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AlUla Heritage Sites Reopen to Public End of October

AlUla Heritage Sites Reopen to Public End of October

Thursday, 15 October, 2020 - 11:30
Visitors take pictures at rock-hewn tombs of Madain Saleh near the city AlUla, Saudi Arabia January 25, 2019. (Reuters)

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has confirmed that the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra, the ancient kingdom of Dadan and the canyons of Jabal Ikmah will be the first sites to re-open to the public, having been largely closed off to visitors in the past period.

The RCU announced that residents of AlUla will have the opportunity to access the sites exclusively on 30 October for free. However, major COVID-19 safety measures have been put in place that adhere to the Ministry of Health protocols, which align which the safe travels guidelines published by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

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, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer, highlighted the challenges that the teams faced while exerting their best efforts to deliver this important stage and to move to the next chapter of AlUla’s journey through time.

“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," 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 to be expected by first quarter 2021.

AlUla Old Town too will be open as a visitor experience to the public for the first time from December 2020.

Flights are available with Saudia to AlUla from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. AlUla is just over three hours from Madinah and Tabuk Airport. It’s also only a 2.5 hour drive to the Red Sea which visitors can add on to their trip.

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