In the heart of AlUla, a vibrant oasis of creativity and tradition unfolds and beckons art enthusiasts and cultural aficionados alike to discover a broad range of festivals and experiences amongst the desert landscapes. Each year this sandy paradise is home to a number of one-of-a-kind events that you simply can't find elsewhere - from citrus celebrations to cutting-edge exhibitions.
So come with us as we unlock the wonders of this extraordinary region and discover some of our favourite AlUla Moments...
Ready To Soar? The Sky Isn't the Limit
The AlUla Skies Festival
Step into the enchanting world of AlUla, where the AlUla Skies Festival beckons thrill-seekers, sky lovers and stargazers alike to experience an annual celebration of all things sky in April. This annual extravaganza promises more than just a visual spectacle; it's a dynamic celebration that takes you on a journey through the skies and beyond.
During the day, buckle up for an exhilarating journey as helicopter rides promise unrivalled views of AlUla's stunning landscapes from a birds-eye perspective and vintage aircraft tours take you on an airborne voyage through the vast canvas of the sky. Alternatively, gather your family and channel your inner aviator and put your kite-flying skills to the test before enjoying a fun workshop where you'll learn how to make your own kite. For those in search of thrills, there's no shortage of adrenaline-pumping experiences - scale the suspended ladder of the AlUla Stairway, a suspended ladder boasting a 45-meter descent with an adrenaline-pumping zipline leading to the valley floor or take a daring leap from the mountain's edge on AlUla's Giant Swing, soaring across the canyon.
As the sun dips below the horizon, the excitement continues with hypnotic drone shows that illuminate the night sky and the skies come alive with vibrantly illuminated kites gracefully dancing through the air. Embrace the magic of stargazing near Elephant Rock, where an impressive constellation show awaits, unveiling the mysteries of the cosmos or learn a new skill with an immersive astrophotography experience that complements the natural wonders of your surroundings and the impressive constellations above.
Discover your Zest for Life
The Annual AlUla Citrus Festival
Spanning four lively days every January, the AlUla Citrus Market celebrates citrus in all its forms and transforms AlUla into a buzzing souk, awash with the vibrant hues and intoxicating aromas of freshly harvested citrus fruits. Here, the zest for life is palpable, and visitors have the chance to revel in all things citrus at this free-to-visit and family-friendly festival, delving into the intricacies of the 29 unique varieties native to the region.
Dive into the festival's vibrant atmosphere as you sample freshly squeezed juice, partake in show cooking sessions with renowned chefs, watch farmers compete in a friendly competition for the best quality fruit and immerse yourself in family-friendly citrus-themed activities. As you wander through the vibrant market, prepare for stalls boasting a diverse array of fruit-based treasures that are the perfect souvenir - fragranced soaps and essential oils that are made with lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits and much more.
For those seeking a more hands-on experience, join one of the interactive workshops where you can learn the art of citrus cultivation. Expert farmers will guide you through the process of planting and nurturing these vibrant fruits, sharing their invaluable knowledge along the way. Whether you have a green thumb or are just curious, this is the perfect opportunity to connect with nature.
Brush Up on Your Masterpieces
The AlUla Arts Festival
A vibrant and diverse annual celebration of the arts, the annual AlUla Arts Festival invites visitors to explore cutting-edge exhibitions, try something new at one of the many interactive workshops and enjoy a lively programme of performances in the heart of the city each February. From painting classes led by renowned artists to storytelling sessions that bring ancient tales to life, the AlUla Arts Festival is a must-visit event for art enthusiasts and curious minds, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the art world.
Celebrating the third edition of this art-focused event this year, the festival showcases cutting-edge exhibitions that push the boundaries of traditional art forms - from contemporary paintings and sculptures to immersive installations and digital art, there is something for every taste. Nowhere better can this be seen than at the Desert X AlUla exhibition, where thought-provoking contemporary artworks by Saudi and international artists are placed amongst the extraordinary desert landscape of AlUla. Free and open to all, this one-of-a-kind experience is a must-see for anyone seeking inspiration and cultural exploration.
One of the highlights of this year's festival is the inclusion of Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan, who will showcase her artwork at Wadi Alfann. A testament to the rich culture of AlUla, she brings to life the stories and traditions of the local communities, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the region's vibrant history. AlDowayan's unique pieces beautifully capture the essence of the local communities, shedding light on their customs, beliefs and struggles, allowing visitors to connect with locals on a profound level, as if they were standing face-to-face with them.
Another key highlight of this year's festival is the More Than Meets The Eye Exhibition, a groundbreaking array of modern and contemporary works by Saudi artists that will be displayed in the award-winning Maraya. Showcasing the talent and creativity of local artists, this exhibition pushes the boundaries of traditional art and invites visitors to explore the depths of their imagination in a space that is soon to become a contemporary art museum in AlUla. It follows the iconic FAME Andy Warhol exhibition in 2023, so expectations are high for this year!
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