Saudi Arabia to reopen AlUla sites from October 30

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Al Ula Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Arabia’s historical and cultural open-air museum of AlUla will reopen its heritage sites to tourists on Oct. 31.

After almost 2 years of closure, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has decided to open up UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra, the whispering canyons of Jabal Ikmah  and the ancient kingdom of Dadan for public

According to the commission, residents of AlUla will be allowed to access the sites exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis for the entire opening weekend starting from October 30.

Visitors can log on to the Experience AlUla website for booking and know about other attractions that are open for visits.

All reopened sites will operate under strict Ministry of Health COVID-19 prevention protocols based on “safe travels” guidelines published by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Phillip Jones, RCU’s chief destination management and marketing officer said that he was delighted to see the venues open from the end of the month and added that “There is no doubt it’s been a challenging year for all industries but our teams have worked hard to deliver this important stage in our tourism journey, and in the next chapter of AlUla’s journey through time.”

RCA will gradually announce dates when various activations and immersive experiences at the heritage sites, as well as adventure experiences and events, will resume which would likely be phased in over the winter months, with the full suite of experiences planned for the winter season expected by the first quarter of 2021.

The visitor experience at AlUla Old Town is also expected to open up for the first time to the general public from December.

“We are developing engaging, authentic, light-touch tourism experiences that hero the essence of AlUla — our heritage sites, natural assets and of course the AlUla community,” Mr. Jones stated.

He added: “We have a full team onsite to get the destination ready to welcome those first visitors and we’re excited to give the local community a chance to revisit their heritage sites before the rest of the world, while we continue to build on the experiences.”

“Through our team of travel industry professionals, we are setting up the foundations for a fully integrated booking and travel distribution system to make visiting AlUla an easy, value-driven and seamless experience, and to get international-ready for when visit visas are reinstated,” Mr. Jones said.