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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette Report
AL-ULA — The Al-Ula region is making history again as it woos visitors to its dazzling beauties, unique natural scenes and rich historic heritage. The city showcases its rich historic landmarks, providing visitors a rare opportunity to discover unique and diverse natural masterpieces among its dunes and rocks, according to a report carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
In the past, Al-Ula served as a bridge of civilization connecting the East and the West. It was one of the major stations along the Incense Road and a melting pot of cultures and civilizations.
The Royal Commission for Al-Ula sought to embody the values of diversity by highlighting them now through the International Winter Tantura Festival, which showcases arts, culture, history and heritage of Al-Ula governorate, through various programs and activities. It enabled tourists and visitors from different countries of the world to enjoy artistic shows, cultural programs and adventures. The move provided a major fillip to the recent measures taken by the Kingdom to support tourism and receive international tourists. A case in point is the launch of the electronic tourist visa regime under which tourists can have the services of booking for a specific period of stay through contacting the link: book.experiencealula.com.
The entire Al-Ula region has gained a specific distinction with the spread of monuments, historical sites, orchards and ancient villages, and these were distributed in accordance with an amazing natural engineering scheme for the visitors apart from the novel tourism programs, initiated by the Royal Commission.
The Kingdom was able to unearth the treasures of Al-Ula for visitors and tourists through various marketing programs such as international conferences and forums to present it as one of the most important global destinations registered with the UNESCO.
Things did not stop at the historical aspect of being the second Nabatean capital in the past. It has in fact set a record in protecting its environmental features and developing them with initiatives like the one to protect the Arab tigers. There are also several other projects aimed to support the conservation of endangered species, including an intensive program for breeding and reproduction, in addition to establishing the Global Fund for the Protection of the Arab Tiger as an effective platform for many future initiatives.
Since its establishment, the Royal Commission has carried out a comprehensive study to rehabilitate and develop Al-Ula in a way offering the best services for the visitors and tourists, while preserving the pristine natural beauty of the region without any change.
The Royal Commission has brought to Al-Ula Governorate a number of international restaurants and rest houses that spread between its valleys and mountains and are designed in accordance with the latest engineering standards while maintaining the most accurate details of the picturesque nature. In addition to this, there are training programs for the sons and daughters of the region to carry out the tasks of tourism services as well as that of guides. These programs include cooking, hotel and tourism courses in the prestigious international institutes through scholarship programs initiated by the Commission.
Amjad Bint Turki, a young woman from Al-Ula, who is included in the scholarship program to study French language, stressed the importance of learning languages in dealing with tourists. “The initiatives taken to teach the children of Al-Ula about tourism and related subjects would contribute to enhancing domestic tourism and getting to know closely about various global cultures at a time when Madain Saleh and other sites are attracting huge inflow of international tourists,” she said.
Al-Ula aims to attract more than two million visitors by 2035, through developing the governorate into an exceptional world heritage, cultural and tourism destination. It also plans to enhance Al-Ula airport’s ability to receive direct international flights from various regional and international destinations.
The Royal Commission is also working to develop three tourist parks in Al-Ula, carrying the brand of “Aman” by 2023, in order to enhance the standard of tourism services in the governorate.
Hamid Al-Balawi, another citizen from Al-Ula, voiced his satisfaction over the great care and attention being accorded to Al-Ula at the national level. “The history of Al-Ula must be opened to the world,” he said.
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