JEDDAH: When you’re already a quarter-of-a-million years old, a few months out of action because of a coronavirus pandemic is no more than a blip in time.
It is therefore safe to say that when visitors return to AlUla, the culture and heritage destination in northwest Saudi Arabia, not a lot will have changed.
AlUla’s attractions, including the Kingdom’s first UNESCO world heritage site, will reopen in October — and they will now be accessible all year round.
Walks, treks and trails will be available, guided by the local Rawi (Arabic storyteller) or self-guided, for visitors who want to delve deeper into the stories and customs of the region.
“We are developing immersive, light-touch experiences that harness the power and silence of the landscapes, experiences like guided stargazing in a desert night sky that has inspired science, religion, philosophy, art and literature for millennia,” said Phillip Jones of the Royal Commission for AlUla.
Adventure tourists can tear around in a desert buggy or take to the skies in a vintage light aircraft to see volcanic craters and the lava fields of Harrat Khaybar.
For families, Hijrat Noura, or Princess Noura Farm, offers a chance to observe the local flora and fauna. Winter Park, developed for the Winter at Tantora festival, will also return.
“A visit to AlUla is a transformative experience to all who have visited — its vast open spaces, its secrets of civilizations gone by and the pure wonder of its landmarks,” Jones said.