• Thousands enjoyed sensational wellness program
  • Festival celebrated AlUla’s legacy as rest, relaxation and rejuvenation sanctuary with world-class workshops, events and activities

AlUla, Saudi Arabia – Another chapter in AlUla Moments calendar of events and festival reached a conclusion this past weekend as the 2023 AlUla Wellness Festival drew to a close.  The flagship festival and largest of its kind in the Middle East returned for a third time this year, emulating the profile and popularity of previous editions as thousands embarked on a  unique journey of physical, spiritual, and sensory transformation.

Already renowned for fostering the well-being of mind, body, and soul, this year’s event was met with critical acclaim from visitors, living up to its promise to be bigger and better than ever with a sensational 17-day wellness program.

From 19 October – 4 November, holistic workshops, captivating events, and interactive activities deeply influenced by art, culture, and music perfectly complemented AlUla’s history as a rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation sanctuary.

Wellness seekers and health-conscious enthusiasts reveled in the winning combination of festival mainstays and brand new additions, while inspiring talks by world-renowned experts and interactive activities deeply influenced by AlUla's abundant historical and natural heritage were other factors behind the festival’s impact, influence, and success.

“We’re thrilled with the incredible reaction and reception that this year’s AlUla Wellness Festival has generated,” said Rami AlMoallim, Vice President, Destination Management and Marketing at the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU). “AlUla’s rich history as a cherished oasis where rest and rejuvenation are there to be discovered by all has withstood the test of time. Our Wellness Festival is all about celebrating this legacy and celebrate it we did.

“In the immediate aftermath of the AlUla Wellness Festival, witnessing thousands of visitors achieve their wellness dreams and head home with newfound happiness and positivity has been a real joy. A new benchmark for future editions has certainly been set over the last fortnight and I want to convey our thanks and appreciation to everyone who turned out and made the festival the best it could possibly be.”

From yoga, meditation, and mindfulness sessions to fitness, outdoor excursions, and all things therapy, diverse audiences from across Saudi Arabia and beyond enjoyed a range of transformative experiences, discovering inner peace and enhancing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in the serenity of the desert.

The festival’s highlights included the Five Senses Sanctuary and its unique program of immersive sensory-based activities, the Couples Retreat at the beautiful Hidden Valley Camp, and the Nomuhub Wellness Program with its intensive four-day rejuvenation course. The All Day I Dream event, which took place on the 20th of October witnessed a full house with a sold-out show. The Anyah Cooking Classes, Eco-Gardening, and the Heritage Restoration Experience were also met with mass popularity, as were new additions to the festival lineup. These included the Silent Hike amidst the desert’s timeless beauty and the Reviving Nature Experience, where attendees embraced creative workshops to help tackle environmental waste and be part of a visionary new sculpture and public space.

Visitors aside, the 2023 AlUla Wellness Festival was equally well received by the professionals who led the activations and attractions on offer. Lana Nazir, a Saudi local who runs multiple yoga businesses, has practiced and taught yoga for over 15 years. She ran classes in AlUla throughout the festival’s duration and believes the strong turnout reflects an increasing appetite for all things wellness across the Kingdom.

“People from all over Saudi Arabia have made their way to AlUla and this illustrates the widespread desire to experience wellness in some shape or form,” she said. “As a Saudi woman, I’m honored to have had this opportunity to serve my people. The Wellness Festival is a push for health and a better life for all – it’s shown that we have high standards for wellness in the Kingdom. The experience has been amazing and I can’t wait for next year.”

In 2027, Six Senses, a prestigious luxury hotel brand, will make its debut in AlUla, further solidifying AlUla's reputation as wellness hub. Six Senses will be thoughtfully situated within a magnificent natural oasis, complemented by lush palm groves, and embraced by the awe-inspiring red-sandstone cliffs. This recent addition to the AlUla landscape is increasing the awareness for wellness experiences in the region.

Next up in the AlUla Moments 2023/24 calendar is the Ancient Kingdoms Festival from 16 November – 2 December. This extraordinary festival returns to celebrate the interconnected oases of northwest Arabia - AlUla, Khaybar, and Tayma. Discover immersive experiences that spark curiosity, inspire awe, and foster a connection with our ancient past.

To read more about AlUla Moments’ always-on calendar of events and for more information on tickets and timings, please visit: https://www.experiencealula.com/en/alula-moments

For further information, please contact: media@rcu.gov.sa

About AlUla Moments:

AlUla Moments is AlUla’s new home for events. AlUla Moments calendar was launched at the end of 2021 and introduced new festivals and events to celebrate and unlock AlUla’s stories, uncover its secrets, and celebrate local and international cultures. With 7,000 years of civilisations and home to some of the most sophisticated ancient kingdoms of antiquity, AlUla is no stranger to social gatherings and cultural celebrations.

AlUla Moments calendar comprises of five festivals offering diverse experiences in art, culture, music, nature, wellness, equestrian activities, dining, and astronomy. The AlUla Wellness Festival featuring the latest practices to engage the mind, body and soul; Winter at Tantora, the original AlUla celebration of heritage, culture, fashion and music; the Ancient Kingdoms Festival offers immersive events acknowledging the ancient civilisations that lived in AlUla and its neighboring oases in Khaybar and Tayma; AlUla Skies Festival with the popular hot air balloons and stargazing experiences; and AlUla Arts Festival bringing together contemporary and ancient art events and experiences.

In addition to the festivals AlUla Moments calendar offers a number of marquee events, including AZIMUTH, Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, AlUla Camel Cup, and a world-class fashion, adventure and sporting events.

For more information, please visit experiencealula.com/en/alula-moments

About AlUla:

Located 1,100 km from Riyadh, in North-West Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage. The vast area, covering 22,561km², includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years to when the Lihyan and Nabataean kingdoms reigned.

The most well-known and recognised site in AlUla is Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 52-hectare ancient city, Hegra was the principal southern city of the Nabataean Kingdom and is comprised of 111 well-preserved tombs, many with elaborate facades cut out of the sandstone outcrops surrounding the walled urban settlement.

Current research also suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Roman Empire after the Roman’s conquered the Nabataeans in 106 CE.

In addition to Hegra, AlUla is also home to ancient Dadan, the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms and considered to be one of the most developed 1st millennium BCE cities of the Arabian Peninsula, and Jabal Ikmah, an open air library of hundreds of inscriptions and writings in many different languages, which has been recently listed on the UNESCO’s memory of the World Register. Also AlUla Old Town Village, a labyrinth of more than 900 mudbrick homes developed from at least the 12th century, which has been selected as one of the World’s Best Tourism Villages in 2022 by the UNWTO. Additionally, Hijaz Railway and Hegra Fort, which are key sites in the story and conquests of Lawrence of Arabia.

For more information, please visit: www.experiencealula.com