This article is reviewed regularly by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Updated June 2024

Discover a truly unique place at the heart of northwestern Saudi Arabia – AlUla. This charming destination brings together history, nature, and wonder, inviting you on a delightful journey of exploration. Unveil the intriguing secrets and stories hidden amidst breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re an adventurous soul or a culture enthusiast, AlUla promises an unforgettable experience as you explore its captivating scenery and uncover hidden treasures.

Delve deeper into the mesmerizing charm of AlUla as Wego unveils the seamless fusion of the past and present, crafting an immersive experience that allows you to become an integral part of a narrative that spans millennia.

Introducing AlUla

AlUla, once a vital crossroads on renowned incense-trading routes, offered sanctuary to tired travelers amid its oases. This ancient destination served as the former capital of kingdoms like Dadan and Lihyan, playing a crucial role in controlling caravan trade. Today, Old Town AlUla stands as an abandoned labyrinth shrouded in mystery, built upon an ancient settlement.

Its timeless allure lies in layer upon layer of human history, accompanied by breathtaking natural wonders, including dramatic rock formations and sweeping sand dunes. Archaeological ruins bear witness to the lives of ancient cultures that once thrived in these cities.

AlUla holds fascinating historical and archaeological sites, like Ancient Dadan, tracing over 200,000 years of human history. From Paleolithic stone tools to the Bronze Age burials and the prosperity of the Ancient North Arabian Kingdoms, AlUla’s past unveils an enthralling journey through time.

Book cheap flights to AlUla Book cheap flights to AlUla

 

AlUla weather and temperature

Nestled in the heart of Saudi Arabia, AlUla is embraced by an arid and parched climate, characteristic of vast desert landscapes, where rain is a rare occurrence. Seasons bring about diverse temperature shifts, with winters offering cool respite and summers unleashing sweltering heat.

On average, the temperature hovers around 22.5 °C | 72.4 °F, yet in August, it can soar to 31.6 °C | 89.0 °F, while in January, it descends to a chilly 11.6 °C | 52.8 °F. The skies are mostly adorned with a sunny and clear demeanor, though intermittent dust storms may occasionally sweep in, affecting air quality. In this unique land, AlUla’s weather weaves an enchanting tale of the desert’s majesty.

AlUla experience

AlUla offers more than just breathtaking natural and historical beauty; it’s a place that promises unforgettable experiences to those who visit. Whether it’s adventure, culture, wellness, or entertainment, AlUla caters to diverse interests, ensuring an enriching experience for all. This remarkable destination entices with its unique offerings and weaves a tapestry of charm and wonder, leaving a lasting impression on every visitor.

Adventure

AlUla presents a realm of extraordinary adventures amidst majestic mountains. Embark on thrilling ziplining, climbing, and abseiling activities that exceed expectations. Explore the serene beauty of the landscape through guided biking or hiking excursions, immersing yourself in the wonders of nature. For a bird’s-eye perspective, take to the skies in a helicopter or hot air balloon and behold the breathtaking panoramas that unfold before you. AlUla offers an array of exciting experiences, sure to captivate those seeking wonder and excitement.

Culture

AlUla offers a living museum of ancient civilizations, where over 200,000 years of human history come to life. At Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, marvel at the impressive sandstone tombs crafted by the Nabataean kingdom.

Explore Dadan, the former capital of the Dadan and Lihyan kingdoms, adorned with remarkable rock-cut tombs, inscriptions, and sculptures. Stroll through the winding streets of Old Town, an abandoned mudbrick settlement crowned by a 10th-century fort. Experience AlUla’s rich heritage and traditions at the AlUla Museum and Heritage Village, immersing yourself in the essence of history.

Wellness

In AlUla, find a sanctuary for body and soul, where tranquil oases, healing springs, and holistic treatments offer respite. The Five Senses Sanctuary, a part of the AlUla Wellness Festival, invites rejuvenation through yoga, meditation, talks, and fitness sessions. Experience relaxation at luxurious resorts or campsites, where spa services and organic cuisine cater to your well-being. Embrace nature’s allure at the Oasis, a spring-fed fertile plain, where sustainable farming and scenic trails beckon a connection with yourself and the environment.

Entertainment

In AlUla, you’ll find a vibrant hub that celebrates art, music, and creativity, offering a diverse array of events and festivals to suit various interests. Marvel at the impressive Maraya, the world’s largest mirrored building, where captivating art exhibitions and star-studded concerts take center stage, leaving spectators in awe of its grandeur.

Feel the rhythm and energy at Azimuth, a lively music festival boasting an exciting lineup of international and regional acts, ensuring an unforgettable night of entertainment.

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the traditions of ancient kingdoms at the Ancient Kingdoms Festival, where immersive experiences and breathtaking events offer a glimpse into the region’s historical heritage.

Be delighted by cultural showcases, musical concerts, fashion displays, and delectable cuisine at Winter at Tantora, a cherished music and culture festival that has become a signature event in the region. AlUla’s cultural scene comes alive during these festivities, inviting you to savor moments of inspiration and joy amidst its vibrant artistic offerings.

Winter at Tantora 2024: Everything You Need to Know About Al Ula’s Seasonal Festival

 

Events

Step into a world where ancient history blends seamlessly with modern culture, offering a diverse calendar of events to suit every interest. Whether you’re drawn to concerts, ultra marathons, equestrian events, special pop-ups, captivating art exhibitions, or beyond, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy.

AlUla Desert Blaze

@experiencealula

Get ready for the ultimate running challenge amidst the stunning landscapes of AlUla. The AlUla Desert Blaze, set for Saturday, 24 August, 2024, promises to be a test of endurance like no other, even with the relatively mild summer temperatures in the region.

Participants must be at least 16 years old for the 5km and 10km races, and 18 years old for the half marathon (21km) and full marathon (42km). The race offers various difficulty levels to suit different abilities.

This groundbreaking event is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, attracting runners from around the globe to brave the summer heat. The routes traverse AlUla’s most iconic sites, connecting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra with the contemporary marvel of Maraya. Along the way, runners will experience a journey through time, combining ancient history with modern architecture.

To ensure the safety of all participants, medical and water support stations are strategically positioned throughout the courses. Whether you’re tackling the 5km sprint or the grueling 42km marathon, AlUla Desert Blaze promises an unforgettable experience for all who dare to participate.

Azimuth

@experiencealula

Be prepared for an extraordinary experience at Azimuth, set to unfold from September 19th to 21st, 2024. More than just a festival, Azimuth promises to be a captivating journey celebrating music, art, and culture in a way that’s never been seen before.

Later in 2024, Azimuth will make its grand return to AlUla, promising an even bigger and more immersive experience for fans. This event is not just about music—it’s about diving deep into one of the most enthralling arenas of musical expression and cultural celebration. Mark your calendars for an unforgettable adventure at Azimuth.

AlUla airport

AlUla Airport (IATA: ULH, ICAO: OEAO) is an international airport located 25 kilometers (16 mi) southeast of AlUla, Saudi Arabia. It was named after Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz and began operations in 2011. The airport’s strategic location near the pre-Islamic archaeological site of Mada’in Saleh and Al-‘Ula Heritage Village makes it an ideal gateway for visitors. Notably, AlUla Airport holds the distinction of being Saudi Arabia’s first airport specifically designed to cater to tourists visiting the region’s attractions.

The airport boasts a single runway that spans over 3,050 meters (10,007 ft) and features an asphalt surface. Its terminal building can comfortably accommodate up to 6 million passengers annually. Travelers have access to various services and amenities, including:

  • telecom operator booths
  • VIP lounges
  • travel and tourism service booths
  • restaurants
  • gift shop
  • coffee shop
  • ATM

Moreover, the airport underwent a significant expansion project in collaboration with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), which was successfully completed in March 2021. The expansion project aimed to increase the airport’s capacity, facilities, and services to meet the growing demand of visitors to AlUla and support the region’s economic and social development.

AlUla hotels

AlUla is a place of exceptional natural and cultural heritage, offering moments that will linger in your memory. Be it thrill-seeking adventures, immersing in the rich culture, seeking wellness activities, or enjoying entertainment options—AlUla caters to all preferences. A variety of hotels and accommodations are available to ensure an even more memorable experience during your stay.

Here are some top hotels in AlUla that offer comfort and convenience for your stay

Habitas AlUla

Habitas is a trailblazer in sustainable hospitality, offering luxury living in an eco-friendly way at AlUla. Within the desert canyons of the Ashar Valley, you’ll find this unique retreat surrounded by sandstone cliffs and palm groves. Enjoy spacious tents with private terraces, outdoor showers, fire pits, and communal areas. Prices start at SAR 1,304, making it an exquisite and accessible experience for your AlUla journey.

Book your stay on Wego Book your stay on Wego

 

Ladan Apartment

Ladan Apartment offers budget-friendly accommodation for travelers seeking a spacious and comfortable stay in AlUla. The apartment can accommodate up to six guests and is conveniently located near the city center and the airport. Prices start from SAR 230 per night, making it an affordable option for your AlUla stay.

Book your stay on Wego Book your stay on Wego

 

Shaden Resort

Shaden Resort offers a world-class hotel experience amidst AlUla’s stunning desert landscape, with a wide range of deluxe accommodations, award-winning dining, and excellent leisure facilities. Relax in stylish rooms or suites, and indulge in the outdoor pool and fitness center. Explore nearby attractions while enjoying this exceptional retreat. Prices start from SAR 1,131, ensuring an unforgettable experience for your AlUla stay.

Book your stay on Wego Book your stay on Wego

 

 

[Total: 178 Average: 4.7]