Planning your trip and what to expect

AlUla has been famously receiving and welcoming visitors for thousands of years. The ancient Dadanites and the Nabataeans greeted pilgrims and those travelling historic routes with hospitality and a safe place to stay along their journeys. That’s true of the people of AlUla today. 

As a visitor, it’s still important to plan your trip and know what to expect, in order to get the most out of your AlUla experience.


About AlUla

The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic, but English is widely spoken in AlUla and around the country. When greeting locals a friendly greeting is 'Marhaba' (hello) and 'Salaam aleikum' (peace be upon you).
Climate & seasons
Winter, typically October through April, has the most pleasant temperatures ranging from 10–25C (45–70F). It does get colder at night, so it is important to pack some warm clothing.

May through September sees an increase in heat in this desert climate, with temperatures ranging from 20–35C (60–95F). The humidity in AlUla is much lower than other cities across the Arabian Peninsula, so expect a dry heat.
Currency & shopping
The local currency is the Saudi Riyal (SAR). While credit card and contactless payment are widely accepted, some shops only accept cash – so it’s good to have some with you. There are several ATMs in AlUla, but there is no currency exchange; plan to exchange money at Riyadh or Jeddah airports before your arrival. Also bear in mind that certain shops close briefly during prayer times to allow time for worship.
Electronics & connectivity
Wi-Fi hotspots are located at most hotels and there is good cell phone and 5G coverage around AlUla. Bear in mind more remote areas have little or no coverage. For visitors coming from outside Saudi Arabia, we recommend purchasing a local mobile SIM card once reaching AlUla, either from the STC store or other telecom store and using the STC app. Visitors transiting through Jeddah or Riyadh airports are able to purchase a local SIM before arriving in AlUla.

For electrical devices, AlUla uses the same power plugs and sockets as in the United Kingdom (Type G)
Culture & religion
Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage and traditions have been shaped by its position as a historic trade hub and the birthplace of Islam. In recent years, the Kingdom has undergone a significant cultural transformation, evolving century-old customs to fit the contemporary world we live in today.
Festivals & holidays
Saudi Arabia has a handful of special occasions and holidays, so if you would like to visit during these periods, it is good to be prepared as most of them vary year to year due to the lunar calendar.

Ramadan: During the holy month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Most restaurants close during the day, however hotels will offer dining options and certain kiosks around the city offer takeaways. Most restaurants open for iftar, the evening meal during which Muslims break their fast after Maghrib, or sunset prayer. The start of Ramadan varies each year depending on the sighting of the new moon. 

Eid Al Fitr: To celebrate the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the Eid Al Fitr. Eid Al Fitr in AlUla is a time for family and friends to come together and enjoy meals, celebrations, and many local activities. During the first three of five days, most businesses remain closed and restaurants may have shorter operating hours.

Eid Al Adha: The second of the Eid celebrations is known as the greater Eid. A celebration a day after the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage, it falls on the tenth day in the final month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. As the dates of Hajj also vary slightly year to year, so does the actual day of Eid Al Adha. Five days before and after Eid most businesses close and restaurants have shorter opening hours.

Saudi National Day: This special day celebrates the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is held annually on 23 September. All businesses close for this national holiday, however the day is celebrated with many special events and activities around the country, including AlUla's Azimuth Festival

Saudi Founding Day: This public annual holiday takes places on 22 February and commemorates the foundation of the Saudi state in 1727 by Imam Mohammed bin Saud. Expect festivities across several days with the likes of parades, concerts and other special celebrations.

Laws & Local Customs

Is alcohol available in AlUla?
The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia, and it is illegal to bring alcohol or drugs into the country.
Are LGBT visitors welcome to visit AlUla?
Everyone is welcome to visit Saudi Arabia and visitors are not asked to disclose such personal details.
Are unmarried couples welcome to visit AlUla?
Everyone is welcome to visit Saudi Arabia and unmarried couples are able to share accommodation. Women can also easily travel independently around AlUla.
How should you dress in public?
Dress code is dependent on individual establishments, some casual, others keen on sophistication. Women do not need to wear a headcover or an abaya. Places of worship specifically do require you to dress modestly while visiting.
How much should I tip?
Tipping is generally appreciated but not expected. You can leave some small change or round the bill up.
Can I fly drones in AlUla?
Tourists are not permitted to fly drones in the Kingdom. Residents and Saudi citizens can fly drones with approved permits.

General Safety Information

Is AlUla safe?
Saudi Arabia is a very safe country, with a welcoming culture and low crime rate. Citizens’ and visitors’ safety, dignity and well-being are protected by the law.
Is there roadside assistance?
SAED is now available in AlUla for roadside assistance. Contact them and they will help with a flat tire, lock-out, battery, collision, and towing. They’ll even bring you fuel, oil, fluid, and water when you need it. Call +966 55 060 6811 to request assistance.
What hospitals and healthcare clinics are there?
For minor illnesses, there’s Pure Clinic, Bateel Clinic, and Al-Busraji Clinic, all located in AlAziziyah. There are also many well-equipped pharmacies in AlUla city.

For emergencies, please go to Prince Abdulmohsen Hospital in AlUla or call the Saudi Red Crescent to request an ambulance 997.
Useful Contacts
For any questions about AlUla call +966 92 002 5003 from 9 am to 9 pm, seven days a week to speak to a representative. After arrival, you can also find all the information you'll need at AlUla's Visitor Centres.
Saudi Tourism Call Center: 930
Saudi Tourism International Call Center: +966920000890
Police: 999 
Saudi Ambulance: 997
For traffic accidents: 993
Highway Patrol: 996
For a more comprehensive list of useful contacts, please visit https://www.visitsaudi.com/en/understand/useful-contacts.

We are here to help you Experience AlUla in the best possible way. Have a question or enquiry? We would love to hear from you.

FAQ's and What to Expect

Learn about AlUla's culture and explore trip ideas and day-by-day itineraries of what to do.


Questions About AlUla

Have a general enquiry about visiting AlUla? Please call a representative at 00 966 920 025 003 available daily, 9 am - 9 pm.

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Booking Changes

Do you wish to go on a later date? Contact a representative at 00 966 920 025 003 to help make your changes. available daily, 9:00 am - 9:00 pm.

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Plan Your Trip To AlUla

Flying to AlUla

Saudia Airlines and flydubai fly into and out of AlUla International Airport (ULH). The newly renovated airport is located just 35 km (a 30-minute drive) from the city centre.

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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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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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