SCTA to register 10 sites for UNESCO World Heritage list

Updated 17 November 2014

SCTA to register 10 sites for UNESCO World Heritage list

Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), announced this week the Council of Ministers’ approval for the registration of another 10 Saudi heritage sites in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in the coming years.
According to him, SCTA is seeking through this initiative to preserve the rich, diverse, historical and archaeological heritage of the Kingdom and make them known to the world. It also aims to rehabilitate these sites according to the standards of specialized international organizations.
A statement released by SCTA on Saturday listed the 10 sites as: Rock Arts in Be’er Huma, Alfao village in Riyadh, Al-Ahsa Oasis, Haj Road for Egyptians, Alshami Haj Road, Darb Zubaydah, the Hejaz Railway, Al-Der’e District in Jandal, Zee Ain village in Baha and the Rijal Almaa heritage village in Asir.
Prince Sultan expressed his thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the approval which is significant in the context of his interest to uphold heritage and national civilization and the great support provided by the government.
He said the selected heritage sites encapsulate the history of the Kingdom and highlight its cultural and historical legacy as a source of successive civilizations and ancient trade routes.
“This is part of an integrated initiative within the King Abdullah projects aimed to preserve the cultural heritage adopted by King Abdullah. It is based on the national heritage projects and the definition of the historical value of these sites,” Prince Sultan added.
It is noteworthy that the SCTA was able to register three Saudi sites in the UNESCO list in recognition of the cultural, historical and cultural value of these sites, including Madain Saleh in 2008, Dir’iya in 2010, and the historical site in Jeddah this year.


AlUla cultural and heritage site to reopen in October

Updated 02 June 2020

AlUla cultural and heritage site to reopen in October

  • Historic destination in northwest of Kingdom will now be accessible to visitors all year round

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.

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.

“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.