AlUla’s creative on the world stage

In addition to being a region steeped in history, AlUla is a burgeoning hub of creativity and innovation. 

From when the ancient Nabataeans claimed this land as their southern seat of power, second only to Petra, now in modern-day Jordan, the landscapes of AlUla have served as a canvas for countless generations. Rock art, majestic sculptures, and architectural marvels narrate stories of a rich past where art was more than an aesthetic pursuit, but also a cultural dialogue etched into the very stones of the region. 

Today, AlUla embraces this heritage, transforming it into a living narrative that continues to inspire artists and visitors from around the globe, reinvigorated as a global hub for creativity and design. 

The latest milestone in AlUla’s artistic journey was the participation of Wadi AlFann at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The showcase, called Journeys in Land Art, Towards Wadi AlFann, AlUla, spotlighted the first five artists commissioned for Wadi AlFann, a new large-scale outdoor destination for contemporary art. 

Located on a site spanning 65 square kilometres in AlUla, this upcoming cultural destination will mark a new chapter in art history, debuting with large-scale, site-specific commissions by Manal AlDowayan, Agnes Denes, Michael Heizer, Ahmed Mater and James Turrell.

On display at the Venice showcase were are a series of renders, drawings, maquettes and interviews including drawings gathered by AlDowayan – the artist who represented Saudi Arabia at La Biennale di Venezia 2024 – through her participatory workshops with communities across AlUla, as well a series of studies by Mater and Turrell.

AlUla’s design transformation was also vividly showcased at the recent Milan Design Week, held from April 15-21, 2024, where AlUla captured the imagination of the global design community.

At this prestigious event, AlUla’s spirit of wonder and creativity was prominently on display at the Design Space AlUla showcase, which featured works from recent projects launched in AlUla. Contributions from leading artists and designers included Dr. Zahrah Alghamdi, Cristian Mohaded, TAKK (Mireia Luzarraga and Alejandro Muino), and TECHNOCrafts. Representing AlUla’s ongoing cultural narratives, these pieces featured in two new design initiatives in AlUla this year, Madrasat Addeera Editions and the AlUla Design Residency, curated by Samer Yamani and Ali Ismail Karimi respectively. They exemplify AlUla’s commitment to melding artistic tradition with modern design sensibilities, creating a global dialogue that resonates with diverse audiences. 

Parallel to the innovations showcased in Milan, AlUla continues to inspire the global fashion community. Couturier Rami Kadi held a stunning showcase at Maraya inspired by the surrounding landscape. Titled ‘Les Miroirs,’ celebrated AlUla’s environment and rich cultural fabric.

As a creative sanctuary, AlUla is dedicated to cultivating its artistic landscape through initiatives that bridge its historic past with modern innovation. This dynamic interplay of history and modernity is crucial to understanding AlUla’s appeal as a destination for global creatives. 

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