The festival brings together blockbuster exhibitions, thrill-seeking experiences and historical trails.
If you want to go on a desert adventure, look no further than AlUla in Saudi Arabia. The historical site has just revealed its line-up for AlUla Moments 2023, and it is packed with events spanning culture, heritage, sports, art and entertainment.
AlUla Moments 2023 sees the return of Winter at Tantora, Azimuth, Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo, Saudi Tour 2023 and AlUla Endurance Cup 2023. Plus, there are new events including AlUla Catwalk and Extreme Adventure AlUla.
AlUla has direct flights from Dubai, Riyadh and Jeddah. Airlines currently flying to AlUla include Saudia, flynas and flydubai. From 4 December 2022 to 29 January 2023, Saudi will be connecting Paris and AlUla. Plus, from January 2023, Royal Jordanian will be connecting Amman to AlUla.
Here are the highlights from AlUla Moments 2023.
AlUla Arts Festival
AlUla Arts Festival hosts workshops, immersive experiences and art exhibitions. Running from 13 to 28 February 2023, it aims to be a global event. So much so, it has collaborated with The Andy Warhol Museum, which holds the largest collection of the artist’s work. The two have joined forces to curate a special exhibition for AlUla’s Maraya. FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla opens from 17 February 2023, and is a rare chance to see some of Warhol’s most famous silkscreens in the kingdom. Highlights include Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali and Dolly Parton.
AlUla is strutting its stuff with this brand-new festival. The marquee fashion event brings together clothing, concerts and culture, and draws its inspiration from an unlikely source: the endangered Arabian leopard. Created to raise awareness of animals in the wild, it includes a leopard trail, photography exhibition, auction and bazaar.
AlUla Endurance Cup 2023
Now in its fourth year, more than 200 riders will compete for the cup with horses from around the world. Organised by the Royal Commission for AlUla and Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation, it covers a distance of 120 km and has a prize money of $4.2 million.
AlUla Skies Festival
Go up, up and away at AlUla Skies Festival, which is presented by Saudia. Running from 20 April to 4 May 2023, it is one of the most Insta-friendly festivals. Here’s your chance to see the sights in a new light, as 200 colourful hot air balloons will fill the desert sky. Plus, visitors can enjoy stargazing experiences.
AlUla Wellness Festival
When an hour in the spa doesn’t cut it, book yourself onto Five Senses Sanctuary. Running from 16 September to 16 October 2023, it offers two weeks of yoga, meditation, talks and fitness. Best of all, it takes place in the serene desert landscape.
Ancient Kingdoms Festival
Now in its second year, this gives visitors the opportunity to brush up on the region’s historic sights through one-of-a-kind experiences. Guests can learn about the Nabatean civilisation, which dates back to the first century AD. The festival hosts open-air galleries, hot air balloons from Khaybar, and dining experiences with a front-row seat to Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra.
AlUla’s flagship music festival runs from 22 to 25 September 2023, and falls on Saudi National Day. Expect big name artists from the region and beyond. In the past, Maraya concert hall has welcomed John Legend, OneRepublic and Usher. Plus, look out for concerts taking place in the Old Town and Elephant Rock.
Extreme Adventure in AlUla
Thrill seekers will love this festival, as it’s your chance to get close up to the desert landscape in an exciting way. Take your pick from challenging events including abseiling, hiking, cycling, dune buggies and rock climbing. The festival is from 7 to 10 June 2023.
Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo
Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo gallops into the desert on 27 and 28 January 2023. La Dolfina Polo team play alongside local and international guests. The event take place at a specially designed arena, which has a beautiful desert backdrop.
Saudi Tour 2023
Get on your bike at Saudi Tour, which runs from 1 to 5 February 2023. Created in collaboration with the Saudi Arabia Cycling Federation, watch as cyclists from across the world whizz through AlUla.
Winter at Tantora
Winter at Tantora returns for the fourth time, and runs from 22 December to 22 January 2023. The festival includes cultural events covering concerts, wellness, nature, fashion and food. The festival kicks off with Tantora Cultural Celebration, which is a four-day party with locals and visitors. Flavours of AlUla is a new experience, which ranges from cooking demonstrations to tastings. Plus, the Citrus Festival returns with tastings, markets and more.
GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.