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Travel guide: AlUla, Saudi Arabia

Where breathtaking vistas are matched by holistic wellbeing…

The mystical and ancient land of AlUla has quickly become a bucket list destination. Just a three-hour flight away from Dubai, touching down in AlUla will have you instantly feeling like you’re on another planet. The dreamy desert retreat is full of natural wonders and remote lands waiting to be explored, as well as unmatched wellness offerings where you can get away from it all while getting back to yourself.

Diamonds in the sky


Price: From SAR350

If you’re coming from the fast-paced city life of Dubai, chances are you’re estranged from stars. AlUla’s remote Mars-like terrain and dark night sky is lit up by the Milky Way. Discover what lies beyond the night sky with a magical guided stargazing tour followed by a fireside dinner under the stars.


Rise and shine

Price: From SAR700

The best way to explore Saudi’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra, is to hop on a vintage Land Rover with a local Rawi as your guide. The sunrise tour sets off at 6am and takes visitors through five monumental sites over two hours including the most famous Tomb of Lihyan Son of Kuza and Hegra’s highest point, Jabal Ithlib.


Cool under the shade of palm trees


Price: From SAR35

Take a slow and serene stroll through the peaceful oasis, a lush haven bursting with flora and fauna that has provided life to AlUla for thousands of years. Where millions of date palms shade a layer of citrus trees above the thriving moringa branches.


A taste of history

Travel back in time and explore the unmissable ancient old town of AlUla as you twist along ancient alleyways. Stroll the outdoor market, say yes to Arabic coffee, and get a taste of Saudi Arabian fine dining cuisine at 800-year-old restaurant Suhail. What to try? The sweet potato soup, pumpkin salad, and lamb kabsah come highly recommended.


Summer healing

Relax and restore through ancient healing practices at Habitas’ Thuraya Wellness. From yoga and mindfulness to date seed body scrubs and herbal aromatherapy, Thuraya focuses on centuries-old practices to help clear the path to self-discovery and awaken focus on both our physical and energetic bodies.


Sanctuary for the senses

Price: SAR2,081 per night

At first glance, it’s easy to miss the Banyan Tree AlUla, hidden in a neat enclave in Ashar Valley and blending in seamlessly to the surroundings. Located a 45-minute drive from AlUla airport, this wonderful, luxurious resort is the perfect base to make the most of the myriad activities on offer and an instantly relaxing spot to retreat after a day of adventure.


Images: Provided