The newly unveiled calendar is jam-packed with dynamic activities from candlelit concerts to archaeological workshops to hiking to balloon rides and more.
They call it the World’s Masterpiece, one of the most stunning destinations on the Arab Peninsula - better yet, one of the most important archaeological destinations for travellers across the world. The place they speak of is AlUla, a city in the northwest of Saudi Arabia that is, like the country as a whole, experiencing something of a revolution. Full of archeological wonders, the city is reaping the benefits of a $20 billion development deal that is shaping up to be a world-class tourist hotspot and a centre for art and culture in Saudi Arabia.
One huge part of this is a spectacular series of festivals and events over the span of four months, starting with the ‘Winter at Tonara’ festival, from the 21st of December, 2021 to the 12th of February, 2022. Over six incredible weeks, the festival will offer a whole host of music and arts events, starting with the Candlelit Symphonic Concert at the city of Hegra - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and will feature a host of Equestrian events including haute couture fashion show, Ikmah Fashion Calvary. During this period, the new Citrus Festival—an ode to Alula’s prized produce—will take place at Harrat Uwayrid, one of numerous basaltic volcanic fields in the area. An array of archaeological and cultural workshops are set to take place at other unique heritage sites, too, with a special live immersion show planned at AlUla Old Town’s oasis.
Hot on its heels, the AlUla Arts Festival will take place throughout February 2022, and will celebrate AlUla through a diverse array of exhibitions. One of the highlights is ‘Art of Our Time’, a showcase of some of Saudi Arabia’s leading contemporary artists, while ‘AlJaddidah’ will present a vibrant assortment of curated art experiences at the Oasis and the outdoor Cinema El Housh.
A new concept, ‘Alula Skies’ will kick off from 27th of February and continue till 12th of March, highlighting the extraordinary geological landscapes of AlUla all by the air, via hot air balloon, vintage plane or helicopter. Meanwhile, the simple pleasure of star-gazing gets a high-tech update with ‘Constellations’, a unique sight and sound experience.
For those seeking rest and relaxation, AlUla’s oasis will be transformed into a hub of wellness and healing for the ‘AlUla Wellness Festival’, which will take place between the 17th and 27th March, with the ‘Five Senses Sanctuary’ offering travelers a holistic range of mind, body and soul experiences through yoga, meditation and other practices. For some endorphin-boosting activity, the ‘Eco-Trail’ invites travelers to hike through the city’s rock-cut formation and natural wonders, while the ‘AlUla Oasis Fitness Infusion’ challenges visitors to expert-led fitness classes.