JEDDAH: A different vibe is felt around Ramadan as the Kingdom comes alive with cultural activities at night for its residents and tourists.
AlUla, a place that attracted 180,000 visitors last year, is at the center of things. Located in northwest Saudi Arabia, it is an extraordinary place featuring a lush valley, towering sandstone mountains, and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years.
AlUla is hosting a diverse range of celebrations and activities until April 20 for locals and visitors who want to spend the holy month in a remarkable setting steeped in culture, history, and natural beauty.
Visitors to the city during this time will have access to a rich, two-week Ramadan program that includes a celebration of verse in the region, part of Saudi Arabia’s Year of Arabic Poetry.
Samaritan poetry is central to this history and recitals are traditionally accompanied by musical instruments such as the tar and drums.
Musaharati may be spotted in the alleys of the Old Town. They are people who walk around neighborhoods beating drums and chanting poetry to wake sleeping people for sahoor.
Visitors to AlUla during this time will have access to a rich, two- week Ramadan program that includes a celebration of verse in the region, part of Saudi Arabia’s Year of Arabic Poetry.
AlManshiyah Plaza in AlUla is the place to head for on Fridays for live music, and restaurants, cafes and playgrounds at other times in the week.
The place serves as a gathering hub during Ramadan as visitors come together for a community sahoor gathering in a traditional setting to experience traditional Saudi board games and storytelling.
Iftar and sahoor offerings are served in delightful surroundings at Habitas AlUla, Cloud7 Residence, and Banyan Tree AlUla.
Visitors can also experience immersive tours of ancient locations such as Hegra and Dadan, gaze at the stars, or watch a film at Cinema Al-Jadidah.
Banyan Tree AlUla Hotel and Resort is offering a special Ramadan staycation package, including a 60-minute spa treatment per person per night, an in-villa sahoor set menu, and complimentary yoga classes.
Khalid Al-Rabiah, the CEO of Ghamra Adventures Agency in Riyadh, told Arab News that a special program during Ramadan is provided for those who would like to enjoy the great outdoors of the Kingdom.
He said: “Our program times in Ramadan start at 3 p.m. and end at 8 a.m., which is considered the best time to go out and explore nature in Ramadan.
“There are one-day trips and there is a three-day weekend trip we also offer.
“We design special trips depending on the interests of the visitors during the holy month.”
Each trip has a different program, according to the region’s terrain.
Al-Rabiah added: “We do mountain biking in Hail, and as for the Empty Quarter excursions, we offer kayaking in the Umm Al-Hish Lakes and sandboarding in the Brodan Oasis.”
The Saudi Ministry of Culture launched Ramadan Season in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Makkah during the holy month for in-city tourism.
Various events and activities include calligraphy workshops, outdoor cinemas, puppet theaters and interactive art events.
The narrow alleys in the historic Al-Balad area of Jeddah have filled with light and laughter as a program of evening cultural and entertainment activities has been provided for Ramadan.
A Ramadan Promenade offers an array of activities, including food and local handmade goods, live performances, traditional storytelling, and engaging games for visitors of all ages.
Ramadan Tent in Riyadh brings a variety of unique cultural experiences, such as iftar and sahoor meals prepared by top chefs, as well as other cultural activities suitable for families and tourists from around the world.