AlUla Performing Arts Festival

Feb 13, 2022 - Feb 22, 2022

The AlUla Performing Arts Festival was a unique international festival that celebrated all forms of performing arts. From acrobatic performances to traditional street buskers, AlJadidah was bustling with all kinds of activity for an incredible 10 days.
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AlUla Performing Arts Festival
A French musician showed off his one-man-band, looping sounds like clocks ticking and coins rattling on top of each other, then playing a melody on his trombone. Children of all ages gathered eagerly at the interactive painting performance, where a man dressed all in white sat as still as a statue as children took turns painting him. An Italian Dance Company, Sanpapié, had an immersive audio dance performance, whereas an American drummer brought his own flair to the streets. Four distinct areas of art were spread throughout AlJadidah. Starting from 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm, a mix of international and local artists were found in each area!

Found on the main, pedestrian-only street of AlJadidah, this area was dedicated to street theatre, where some of the world's most exciting street artists performed, from acrobats to dancers. This area was also the starting point for an itinerant dance show dedicated to AlJadidah and AlUla. Participants, led by the Italian Dance Company Sanpapié, enjoyed a unique and exciting experience.

Found in a cosy alleyway near to Mahafel AlJadidah, this area was dedicated to the Saudi traditions of calligraphy, illustrations, and storytelling staged in a contemporary and fascinating way. The artists Shaker Kashfari (calligraphy), Deya Rambo (illustrator) and Alaa Yehya (sand animation) presented a different show each day based on the culture and aesthetics of the region of AlUla.

This area was dedicated to Arabic music. Talented artists from all over the country performed on this stage every night, offering an impressive and exciting insight into how traditional music blends with contemporary genres.

Found tucked behind Circolo, Saudi artist Saeed Gamhawi's installation, "My Mother's Rug," used projections of rugs on sand as a metaphor for the ultimate connection he has with his hometown and as a symbol of generosity and hospitality. Visitors were invited to sit in the sand bed and experience the artist's feelings through music and story.

Performance Photos

AlUla Arts Festival Highlights


A vibrant new hub of restaurants, shops and more, AlJadidah quickly became a must-visit location in AlUla. Beautiful murals bring an artistic touch to the pedestrian-friendly area, where the world's largest hand-painted carpet lines the road for visitors. Centrally located, AlJadidah sits beautifully on the edge of AlUla Old Town and overlooks the AlUla Oasis.

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Desert X AlUla 2022

Desert X AlUla 2022 returned for its second edition with an extraordinary open-air art exhibition from 11th February to 30th March 2022. Placing visionary contemporary artworks by 15 Saudi and international artists amidst the remarkable desert landscape of AlUla, 2022's exhibition explored ideas of mirage and oasis.

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Path Of Poets

The live immersion show "Path of Poets" brought to life a re-creation of the celebrated poet Jamil bin Muammar alongside other characters, sharing the story of Buthaina in this specially created show of creative storytelling.

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What Lies Within

What Lies Within was an exhibition of Saudi contemporary art from the collection of Basma AlSulaiman hosted at the award-winning Maraya.

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AlUla Performing Arts Festival

The AlUla Performing Arts Festival was a unique international festival that celebrated all forms of performing arts. From acrobatic performances to traditional street buskers, AlJadidah was bustling with all kinds of activity for an incredible ten days.



Upon completing the first AlUla Artist Residency, the six participating artists had their works and research on display at The Oasis Reborn Exhibition. Located in the palm-grove of Mabiti AlUla, the exhibition invited visitors to immerse themselves in the cultural oasis of AlUla and discover new perspectives on this ancient landscape.

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Barzan Living Gardens

Handed down through generations, Barzan Living Gardens is a place of natural beauty and deep heritage, shining a light on the cultural connection between the people of AlUla and the resources of the AlUla Oasis. Supported by friendly guides, guests explored this living landscape and discovered its stories through the prisms of art, heritage and nature.

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Remote AlUla

This 90-minute, site-specific immersive audio tour by Rimini Protokoll explored life, the past and the imagined future of AlUla. During the tour, guests were guided by a digital voice as they encountered the beauty of the AlUla Oasis and AlJadidah in an innovative and immersive theatre experience focused on AlUla.


Cinema ElHoush

The beautiful outdoor set-up of Cinema ElHoush offered the chance to enjoy a selection of world-class movies from Saudi, Arab and International directors. Cinema-goers grabbed local coffee with friends at the in-house café before their films and participated in engaging discussions with directors afterwards.

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Cortona On The Move

The first edition of the international photography festival Cortona On The Move for AlUla took place in AlJadidah. The 18 exhibited artist works wove seamlessly between Time, Life and Longing. These site-specific exhibitions were accompanied by guided tours, talks, screenings and training opportunities for budding photographers.

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