August 12, 2022

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Emirates News Agency – Report / Al-Ula .. the land of civilizations and the world’s largest open-air museum

/To the Gentlemen on the receiving end.. Here is a report produced by Saudi Press Agency “SPA” within the Culture File of the Federation of Arab News Agencies “Fana”.

RIYADH, July 23 / WAM / Al-Ula Governorate in the northwest of Saudi Arabia stands out in a spatial entity with a history with direct evidence and cultural origins shaped by successive civilizations dating back 200,000 years. A destination for travelers and explorers, it remains one of the most important research sites today. A historical reflection that you store in effects.

Al-Ula was known before Islam as “Tadan” and “Valley of Villages” as mentioned in Assyrian and ancient Arabic books, but its name is associated with the Nabateans, the Tadans and the heritage of the civilization. Lihians.

Al-Ula includes historic human landmarks, among which appears the “Al-Hajar” site, built by the works of the Nabatean civilization, and the site was registered as the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. , until the end of the second century or the beginning of the first century BC, apart from the “Old City”, was the meeting place of caravans of pilgrims a thousand years ago.

All historical and geographical places met in “Al-Ula”, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, whose landmarks tell the history of human civilizations, and are characterized by natural beauty and quality human heritage. This is the main goal of the world’s largest living museum, and what the Royal Commission for Al Ulaah is doing is to provide a unique place with a unique global tourism experience.

A new chapter continues in AlUla’s history. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, issued to increase the benefit of the historical traditions enjoyed by the land of the Kingdom, within the framework of what is mentioned in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. On July 20, 2017, the establishment of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate and its Board of Directors was chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. Kingdom 2030 reflects the importance of developing Al-Ula Governorate in a manner commensurate with its historical value and cultural status, and archaeological sites, to achieve economic and cultural benefits.

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On April 24, 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate, launched the design vision “through a journey”. Time” project; with the aim of renovating and rehabilitating the main archaeological site at Al-Ula in a responsible and sustainable manner, in a unique cultural and natural environment, the project is an important station to develop Al-Ula and make it a leading institution. Global for art, heritage, culture and nature. Goal: To achieve the goals of Kingdom Vision 2030.

The “Travel Through Time” project consists of 3 main phases, and its first phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023. The growth strategy, when completed in 2035, aims to provide an additional 38,000 new jobs. 120 billion riyals contribution to GDP.

The “Journey Through Time” project presents a unique historical map of the civilizations that inhabited the various oases of Al-Ula over more than 7000 years of human history, investing in the heritage and cultural richness as well as the natural and geographical richness of the region. , through the participation of its distinguished community in the development process to preserve Al-Ula’s heritage, and to chart the future by opening new chapters to discover its undiscovered history, and create a future legacy to be proud of.

The project will establish five hubs at exciting and essential stations along a route called “A Journey Through Time”, 20 kilometers from the heart of Al-Ula, starting from the center of the old city in the south. Archaeological North, through the center of the Dadan Oasis, the Oasis of Jabal Iqma, and the Nabatih Oasis, to the city of Al-Hajar.

The “Journey Through Time” program constitutes a national investment in the AlUla community through the authority’s commitment to support and enable community participation. The plan includes provision of social services, new facilities and cultural and educational facilities to achieve a culture. Improving the economy, individual and family lifestyle and contributing to the revival and rehabilitation of the cultural oasis and the sustainable development of its agricultural community, with a commitment to the development of the agricultural sector of the governorate.

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The project affirms the Kingdom’s commitment to protect and preserve world heritage. The “Journey Through Time” project was developed based on extensive scientific studies of human forms, ecology and geological development at AlUla, overseen by a team of Saudi and international experts. Last four years. Achieve the concept of integration with nature and celebrate the cultural and historical heritage of the governorate.

One of the most important “travel through time” projects is the Kingdoms Institute, located in the Dadan Oasis, and its urban design is inspired by the Dadanian civilization and is one of the most important buildings carved into the mountains opposite the archaeological site. site.

The institute covers seven basic archaeological projects and researches, namely: Rock Art, Inscriptions and Languages, Sustainability in Agriculture and Prehistory, Communication and Archaeological Records, Monitoring and Conservation of Archaeological Sites and Management of Archaeological Sites and Elements. The institute will specialize in the most advanced scientific methods and international practices for archaeological excavation and heritage conservation and research and analysis of artefacts, their contents and the stories behind them.

In addition, 80% of the total area of ​​Al-Ula will be allocated to nature reserves to restore vegetation and restore natural systems, including the protection and resettlement of wild animals and the preservation of their natural habitats.

This month, the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization “UNESCO” registered the presence of “Hurr Avrit” in the Man and the Biosphere Program, and the announcement of the reserve came during the recently held thirty-fourth meeting. The balance met all the conditions required for registration.

“Awirid Harat” Reserve is the largest nature reserve among the other five reserves in Al-Ula Governorate as it houses 19 species of endangered animals and 43 species of birds; Including 8 species of prey, and the reserve has 55 species of rare plants.

A research study carried out by the University of Cambridge, one of the largest archaeological excavation projects in the world and still ongoing, has revealed the historical importance of Al-Ula Stone Circle in Britain.

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According to a field study published by the University of Cambridge, the rectangles date back to prehistoric times. According to the study, the huge stone structures called desert rectangles have not received wide attention in the past, but field research has shown that these monuments are more complex from an architectural point of view than previously thought, and include chambers, entrances and gateways. While recent excavations have revealed the oldest evidence of cattle worship in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the oldest stone monuments is the upright stone, “rectangles” that serve as installations for ritual practice in the late sixth millennium BC. World’s oldest known archaeological building traditions.

With many events, AlUla attracts tourists and visitors from inside and outside the kingdom. The development of Al-Ula International Airport, in accordance with international airport standards, contributed to the reception of visitors, as it increased from 100,000 passengers to 400,000 annually; In order to meet the increasing demand of tourists from around the world to visit Al-Ula, this is an important step towards achieving the comprehensive strategic plan for the development of Al-Ula and the authority’s goals of attracting two million visitors to Al-Ula by 2035.

There are a number of events organized by the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, including the Al-Ula Season, which enriches Al-Ula travel with enriching experiences and allows one to explore the reservoirs of history and heritage alongside art and culture. Celebrations. Al-Ula has hosted regional and global events including the Gulf Cooperation Council Heads of State Summit in 2021, the Al-Hajr Conference for Nobel Laureates and many other global events.

Maraya Hall, which hosted Al-Ula’s Gulf Summit, reflected the magic of the beautiful nature in Al-Ula, where the design took a cubic form, whose outer walls were completely covered with glass, to be an architectural extension. Al-Ula’s charm, which has inspired architects, artists and creators for centuries, earned the Hall a Guinness World Record certificate for the world’s largest glass building.

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