The first awe-inspiring AlUla Moments season draws to a close

The season observes an outstanding increase in the expected number of visitors

AlUla, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: 

AlUla Moments announced the end of the season activities which took place from December 2021 until the end of March 2022. Under the banner of “Celebrate Every Moment with AlUla Moments” the season hosted 4 unique festivals. Winter At Tantora returned after a year-long pause, and the ancient desert city welcomed AlUla Arts, AlUla Skies and AlUla Wellness festival. The calendar of events raised the bar for visitor experiences in the historic city of AlUla, celebrating the cultural heritage and extraordinary landscapes through a variety of events and activations and drawing an outstanding increase in the expected number of visitors.

The number of event tickets sold across all activations was 109K, while the iconic mirrored Maraya hosted 11 concerts including appearances from Alicia Keys and Lionel Richie. AlUla airport also saw a major increase in the number of passengers, with the increase in airlift capacity from the domestic routes of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and with the launch of direct routes from Dubai and Paris. AlUla Moments featured several unique events at the heritage sites and in nature reserves, including the popular Hegra Candlelit Classics, Symphony Under the Stars, the Ikmah Fashion Cavalry show with Dolce & Gabbana, and the Music of Ancient Eras.

Main sports highlights included the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2022. Hosted for the third time, an international CEI2*120km endurance competition organised in cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF) covers 120 km. Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo 2022 also returned for a second time in AlUla. Guests and Polo lovers were treated to the first Polo tournament to be held in the desert while four players from the legendary La Dolfina Polo team led one team each.

The Saudi Tour 2022 cycling race was brought to AlUla for the first time, the cyclists challenged with a steep climb up to the picturesque viewpoint on the Harrat Uwayrid. The EcoTrail AlUla 2022 race saw more than 950 participants running races of 80 km, 50 km, 25 km, 10 km, or sunset race for 5 km, while kids had the opportunity to participate for the first time in the Kids Race.

The very first AlUla Skies festival featured the world’s largest glow show, Constellations surprised and awed with an immersive drone show featuring 2000 drones to help reveal the stories of the stars. The popular hot air balloon rides over the dramatic landscape drew visitors from far and wide to see the balloons floating serenely over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra.

AlUla moments also featured AlUla Wellness festival for the first time.  The Five Senses Sanctuary took place near the orange path in AlUla and offered guests a selection of treatments, as well as cultural shopping experiences, talks and yoga classes from top international yoga instructors.

Habitas resort launched its Thuraya wellness centre, while PULSE studio brought their Fitness X Music popup experience to AlUla Oasis.

AlUla Arts festival featured the blockbuster site-responsive Desert X AlUla 2022 in its 2nd edition. The stunning exhibition set in a desert valley included artworks from local and international artists under the theme of “Sarab”. The artworks produced in the first AlUla Artist Residency were displayed between Mabiti AlUla’s palm groves. Barzan Living Gardens highlighted the relationship between people and nature, between community and visitors. The Cortona on the Move AlUla photography festival brought talks and screenings on the art of narrative photography to the newly opened arts hub AlJadidah, while “What Lies Within” delighted art critics and visitors to Maraya with an emotive and star-studded selection of artworks from the collection of the Saudi art collector Basma AlSulaiman.

AlUla Moments expanded its offering for adventure activities as well as its culinary experiences. New adventure activities include abseiling, several hiking trails, buggy tours, a canyon hike, a bike hub, cycling trail, zipline, gravity cart experience, rock climbing and dune buggies tours. New restaurants included the Greek eatery OKTO, Tama at Habitas AlUla, Le Maschou, vegan Moon Shell, Italian Circolo and world-famous SALT and SOMEWHERE.

The Horse Parade and the Ibn Battuta live show offered a new immersive way to engage with the landscape and heritage of AlUla Old Town. AlUla Moments will continue to showcase new experiences to engage audiences and create once-in-a-lifetime episodes at a unique destination.

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