The line-up includes art, music and wellness festivals.
AlUla in Saudi Arabia is fast becoming a must-visit cultural destination. The ancient city has announced the line-up for its AlUla Moments 2023, and it’s set to be packed with festivals. Lots of festivals.
Azimuth is the kingdom’s first musical festival – it’s back and this time it’s personal. The two-day festival is a celebration of music, art and food. The event includes sunrise and sunset performances in a spectacular canyon setting. Azimuth takes place on Saudi National Day weekend from 21 to 22 September, and the lineup includes Jorja Smith, Thievery Corporation and Saint Levant.
AlUla Wellness Festival
AlUla Wellness Festival will take place from 19 October to 5 November, bringing together the world’s best practitioners of yoga and meditation alongside local talent to create a holistic wellness experience. Here, visitors can take advantage of art therapy, Ayurveda, and sound-healing from world-class experts, as well as inspiration talks with leading experts in their fields, including Anas Bukhash and Hala Kazim.
Ancient Kingdoms Festival
From 17 November to 3 December, the Ancient Kingdoms Festival will return for its second edition, presenting journeys of wonder and discovery inspired by the ancient world. This rich mix of events will present a journey through time informed by history and designed to delight, ranging from after-dark experiential immersions to family-friendly activities. In this coming edition, Hegra – the archaeological site at the heart of the Incense Road – will act as the epicentre of festivities, as the Nabataean masterpiece celebrates its 15th year anniversary as Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic heartland will host special performances, innovative tours, and imaginative discovery programmes.
Winter at Tantora
Combining music, art, sport and cultural festivities, Winter at Tantora – the festival that started it all – will also return. Authentic AlUla celebrations will run from 21 December to 21 January, allowing visitors to experience the wonders of AlUla over four themed weekends that will span fashion, art and geological wonders. Among the highlights is the Citrus Festival, which will take place during the peak of the harvest season, alongside sporting events such as the epic AlUla Trail Race and the annual Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo.
AlUla Arts Festival
Soon after is the AlUla Arts Festival, held from 8 February to 2 March. It will once again welcome art aficionados from around the world to interact with the dynamic creative spirit of AlUla that has its roots in antiquity and carries on today. The festival will immerse visitors in a vibrant celebration of contemporary visual and public art, design, curated cinema, art tours, and artist residencies.
Desert X AlUla will also return next year, this time for its third edition. The renowned international art in the landscape exhibition will captivate visitors with its large-scale site-responsive installations set against AlUla’s dramatic backdrop.
AlUla Skies Festival
An established fixture on the world equestrian stage, the fifth edition of the prestigious Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup will take place in February 2024, welcoming the world’s best endurance riders to AlUla as they compete in this hotly contested 120km equestrian challenge. Also continuing the winter season, the AlUla Skies Festival allows visitors to experience the beautiful scenery of AlUla from a one-of-a-kind perspective. Fans can explore the skies of Saudi Arabia’s ancient city through activities such as hot air balloon rides, helicopter tours, drone shows, stargazing and more.
AlUla Camel Cup
AlUla Camel Cup set a new standard for camel racing in the region, with its first event taking place in March 2023. Now known as the pinnacle of the Saudi Arabian camel racing season – with a specially built venue offering authentic entertainment, retail and dining – the event will return in April 2024. Desert Blaze, meanwhile, is an extraordinary event that pushes the boundaries of physical endurance to the extreme. Nestled amidst soaring temperatures that reach up to 42°C, the second edition of Desert Blaze promises an unparalleled challenge for athletes and adventurers alike. Featuring an array of races including 5km, 10km, 21km, and 42km distances, the event presents routes that meander through AlUla’s timeless monuments and vast sandstone canyons.
GO: Visit www.experiencealula.com for more information.