Published on : Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Walking up a caramel colored cliff pocked with very old tombs, guide Bandar al-Anazi looks at the eye-catching view: a desolate desert backdrop of pre-Islamic wreck at the centre of Saudi-Franco preservation efforts.
Al-Ula, an area rich with archaeological remaining is seen as a jewel in the crown of the future attractions of Saudi as the austere kingdom is all set to issue tourist visas for the first time – developing one of the last frontiers of world tourism.
On Tuesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is all prepared to create a landmark agreement with Paris for the purpose of touristic and cultural development of the northwestern site, once a crossroads of ancient civilizations.
“All of Al-Ula is an open air museum,” Anazi said during media tour just days before Prince Mohammed’s trip, revealing a patchwork of rock-cut tombs containing niches for burials.
“There is so much history here still waiting to be discovered.”
The tombs, displaying pre-Islamic inscriptions and drawings like the hunting scenes, are a legacy of the Nabataean artistic tradition. The chiseled rock art forms have the possibility to discover the mysteries of millennia-old civilisations on the Arabian Peninsula.