JEDDAH: The Historic Kingdoms Competition has returned to AlUla in celebration of the area’s historical past and heritage.
Organized by AlUla Moments, the two-week pageant is being held till Dec. 2 and provides a collection of thrilling experiences that transport guests to the guts of AlUla’s charming previous.
The pageant’s program consists of cultural celebrations, night excursions, historic culinary experiences, and journeys to archaeological and historic websites.
This yr’s festivities mark the fifteenth anniversary of Hegra’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Website. The Nabataean metropolis sprawls over 52 hectares, standing as a testomony to Saudi Arabia’s wealthy historical past. Initially untouched for over 2,000 years, the town has revealed its treasures, permitting archaeologists and consultants to delve into its historical mysteries.
Ibn Battuta, the legendary Arab explorer, visited Hegra within the 14th century, noting in his memoirs that its tombs had been additionally handed by vacationers, merchants, and pilgrims en path to Makkah over the centuries.
One other well-known explorer who made the journey was Charles Montagu Doughty. Regarded to today as one of many best of all Western vacationers in Arabia, Doughty’s go to to Hegra was referenced in his 1888 e-book “Travels in Arabia Deserta.”
Nonetheless, Hegra is now open to the world as certainly one of Saudi Arabia’s iconic landmarks, welcoming vacationers from all walks of life as they discover a particular, untouched a part of the Kingdom.
“The tales and secrets and techniques inside Hegra have withstood … time and as we uncover them within the current, they solely implement that the town stays as vital as ever,” Phillip Jones, chief tourism officer on the Royal Fee for AlUla, advised Arab Information.
“Fashionable-day Saudi Arabia and its individuals are simply as pioneering, revolutionary, and transactional with communities in close to and distant lands as the traditional Nabataean and Roman civilizations that inhabited Hegra, whose legacies endure by means of our tradition and heritage. This yr’s Historic Kingdoms Competition casts a novel highlight on this legacy by means of a collection of world-class activations,” Jones defined.
Its legacy interweaves the tales of the Nabataeans with these of the Dadanites and Lihyanites, all of whom left indelible marks inside this historic locale — marks illustrating timeless cultural exchanges in structure, ornament, language use, and the caravan commerce.
Guests to the pageant can uncover Hegra’s secrets and techniques by means of new and thrilling factors of entry, permitting them to witness historical past by means of revolutionary, thoughtfully designed experiences.
“Hegra After Darkish” is a history-inspired immersive expertise within the shadow of a number of the most spectacular tombs positioned on the UNESCO World Heritage Website. Guests begin their journey on a Nabataean-inspired horse-drawn carriage to find the “Secret Backyard of Khuraymat,” a curatorially imagined sensorium the place they will discover the historical past and tradition of incense use throughout the traditional world. In the meantime, “Theatre of Life” is an expertise mixing historic storytelling with leisure.
The tales and secrets and techniques inside Hegra have withstood … time and as we uncover them within the current, they solely implement that the town stays as vital as ever.
Phillip Jones, Royal Fee for AlUla chief tourism officer
Jones added: “These activations promise to take guests on the journey by means of time and current Hegra to the world in a method that hasn’t been skilled earlier than.”
The “Night of Stone” is impressed by the province’s historical past and takes guests on a journey to its most essential graveyards. It additionally options the “Life in Al-Hijr Exhibition” showcasing 15 archaeological discoveries within the area, along with the wildlife and nature life within the space.
In the course of the opening weekend, the pageant kicked off on Nov. 16 with the “Journey By Time Parade,” illuminating the tales, legends, and legacies of the traditional incense street and the life and recollections of AlUla.
One other expertise is “Ikmah After Darkish,”celebrating Jabal Ikmah’s current recognition on the UNESCO Reminiscence of the World Register, the place guests encounter the spirit of this historical place in an expertise that blends Arabian hospitality and refreshments, hands-on carving actions, and a spectacular present — all impressed by the inscriptions left behind by historic civilizations.
Different activations launched are the “King Nabonidus Parade,” the place guests can have a good time all issues Tayma in a dramatic present starring the final king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
Guests will witness the intertwining of the previous with the current whereas exploring the legendary landscapes and the linking of AlUla, Khaybar, and Tayma — three interconnected historical oases of Northwest Arabia.
Khaybar is the place geological wonders and pure treasures take center-stage. Partaking activations like “Khaybar Camp” invite guests to discover conventional meals, handicrafts, and family-oriented heritage performances. The “Oasis Soundscape” celebration combines music, nature, and panorama in a novel setting, whereas Takya Restaurant provides a possibility to savor conventional Saudi Arabian dishes with scenic views of Khaybar forts and oasis.
Tayma, one other vital locale, invitations guests to delve into history-inspired experiences, unveiling the richness and complexity of the kings, queens, and historical communities that after flourished within the area.
Amongst these experiences, “Tayma Camp” supplies a pleasant mix of meals, genuine handicrafts, cultural performances, camel using, and falconry, whereas “Tayma Reside” presents an enthralling re-enactment present, narrating the story of the “Land of the Kings” by means of music and performing arts.
The Historic Kingdoms Competition introduces a number of new Oases Discovery activations. The “Reminiscence Sanctuary,” crafted in collaboration with AlUla’s residents, pays homage to the oasis by means of a multisensory expertise. Visitors can create nostalgic desserts, get pleasure from liquid nitrogen slushies, and savor 3D-printed wafers in an experiential dessert laboratory.
Moreover, two extraordinary picnic experiences, “Ancestral Hampers” and “Life and Reminiscence Chest,” draw inspiration from recollections of the harvest season within the Oasis. Guests can go for the transportable, family-friendly picnic hampers to get pleasure from beneath the shade of timber or take pleasure in an elevated gastronomic feast served in a premium, cozy spot.
A collection of cultural and creative workshops will probably be held beneath the theme “Packages for Future Ancients.” Designed for younger minds and their households, these actions had been created by means of intensive session with archaeologists by the Academy of Historic Inscriptions.
For extra info, go to experiencealula.com.