Ancient Kingdoms Festival

Ancient Kingdoms Festival

11 Nov - 27 Nov

During the Ancient Kingdoms Festival, the three great oases of northwest Arabia - AlUla, Khaybar and Tayma - welcomed visitors from across the world for an unprecedented experience of history that spans millennia. Immersive and enriching, the festival ignited a curiosity and sense of connection with the pivotal stories of the past. These stories continue to shape our understanding of the present.

The Ancient Kingdoms Festival was the start of a new chapter in history for these ancient oases, a revival of travelers along the famed Incense Road. Through innovative and thoughtfully designed experiences, visitors can now uncover history through new and exciting points of access - from helicopter tours in Khaybar to a Nabatean dining experience at Hegra - allowing them to experience history as active participants rather than passive observers.

AlUla

Encompassing more than 200,000 years of unexplored human history, AlUla is a destination of extraordinary human and natural heritage. It is home to countless historic treasures, including the Nabatean city of Hegra - Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, and the tombs of Dadan - the stone-built capital of the Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms.

Khaybar

Khaybar's striking volcanic desert ecosystem and rich historical significance make it one of the world's best-kept secrets. A uniquely enigmatic destination, culture meets nature and heritage to create an exceptionally remarkable landscape. Journey outside of AlUla and discover Khaybar's timeless heritage sites and its breathtakingly epic scenery.

Tayma

Home to royal icons and legendary personalities, including the last Babylonian King, Tayma is a historical treasure that is changing our understanding of the history of northwest Arabia. An emerging archaeological hub, Tayma is a renowned destination with a rich history that is waiting to be uncovered. Journey outside of AlUla and discover Tayma's fascinating heritage sites as well as its powerful legacy.

Experiences

With AlUla as the anchoring hub, the Ancient Kingdoms Festival gave a first glimpse of the treasures waiting to be discovered at AlUla’s sister sites – Tayma and Khaybar. Each with its own distinct history and geology, Tayma and Khaybar are now accessible through individual day trips, where Tayma’s legacy as the land of kings will stand in contrast to Khaybar’s geological wonder.

The festival also cast a dazzling light on established sites in AlUla, such as Hegra, the once vibrant Nabatean city that still carries exquisite evidence of the region’s architectural accomplishments from the 1st century AD. During the festival, visitors were able to experience this UNESCO World Heritage site in inspiring ways – such as a candle-lit visit to its legendary tombs after dark – and were also be able to discover other awe-inspiring historical sites throughout AlUla.

Discover experiences still available across the three epic oases of northwest Arabia below. ​

AlUla

Starting from 23 October AlManshiyah Plaza

AlUla’s newest neighbourhood AlManshiyah is a historically significant area that provides a family-friendly atmosphere perfect for community gatherings. Visitors can expect new restaurants, gathering and playground areas, cycling and walking paths, and more in this beautiful outdoor space.

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3 Nov - 31 Dec Hegra After Dark

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra during this incredible after-dark experience. Tour the iconic monolithic Tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza and the natural mountain outcrop of Jabal Ithlib while immersing yourself in Nabataean Civilisation and awakening the senses.

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5 Nov - 21 Mar Hegra by Horse Carriage

Explore Saudi Arabia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra, as the ancient Nabataeans would have atop a handcrafted wooden horse carriage in this private tour.

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Starting from 11 Nov Incense Road

The pedestrian-friendly area of AlJadidah is being renovated to create an all-new Incense Road leisure and retail experience helping to connect AlUla Old Town to AlJadidah. Preserving the urban heritage of AlJadidah, visitors will find curated street art and public murals, along with new cafes and shops lining the roads.

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18 Nov - 31 Dec Ikmah After Dark

Discover the ancient history of AlUla with an extraordinary after-dark tour of the rock art and inscriptions at Jabal Ikmah. Enjoy a night of hospitality as well as an immersive show about the Kingdoms that once ruled AlUla.

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Coming Soon Cinema elHoush

AlUla’s arthouse cinema returns to AlJadidah - each week bringing a new theme featuring movies from different genres. Saudi first releases, world-class films, and old favourites will share the screen at this hub of cultural exchange. Stay tuned as we announce the upcoming schedule and exclusive live director Q&As.

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Khaybar

26 November – 19 March Khaybar Heritage Tour

One of the oldest areas of human settlement in the Arabian Peninsula, shrouded in mystery for millennia, Khaybar is now unlocking the secrets of prehistoric Saudi Arabia. A landscape shaped by millions of years of volcanic eruptions with a lush oasis at its centre, its historical legacy has played a pivotal role in shaping the world around us.

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15 Dec – 2 Apr Khaybar Volcano Camp

Open from 15 Dec - 2 Apr, Khaybar Volcano Camp is an exclusive getaway aimed at immersing guests in the region’s breathtaking volcanic landscapes. Open Thursdays - Sundays, relax on the compound’s scenic outdoor deck or discover the story-rich history of Khaybar.

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Additional Experiences

Interested in experiences at Khaybar? More experiences and activities will be announced soon. Please check back here shortly for more details.

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Tayma

13 November - 31 March Tayma Heritage Tour

Uncover the rich history of Tayma, home to royalty and legendary personalities such as the last native Babylonian King. Now a central hub for archaeological excavation and discovery, Tayma is a cultural treasure that is continuously changing our understanding of the history of northwestern Arabia.

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Additional Experiences

Interested in experiences at Tayma? More experiences and activities will be announced soon. Please check back here shortly for more details.

Coming Soon

Plan Your Trip To AlUla

Flying to AlUla

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What to Do

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Where to Eat

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Where to Stay

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COVID-19 Information

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