Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and the chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla, Mohammed bin Salman has launched ‘The Journey Through Time Masterplan that aims to transform AlUla into a global destination for heritage, nature, art, and culture.

AlUla is known for its impressive natural beauty and archaeological diversity. It is also becoming a new cultural destination in Saudi Arabia.

“The plan contributes to the advancement of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, opening a new chapter in the development of AlUla as a Living Museum while accelerating the growth of a diversified economy and vibrant community,” reads an official release by the destination.

Key features of the project include: 

  • Five districts spanning the 20 km heart of AlUla will serve as waypoints on the Journey Through Time, from Old Town in the south to Hegra Historical City in the north, adorned by the site’s natural and cultural heritage. The districts are AlUla Old Town (District 1); Dadan (District 2); Jabal Ikmah (District 3); Nabataean Horizon (District 4) and Hegra Historical City (District 5).
  • The districts will focus on an existing heritage site and will be traversed by AlUla’s ancient oasis. A 9 km portion, constituting the heart of the Cultural Oasis, will be fully rejuvenated, starting in AlUla Old Town.
  • Fifteen new cultural assets including museums, galleries and cultural centres will be the landmarks across each district.
  • The 20 km Wadi of Hospitality running along the ancient oasis’s bed will connect the five districts and act as the green pedestrian ‘spine’ of The Journey Through Time.
  • A 46km low-carbon tram line will connect AlUla International Airport to the five districts. A scenic roadway as well as bicycle, equestrian and pedestrian trails will offer smooth journeys.
  • The wadi and the low-carbon tramway will mostly follow the route used by pilgrims on the Hijaz Railway for many centuries before, thereby ensuring a memorable visual and interpretive experience of the transition from oasis to the desert.
  • Adding a total of 5,000 additional room keys into the overall target of 9,400 keys by 2035, each district will offer world-class living and hospitality options, ranging from hotels and eco-tourism resorts to luxury lodges and canyon farms carved into the sandstone rocks.
  • The Kingdoms Institute, a flagship component of the plan, will be a global hub for archaeological knowledge and research dedicated to the cultures and civilisations that have inhabited this area for more than 7,000 years, including the ancient kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan and the magnificent Nabataeans, who built the city of Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.