RIYADH: The UNESCO Heritage Sites in AlUla have become more accessible after the Royal Commission for AlUla launched a new and free concierge service.
Local visitor center professionals with in-depth knowledge of tourist sites, hidden spots, and trending events will customize itineraries for travelers venturing into the ancient city.
Center operations manager, Islam Fayez, told Arab News: “The visitor center is the first impression that guests get — especially the one at the airport in AlUla.
“It’s a completely free service that is available in three business centers at this time — AlUla airport, the Old Town, and Winter Park. “Staff at the center will create a full itinerary for the guests. They have a lot of suggestions, they are updated with all the new places, and they have the contact number for all the reservations for the restaurants. The guests will only pay for the experience they are booking.
“The center staff will help solve a lot of problems because many people come to AlUla and they’re like, ‘oh, I don’t know what to do next,’ or they have one thing set up and then the rest of the time they don’t know where to go,” he said.
Staff aim to customize trips to fit the preferences, budgets, and stay periods of tourists, whether they be solo travelers, couples, friends, or family groups.
And all tastes are catered for including hiking adventures, zip-line experiences, helicopter rides, dining and stargazing trips, and relax days.
Itineraries, complete with contact information and timings, can be emailed to visitors in advance of arrival for approval with transportation and accommodation queries among the main enquiries.
AlUla residents recently started renting rooms in their homes to visitors, and hotel apartments and camp sites offer cheaper stay options to luxury resorts.
Taxis are available in AlUla and many of the main resorts provide their own cars for booked guests.
“We always look for the smallest details so the item at the end of the day is as flawless as possible, and it is as professional as it can get. We’re also supporting the local community. We call them ambassadors. We don’t have any expats in that position,” Fayez added.
The ambassadors are bilingual, fluent in English, ambitious, and highly trained to help international travelers with all their needs, while uniformed roving ambassadors with iPads are available to help advise tourists at designated sites.
All guests are encouraged to provide feedback to help visitor center officials improve guest services.
Fayez said: “I believe the visitor center experience will continue and operate throughout Saudi Arabia. When traveling to another country, having a visitor, welcome, or tourist center as a base for information and bookings is important.
“For a lot of tourists, their first interaction with Saudi Arabia is through the center, and that’s why it is important our team is well-trained and capable of interacting with people to give them the best experience possible.”