Jabal Ikmah

Jabal Ikmah

JABAL IKMAH: THE AWE-STRIKING INSCRIPTIONS OF ALULA

Across the AlUla Valley lie thousands of inscriptions in Aramaic, Dadanitic, Thamudic, Minaic and Nabataean.

Thousands of pre-Arabic inscriptions across numerous sites make AlUla an important location in studying the Arabic language. A mountain north of the AlUla Valley, AlAqra’a, features more than 450 early Arabic inscriptions. Naqsh Zuhayr, to the east, features one of the oldest inscriptions of the Islamic era which dates back to 24AH (644 CE). There is no such site that is more significant, than Jabal Ikmah, home to the highest concentration of, and most varied inscriptions, in AlUla.

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Jabal Ikmah

Jabal Ikmah, a mountain near to the ancient city of Dadan, the capital of Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms, has been described as a huge open-air library.

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JABAL IKMAH: SAUDI ARABIA’S OPEN LIBRARY

In a beautiful desert landscape warmed by the sun, the largest “open library” in Saudi Arabia sits tucked away in a remote canyon valley.

Dadan was a caravan way station for many peoples, and one of the clues that AlUla was truly a crossroads of civilisations is Jabal Ikmah, which was visited by those wishing to leave their inscriptions and offerings en route through AlUla. Records kept here are in the form of hundreds of inscriptions and carvings lining the cliff faces and rocks and ensured that Jabal Ikmah would be remembered throughout the ages.

A visit to this magnificent site, with its inscriptions, thought to date as far back as the 1st millennium BCE, is a glimpse into the past. Gazing at its rock art of humans, musical instruments and animals, you can discover what was important in the daily lives of people in the Dadanite, Lihyanite and other civilisations of AlUla.

Long after AlUla’s ancient people walked this site, researchers and historians visited Jabal Ikmah to study its centuries-old inscriptions and imprints. Now you can visit too, and feel the power of this place.

What You Can't Miss
Walk along a path, set in a valley of terracotta-hued rocks, to discover detailed inscriptions. These messages, left in a bygone language, have inspired researchers to trace the origins of modern Arabic. As you reflect on the treasure of inscribed passages, from details of offerings to laws set in stone, marvel at Jabal Ikmah’s power, both past and present.

Religious pilgrims would have brought the offerings to their deities, leaving behind descriptions to commemorate their gifts and devotion.

Visiting the secluded site today, contemplate these clues left in relief by AlUla’s past residents, and imagine how high Jabal Ikmah’s status must have been as a place of ritual and spiritual significance in ancient times and as place of discovery for you today.
Visitor Information
Due to Covid-19 health and safety precautions, Jabal Ikmah is operating at a limited capacity.

To avoid disappointment, we recommend you book Jabal Ikmah tickets online before arrival. 

Alternatively, you may purchase your tickets at the information desk located at Winter Park, before starting your experience at the Dadan visitor centre.
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.

Experiences at Dadan & Jabal Ikmah

18 Nov – 3 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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Dadan & Jabal Ikmah Tour 2-Hour Tour

Start your journey through time at Dadan, the ancient Kingdom of the Lihyanite and Dadanite civilisations. Next, take a 10-minute drive to Jabal Ikmah situated in a stunning desert canyon.

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Dadan Vintage Land Rover Day Tour 1 Hour Experience

Explore the ancient capital city of Dadan and examine tombs, excavation sites and thousands of early Arabic inscriptions on the Vintage Land Rover Dadan Tour.

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AlUla Moments

AlUla invites you to find yourself and indulge your passions. The upcoming months are jam-packed with experiences that feed all the senses. Come and find the YOU in AlUla and enjoy an unmissable choice of music, art, heritage, adventure, culture and food.

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Explore Old Town Alula

Uncover the stories of Old Town AlUla, a heritage site like no other

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Heritage Tours and Experiences

3 Nov - 31 Dec Hegra After Dark

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra during this incredible three-part after-dark experience. Immerse yourself in ancient Nabataean Civilisation. Awaken the senses, explore Hegra by chariot, and watch an immersive show.

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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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13 November - 18 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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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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Hegra Vintage Land Rover Tours 2 Hour Tour

Explore Hegra with our Rawi as you are driven around in a vintage 4x4 Land Rover, each suitable for up to 7 guests.

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Dadan Vintage Land Rover Day Tour 1 Hour Experience

Explore the ancient capital city of Dadan and examine tombs, excavation sites and thousands of early Arabic inscriptions on the Vintage Land Rover Dadan Tour.

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Hegra Tour 2 Hour Tour

Visit Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the largest preserved site of the Nabataean civilisation south of Petra.

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Dadan & Jabal Ikmah Tour 2 Hour Tour

Start your journey through time at Dadan, the ancient Kingdom of the Lihyanite and Dadanite civilisations. Next, take a 10-minute drive to Jabal Ikmah situated in a stunning desert canyon.

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Hegra Rock Art Trail 1.5 Hour Trail

Explore Hegra with a Rawi (guide) and learn the stories of the rock art found amongst the stone.

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AlUla Old Town Tour 1 Hour Tour

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

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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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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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