AlUla heritage sites reopen to public Oct. 31

AlUla heritage sites reopen to public Oct. 31
Flights are available to AlUla from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. (File/AFP)
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Updated 16 October 2020

AlUla heritage sites reopen to public Oct. 31

AlUla heritage sites reopen to public Oct. 31

ALULA: The historical and cultural open-air museum of AlUla in northwest Saudi Arabia will reopen its heritage sites to tourists on Oct. 31.
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has confirmed that the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra, the ancient kingdom of Dadan and the whispering canyons of Jabal Ikmah will be the first sites to reopen to the public, largely having been closed to visitors for more than two years.
RCU has announced that residents of AlUla will have the chance to access the sites exclusively on Oct. 30 for free on a first-come, first-served basis for the entire opening weekend. Visitors can sign up to experiencealula.com to find out about the bookings available for the heritage sites and when other experiences are live.
Visitors will enjoy significant airport enhancements, new comfortable transport options around town and the heritage sites, and information provision at two new visitor centers.
AlUla’s new quality assurance program will also ensure that visitors receive a warm and professional welcome.
Safety measures for the coronavirus pandemic have been put in place in adherence to Ministry of Health protocols, which align with the “safe travels” guidelines published by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The measures include mandatory pre-booking of tickets, temperature checks at the airport, distancing and limitations of visitors at heritage and other sites, increased sanitation measures and mandatory mask-wearing.
Phillip Jones, RCU’s chief destination management and marketing officer, said that he was delighted that the sites were reopening in October.
“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,” Jones said.
Activations and immersive experiences at the heritage sites, as well as adventure experiences and events, will be announced over the coming weeks and will 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.
AlUla Old Town will also be open as a visitor experience to the public for the first time 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,” Jones said.
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,” Jones said.
Flights are available with Saudia airlines to AlUla from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
AlUla is a 10-hour drive from Riyadh, a seven-hour drive from Jeddah, and is just over three hours from Madinah and Tabuk airports. It is a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the Red Sea, which visitors can add on to their trip.


Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz, president of the West Asian Triathlon Federation

Updated 05 December 2020

Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz, president of the West Asian Triathlon Federation

Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz, president of the West Asian Triathlon Federation

Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdul Aziz was recently appointed president of the West Asian Triathlon Federation (WATF).

The federation’s general assembly on Friday recommended the prince, who is vice president of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC), president of the Saudi Triathlon Federation and chairman of the Saudi Camel Federation, to chair the organization.

Prince Fahd graduated from Riyadh Schools in 2003 and attended King Saud University to study for a bachelor’s degree in law. He obtained an MBA in international relations from the University of Wales in 2012 and, three years later, received an executive master’s degree in sports organization management from Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

Prince Fahd was the president’s adviser of international relations at the Saudi Sports Authority between 2015 and 2017. Between 2007 and 2014 he was a legal adviser and an international relations adviser at the Ministry of Sport, previously known as the General Presidency of Youth Welfare.

In November 2016 Prince Fahd became the president’s adviser of Olympic Committees and Federations at the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees, and a member of International Relations Commission at the union. He is also a member of the international relations committee at the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Following his WATF appointment Prince Fahd thanked the general assembly members for their confidence, saying that he would shoulder “this great responsibility” to better serve the triathlon in West Asia.