AlUla Old Town

AlUla Old Town

Modern AlUla encompasses one of Saudi Arabia’s most exceptional heritage sites, AlUla Old Town.

 

One of the reasons it evokes such a deep sense of emotion is that it was actually inhabited in the not-so-distant past. AlUla Old Town is located in the narrowest part of the AlUla Valley. Built on a slight elevation, the town is overlooked by the Musa bin Nusayr Castle, a citadel dating back approximately to the 10th century.

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Old Town

With nearly 900 houses, 400 shops and 5 town squares, the Old Town of AlUla still contains remnants of some of the original stone and mudbrick buildings constructed here.

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Historical Significance

In the 12th century, AlUla Old Town became an essential settlement along the pilgrimage route from Damascus to Makkah. The city gradually replaced Qurh, to the south of AlUla, and is favourably mentioned by travellers from the 12th to the 20th centuries, when modern AlUla was constructed nearby. The houses were designed to be attached to one another, providing fortification, which hints to defence being a priority for the city's early inhabitants. At one point, the city was accessed by 14 gates, which were opened in the morning to welcome travellers, pilgrims and other visitors, and closed each evening. The ancient city’s recent occupation has enabled researchers to begin to gather oral histories, painting a picture of what life was like inside its walls. These stories will one day be available to visitors who can look forward to tapping into AlUla Old Town’s living memory.

AlUla Old Town

The AlUla Old Town Experience

AlUla Old Town has 900 mudbrick houses, 400 shops and five rahbas, or town squares. Traces of original stone and mudbrick structures can be found at this remarkable site, with winding alleyways, windows glimpsing hidden lanes and roof-top terraces that only hint at the world within.

Visitors can peek into the Masjid al-Izam, the restored Friday mosque mentioned in historic documents as having been visited by the Prophet Muhammad, who prayed here and designated the mihrab (or niche which the congregation faces to pray).

Travellers will also be able to see the town’s tantora, or sundial, where residents tracked the changing seasons and organised access to water and other resources.

Before you leave, dine at Suhail restaurant, a high-end Saudi Arabian dining concept serving dishes inspired by old Arabian Peninsula spices and time-honoured traditions, matched with a modern twist and exemplary service located at AlUla's Old Town.
 

Live immersion show “Path of Poets”

Get a glimpse of the live immersion show - that took place in AlUla Old Town.

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AlUla Old Town Experiences

AlUla Old Town Tour 1 Hour Tour

Take a tour with a Rawi (guide) through AlUla Old Town where pilgrims, travellers and permanent settlers congregated through the ages.

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Oasis Trail 2 Hour Trail

Weave your way through the beautiful AlUla Oasis, at your own pace. This 2 hour tour is self-guided and at your leisure.

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AlUla Old Town Market Shopping & Dining

Stroll through the outdoor market and shop local artisans, traditional crafts and cafes.

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AlUla Old Town Dining Options

Suhail Old Town

A high-end Saudi Arabian dining concept serving dishes inspired by old Arabian Peninsula spices and time-honoured traditions, matched with a modern twist and exemplary service.

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One O’ One Burger

Often claimed by customers to serve the best burger in Saudi Arabia, One O' One now opens its first new site in AlUla's Old Town Square.

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Merkaz

Serving a selection of traditional Saudi plates. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a selection of traditional sweets and hot drinks.

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Rahba café

Offering breakfast, and lunch at this casual outdoor dining option in AlUla Old Town.

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AlNakheel Café – Old Town

A relaxed and casual dining venue, Palm Garden is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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COVID-19 Precautions
Body temperature checks are being carried out on all visitors arriving. Furthermore, in all public places, people are reminded to wear masks and maintain a safe distance of two metres apart and avoid physical contact unless absolutely necessary.

Staff and visitors alike are being prompted to wash their hands frequently with soap and water. You’ll find plenty of sanitisation stations at the main sites. Where handwashing facilities are not immediately available, sanitiser gel dispensers are provided.

A number of essential employees are on-site at any one time. Staff who come into contact with visitors are provided with masks and gloves. High-touch items and surfaces are disinfected frequently and areas are kept well ventilated.

A dedicated security team is on hand to help ensure the guidelines are observed. If you have any questions relating to travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic, please call the national helpline for tourism queries on 930, which is staffed around the clock.
AlUla Old Town

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