What to Expect & FAQ's

What to Expect & FAQ's

For Your AlUla Visit

Although you will be among the first visitors in modern times to see the extraordinary heritage sites, beautiful wilderness and epic landscapes, AlUla has been famous as a welcoming place 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. Everyone you meet has a smile for you and wants to tell you a story or show you a special place.

 

Travel & Booking Your Trip

When will flights resume to AlUla?
For the latest international country restrictions and travel information see visit the travel center website for the most up to date information.
What are the food and beverage options?
You can view options on the Where to Eat page.

There are a number of local restaurants including:
  • AlMahkar Cafe and Park - a charming café offering outdoor seating among the oaisis located in the heart of AlUla Oasis;
  • Barzan - offering a mouthwatering mixture of Saudi Arabian, Egyptian and Syrian cuisine;
  • Heritage Garden Restaurant - an atmospheric outdoor restaurant which serves a variety of traditional foods in the traditional style majlis, a great choice for large groups.

Hotels including Shaden Resort and Sahary AlUla Resort have onsite restaurants. From end of November, a variety of food trucks will be available at Winter Park, which is a five-minute drive from Elephant Rock and offers tasty burgers, Dunkin Donuts and other fast food options. There is shaded seating here.
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES
Information desks are located at Winter Park, Dadan /Jabal Ikmah and Hegra.Information Desks are also located at Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz Domestic Airport in AlUla as well as Shaden Resort and Sahary AlUla Resort.
How to you get to AlUla?
Check out the Getting to and Around AlUla page to learn about travel options. 

Saudia Air flies between AlUla and Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman. The nearest airport is Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz Domestic Airport (ULH), which is located around 35 kilometres southeast of AlUla. Improvements to the AlUla airport including VIP lounges and other upgrades have recently been completed and there will be a new visitor centre on the site.

AlUla is a 10-hour drive from Riyadh, 7 hour drive from Jeddah, 3 hours 20 minute drive from Medina and just over 3 hour drive from Tabuk Airport. It’s also only a 2.5 hour drive to the Red Sea which visitors can add on to their trip.
How do you get around once you arrive in AlUla?
To get around visitors can use AlUla’s new taxi service, rent a car with or without a driver / guide, or hail a ride from Careem:
  • Careem, download the app from Google Play or IOs Store
  • Safwa Green Taxi - 920004507 • AlUla Guide Tours - 966540522257
  • Arnawa - 966 592100072
  • Rent a car from the airport with Alwefaq from the airport
  • Lumi Rental - 920000572

Other transport improvements coming in bus transportation from Winter Park to Hegra and Dadan which can be included in your ticket.
Are Visas currently available?
In line with global efforts to halt the global spread of COVID-19, tourist visas to Saudi Arabia have been suspended. This temporary measure is under regular review.
What is a DMC and why should I book through them?
A DMC is a travel partner that can assist and book your trip for you to AlUla. They will help create a custom package for you trip and complete the booking process for you. There are several options available on the How to Book page.
Where do I go to book my trip to AlUla?
Please visit the How to Book section and you will see options for booking your trip to AlUla.

Booking Tours & Attraction Tickets

When will the heritage sites be open for visitors?
The heritage sites will be open for visitors from October 31st 2020. You can book them from the How To Book page on experienceAlUla.com website
What is included in the price of the ticket?
The Hegra experience includes full immersion into the Nabataean ways of life at sites including the most iconic, Tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza, plus Jabal Ithlib, The Diwan, Jabal Alhamar and the well. Hop on hop off transportation will stop at seven key areas.

At Dadan + Jabal Ikmah you can explore the ancient city, the Lion Tombs and 500 rock inscriptions in 5 languages. AlRowah (Arabic storytellers) are available at the main stop-off points to accompany you on your journey of discovery.

Alternatively, you can explore at your own pace by using the Experience AlUla app.
What heritage sites will be open?
There will be an admission fee for the heritage sites which will reflect the experience inclusions at the time of booking. From October 31 to December 31 2020 the prices will be:
  • Hegra 95 SAR adult rate 45 SAR child
  • Dadan Kingdom (inc Jabal Ikmah) adult rate 60 SAR 30 SAR child
  • AlUla residents will pay 20 SAR at Hegra and 10 SAR at Dadan
You can visit our How To Book page to book your reservations.
What are the other heritage experiences coming?
Please note: These experiences will be added soon to the Heritage tours.
At Hegra, a handicraft pavilion will also host a series of interactive activations designed to provide an entertaining appreciation for the Nabataean Kingdom and ways of life.
These will include:
  • visitors can try their hand at making a necklace made of date stones, a replica of a necklace that archaeologists discovered in Hegra in 2015
  • a fun and interactive spotlight on the Nabataean society and ways of life with the live theatre performance, the Tomb of Malkiyun the Diviner (Qasr AlSania)
  • a sensory glimpse into Bedouin life at The Alfegeer Mudhouses with handicraft workshops, live performances and cooking
  • visitors will be able to get their name beautifully reproduced in the Nabataean script to take home as a framed memento.

At Dadan, a family-friendly 40-minute ‘Archaeology for Everyone’ workshop will have kids digging for artefacts to get in on the action. Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour the extensive site in a vintage jeep. From late January, parts of Old Town will be open to the public. The experience will include exploring the town with a Rawi with stops at Tantora Plaza and sundial, live performances, a busy bazaar, handicraft and souvenirs and new dining options.
What else is there to do in AlUla?
Relax, rejuvenate and appreciate the vast, silence of the desert
  • Visits to the local farm including AlUla Fresh (these can be booked directly through the suppliers)
  • Visit famous rock formations: Elephant rock, AlGharameel, Dancing Rocks
  • Stop at the Hijaz Railway and Hegra Fort • Visit Harrat Uwayrid lookout point
  • Walk through the oasis palm grove
Is there a discount on the tickets prices for AlUla locals and residents?
Yes, currently there is a discount for AlUla resident, please go to the visitor center in Winter Park and show your IDs and the discount will be provided to you.
How do you book other experiences in AlUla?
You can see the list of available and coming soon attractions and experiences on the What To Do page on experienceAlUla.com.

Cancellation & Contact Information

Where can I leave feedback about my experience in AlUla?
We would love to hear about your experience in AlUla. Please take the survey and provide us with your feedback.
Where are the options to contact someone about travelling to AlUla?
Please reach out to a representative at +966 92 002 5003 9am - 5pm 7 days a week and they will help answer any questions you may have about AlUla.
Whom do I contact if i need information about refunds?
You can call 8008803023 and a representative will assist you with changing or cancelling your booking.
How can I change or cancel a booking?
You can call 8008803023 and a representative will assist you with changing or cancelling your booking.
Where do I contact if i need to change my travel plans or if I miss a bus?
You can call 800 880 3023 and a representative will assist you with changing or cancelling your booking.

Accommodation Information

What are the accommodation options?
You see current and upcoming accommodation options at our Where to Stay page.

From November, Shaden Resort offers comfortable accommodation in an incredible location, Sahary AlUla Resort has tradition Bedouin style rooms.

Ashar Resort offers one, two and three bedroom luxury tented style accommodation and is re-opening after renovations in Q1 2021.

Habitas is a new eco-friendly luxury accommodation in the Ashar Valley and will be opening in 2021.

Visitors can book the iconic airstream trailers at Canyon RV Park or Ashar RV Park.

More accommodation including new and updated hotel rooms will be available in Q1 2021.
Could you recommend places for camping?
Please reach out to a representative at +966 92 002 5003 9am - 5pm 7 days a week and they will help answer any questions you may have about AlUla.

About AlUla

What events will be available? Is Winter at Tantora coming back?
Please check back on our events page for what will be an exciting events calendar that will strictly adhere to COVID-19 safe capacities.
LOCAL CUSTOMS
To be respectful of local customs we suggest both men and women dress modestly (with knees and elbows covered and avoiding tight-fitting clothing or those with profane languages or images). Women do not need to wear a head cover or abaya. Flat comfortable shoes are recommended when visiting various sites and experiences, since walking over varied terrain is often involved.

To be respectful of local customs we suggest both men and women dress modestly (with knees and elbows covered and avoiding tight-fitting clothing or those with profane languages or images). Women do not need to wear a head cover or abaya. Flat comfortable shoes are recommended when visiting various sites and experiences, since walking over varied terrain is often involved.

Proof of marriage is not required for couples to share a hotel room. However, public displays of affection are not consistent with local culture. Visitors should also avoid using profane language or gestures.

Female travellers aged 18 and older can travel independently (including driving and booking hotel rooms) on an eVisa without the need for male companions.

At prayer time, five times a day, music is turned off in public places and many shops close briefly.  Visitors should observe decorum during these times.

The sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia. It is illegal to bring alcohol or drugs into the country.

Learn more about laws and etiquette in Saudi Arabia.
CURRENCY
The local currency is the Saudi Riyal (SAR). Some shops in town only accept cash, so it’s good to have some with you. There are ATMs in AlUla, but there is no currency exchange — plan to exchange money at Riyadh or Jeddah airports before your arrival.
WEATHER
Winter, typically October through April, is the best time to visit AlUla, with temperatures ranging from a pleasant 10–25 degrees Celsius (45–70 degrees Fahrenheit). It does get colder at night, so it is important to pack some warm clothing.

May through September is much hotter in this desert climate, with temperatures ranging from 20–35 degrees Celsius (60–95 degrees Fahrenheit).
LANGUAGE
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”).

General Enquiries

What measures will RCU be taking to ensure safety standards in line with the pandemic?
RCU will be fully compliant with the Ministry of Health and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) guidelines to ensure the safety of visitors at all times and will be implementing measures such as temperature checks, enforcement of face masks, limiting tickets numbers at sites and on transport, cleaning regimes, distancing signage and use of hand sanitizer.
Where does the admission price go?
The price of the tickets will be invested back into the development of AlUla as a visitor destination and will help fund key conservation, infrastructure and hospitality and staffing programs to ensure the visitor experience is of international quality and standards.
GROCERY STORE
Bin Eid Market in AlUla city is available for a good variety of food, health and personal care products, and other necessities.
ELECTRONICS & WI-FI
For electronics, AlUla uses the same power plugs and sockets as in the United Kingdom (Type G).

Wi-Fi hotspots are located at specific locations and all hotels. However, for visitors coming from outside Saudi Arabia, we recommend purchasing a local mobile SIM card from a telecom provider at Riyadh or Jeddah airports.
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 are fasting from sunrise to sunset. You will find that most restaurants are closed during the day, however hotels will be able to deliver room service. Take away and delivery services are also available at some restaurants. Most restaurants will open for iftar, the evening meal during which muslims break their fast after Maghrib, or sunset prayer. Shops will be open only a few hours in the day and reopen late in the evenings. The start of Ramadan depends on the sighting of the new moon. In 2021, the month of Ramadan is likely to be over the period 13 April to 12 May 2021, however dates may vary slightly.

EID AL FITR HOLIDAYS: To celebrate the ending 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, but it is a wonderful time to be in AlUla and celebrate with the locals with many activities to do. In 2021, Eid Al Fitr is likely to fall on 12, 13 or 14 May, depending on the sighting of the moon.

EID AL ADHA HOLIDAYS: This is the second of the Eid celebrations in the muslim calendar and 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, Dhu-al-Hijjah, 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. Normally, five days before and after Eid, most businesses remain closed and restaurants may have shorter operating hours. In 2021, Eid Al Adha is likely to fall on 20, 21 or 22 July, depending on the sighting of the moon.

SAUDI NATIONAL DAY HOLIDAY: This special day is to celebrate the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is held annually on 23 September. All businesses are closed for this national holiday, however each year this day is celebrated with many special events and activities around the country and is a special time to visit Saudi Arabia.
HEALTHCARE
For minor illnesses, there’s Pure Clinic, Bateel Clinic and Al-Busraji Clinic, all located in Al-Aziziya.

There are also many well-equipped pharmacies in AlUla city.

For emergency situations, please go to Prince Abdulmohsen Hospital in AlUla or call the Saudi Red Crescent to request an ambulance 997.
How do I apply for a job in AlUla/heritage sites?
You can access the RCU site and look for job openings.

Contact Us

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.

FAQ's

Questions About AlUla

Have a general enquiry about visiting AlUla? Please call a representative at 920 025 003 9am - 5pm Sunday - Thursday.

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Have your plans been cancelled or wish to go on a later date? Contact a representative at 800 880 3023 between 9am - 5pm 7 days a week to help make your changes.

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FIND OUT HOW TO GET TO & AROUND ALULA

Getting to AlUla by air or by car is simple, and once you’ve arrived, you have several options for exploring its endless wonders. Find out more about airports, rental cars and driving in Saudi Arabia.

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