this day. And is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia. The fort was built in the 6th century to protect the inhabitants of an ancient village from foreign invaders. The architects of the fort made use of massive red sandstone blocks to set up the fort on top of a raised landmass. That gave the residents a 360° view of the valley surrounding the fort. The climb to the castle is of moderate difficulty and is around 45 meters. But the view from the top of the fort is truly breathtaking.

Timings: 9:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Location: off Route 375, Old Al Ula

Best time to visit: Winter months of October to April

Entry Fee: N/A


5. Witness Art At Desert X Exhibition

Desert X Exhibition, Al Ula

The Desert X is a series of international art exhibitions that take place across the globe. And one of the places to visit in Saudi Arabia. The concept of this art exhibition is to explore the desert culture. Through the eyes of a local artist trying to connect the old with the new. The contemporary art exhibition first began in the Coachella Valley of Southern California in the year 2017. In 2020 the exhibition found its way to Al Ula. Which was the centre of several regional crossroads and served as a melting pot of different types of Arab culture and art. Desert X Al Ula 2020 was a cultural meeting between local Saudi artists and artists from around the region and artists from the previous editions of Desert X exhibitions. The upcoming event is closely aligned with the Riyadh Season Festival 2021.

Timings: N/A

Location: Desert of Al Ula

Best time to visit: Winter months of November to March

Entry Fee: Part of a package


4. Become One With History At The Open Library

Jabal Ikmah mountains, Al Ula

One of the most intriguing and ancient locations in Al Ula is the Jabal Ikmah mountain or often referred to as the ‘Open Library’ by Al Ula locals. Al Ula was one of the main stops on the trading route that passed through the Arabian peninsula. The location became a massive diary for travellers who took the route. And would take the opportunity to make note of the special events that took place during their voyage. The mountains of Jabal Ikmah became an open storybook for travellers wanting to share their experiences with the ones who came after them. The several inscriptions on the walls of the mountains have been translated by archaeologists and historians dating back to the 9th and 10th century B.C.

Timings: Daylight hours

Location: Desert of Al Ula

Best time to visit: Winter months of October to April

Entry Fee: N/A


3. Unravel The Mysteries Of Mada’in Saleh

Madain Saleh, Al Ula

Similar to Petra in Jordan Mada’in Saleh is a popular site of massive historic significance that lies in the Al Ula province of Saudi Arabia. However, Muslims refuse to visit Mada’in Saleh. The reason is the reference of the location in one of the religious books of Islam, ‘Bukhari’ (Muslim religious text). Where Prophet Mohammad forbids his companions from entering the houses when passing through the location. Since then there have been several stories and myths, with some even talking about a curse befalling on anyone entering the city. Whatever the reason may be, it became Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO heritage site in 2008. Also, an overnight stay is highly forbidden, however, the area outside the southern gates make for an excellent camping experience.

Timings: Daylight hours

Location: Al Madinah Region, Al-Hejaz

Best time to visit: Winter months of November to March

Entry Fee: N/A


2. Ponder In Thoughts At Qasr Al-Farid

Qasr-Al-Farid, Al Ula

Another popular Al Ula tourist places have to be the Qasr Al-Farid. The location is one of Saudi’s largest existing tombs of all the others in the region. The speciality of the Qasr Al-Farid tomb is that it is a piece of art in the form of a giant single piece of rock. The tomb lies at a distance from all the other tombs in the region. Another speciality of the tomb is that it remains incomplete to this date. Another interesting fact about the tomb is that, unlike the other tombs that have only two columns, the Qasr Al-Farid has four. And features Nabatean crowns at the entrance. That makes the location an intriguing tourist attraction in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia.

Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM

Location: Unnamed Road, Hegra 43524, Saudi Arabia

Best time to visit: Winter months of October to April

Entry Fee: Depending on the available tour packages


1. Step Back Into History At Umm Al Daraj

Umm Al Daraj, Al Ula

The last destination on our list of Al Ula tourist places brings us to the location known as Umm Al Daraj. The location lies a few kilometres north of Al Ula. Umm Al Daraj or the ‘Mother of Steps’ which is its Arabic translation is worth a detour from your normal route. Firstly one would need an experienced guide to be able to find the place. Next would be the challenge of accessing the location due to revival procedures that have been going on in the region. And then if somehow you are able to gain access to the location. You will have to climb the hill which we promise is worth the effort. As once you reach the top you will witness three beautiful red sandstone religious structures. Which are basically ancient Lihyanite sacrificial altars with some graphically beautiful Lihyanite inscriptions on them.

Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM

Location: Unnamed Road, Hegra 43524, Saudi Arabia

Best time to visit: Winter months of November to March

Entry Fee: N/A

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