Tantora Celebration

Dec 22, 2021 - Dec 26, 2021 | 03:10

The locals of AlUla have been celebrating the “Tantora” for generations. The Tantora itself is a sundial used by the local people not only to tell time, but also to mark the beginning of the winter planting season. This culturally significant festive season has always been filled with celebrations, and the local community can’t wait to celebrate and share their heritage with you!

The 5-day Tantora Celebration ended on 26 December.

Tantora Celebration

While Winter at Tantora is an extravagant six-week festival, the Tantora Celebration is a 5-day celebration focused on sharing the traditions and culture of the AlUla Oasis. Throughout AlUla’s Old Town, you’ll find different special areas set up to showcase the local heritage and aspects of daily social life.

The Traveller Ibn Battuta

AlUla had many poets and travellers pass through its oasis on routes through the Arabian Peninsula. This immersive live show introduces the audience to Ibn Battuta, a most iconic explorer, as he travels through AlUla. A Rawi, or guide, documents stories of people Ibn Battuta encountered. The stories highlight the generosity and love he came across during his travels and how AlUla has been an inspiration for poets and artists for centuries.

Tantora Celebration Nighttime Experience

Journey through AlUla and be immersed in the daily culture and life of the community. Let a local guide you through different interactive, hands-on activities and performances in this exciting, festive 4-part experience.

2 Timeslots: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm & 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm

1. The Traveller Ibn Battuta (45-minute performance)
This immersive live show introduces Ibn Battuta, an iconic explorer, as he travels through AlUla. A Rawi, or guide, documents stories of the people Ibn Battuta encountered and the generosity and love he came across during his travels. This journey starts from the Islamic period and leads to scenes that depict the traditions of Tantora.

2. Tantora Performance (7-minute performance)​
Gather at the Tantora sundial, much like the locals do, and sit to watch a thoughtful performance about the story of an older man wishing to revive his father’s land. Through this story, learn about the significance of the Tantora’s architecture and use.

3. Explore the Farmer’s Market​
Enjoy an authentic farmers market and purchase local goods fresh from the oasis farms.

4. Let the Planting Begin!
This hands-on activity lets visitors join in on the spirit of the Tantora Celebration. Get your hands dirty by helping plant some crops of your own at a nearby oasis. All seeds, water and necessary planting tools will be provided.

Plan Your Trip To AlUla

Flying to AlUla

Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, flydubai and flynas all operate direct flights in and out of AlUla International Airport (ULH) from regional and international destinations. The beautifully renovated airport is a welcoming entrance into AlUla, though being a small airport, services are limited. Its location is just 30 km or a 30-minute drive from the city centre.

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What to Do

Unlock the secrets of this open-air museum, where an exciting collection of immersive experiences and activities bring its stories to life.

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Where to Eat

In AlUla there are many dining options to replenish your energy after a day of exploring. Casual to fine dining options are available.

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Where to Stay

Looking for a place to rest after a long day’s adventure? From high-end luxury to sustainable eco-resorts, AlUla offers a range of accommodation options.

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