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Saudi Arabia's Domestic Tourism: Spotlight on AlUla


A natural space of desert, hill, and sand
AlUla, a top tourist destination

AlUla: A Top Tourist Destination for 2023

AlUla, the Saudi city rich in history and culture, has been listed among the best tourist destinations for 2023 by Time Out. The city's extraordinary heritage and cultural history, dating back more than 200 thousand years, make it a unique destination for tourists.


Located in the heart of the northwestern desert of Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a testament to the preservation of history and culture. Interestingly, less than 5% of the site has been excavated, indicating a wealth of undiscovered treasures waiting to be explored.


AlUla: A New Wonder of the World

Conde Nast Traveler has recognized AlUla as one of the 'Seven Wonders of the World' for 2023. The city is home to historic treasures. Among them is Saudi Arabia's initial UNESCO World Heritage site, the Nabataean city of Hegra.

Additionally, the tombs of Dadan can be found here. The capital of the Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms was Dadan, which was constructed from stone. Hegra is known for its impressive tombs, which are intricately carved into the striking red sandstone cliffs.

An ancient space with carvings in the desert
AlUla, a new wonder of the world

AlUla: A Hub for Events and Festivals


AlUla is not just a historical site; it's also a hub for various local entertainment events. Over 54% of Saudis attended the Saudi Seasons Festivals, and 62% are likely to visit again next year.


The city also hosts music events, with the Jeddah World Festival being a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. These events and festivals add a vibrant touch to the ancient city, offering a unique blend of historical exploration and modern entertainment.



Socially Conscious Tourism in AlUla


Saudi consumers are becoming increasingly socially conscious, with 55% stating they will only buy socially responsible brands. This trend also extends to tourism, with many choosing destinations that contribute positively to the environment and local communities.


AlUla, with its commitment to sustainable tourism and preservation of cultural heritage, aligns perfectly with these values. The city has developed a tourism model to ensure that locals benefit from tourism. Moreover, this model helps to preserve historical sites for future generations. This socially conscious approach to tourism makes AlUla an even more appealing destination for the modern traveler.


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A reflection of a hill on a car mirror
AlUla, local tourism among Saudis

Saudi Arabia: A Fast-Growing Tourism Destination

Recent research commissioned by Google reveals a growing interest in local tourism among Saudis. Over half of the surveyed individuals have traveled domestically for leisure purposes, revealing a surge in domestic tourism.


The most popular local destinations include Abha, Neom, and Taif, chosen for their stunning natural landscapes. AlUla, with its rich cultural history, is the top choice for local tourists.

Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in the tourism sector, ranking second globally as the fastest-growing tourism destination. The number of international tourists visiting Saudi Arabia hit 16.6 million in 2022, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO).


In 2022, the Kingdom moved up 16 spots in the global tourism revenue ranking and secured the 11th position. This growth is attributed to the ease of travel visa procedures, promotional campaigns in target countries, and the diversity of tourism destinations in the Kingdom.

Safari in a desert, tent, dark night
Saudi Arabia's domestic tourism

Saudi Arabia's domestic tourism is poised for significant growth. The country's efforts to promote local tourism, coupled with AlUla's global recognition as a top tourist destination, are contributing to a vibrant and growing tourism sector.

AlUla offers an unparalleled experience that combines natural beauty with rich cultural heritage. Experience the wonder of AlUla and discover Saudi Arabia's hidden treasures with Almosafer.



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