AlUla’s Aman resorts will be first of their kind in Mideast

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AN photo by Aseel Bashraheel
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Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan Al-Saud signs the agreement with Aman CEO Vladislav Doronin on Monday. (SPA)
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AN photo by Aseel Bashraheel
Updated 07 August 2019
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AlUla’s Aman resorts will be first of their kind in Mideast

  • The new resorts hope to be an attractive destination for residents of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region and the growing number of tourists from around the world

JEDDAH: The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has announced a partnership with renowned hotel and resort brand Aman.
Culture Minister and RCU Gov. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Farhan Al-Saud signed the agreement with Aman Chairman and CEO Vladislav Doronin on Monday. The partnership covers the development of the first three Aman resorts in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
Prince Badr said that Aman’s decision to base its first Middle Eastern property in AlUla “shows the promise and progress of the vision for AlUla to become a worldwide destination for those seeking unique experiences. I believe this partnership will be the next step in the development of the yet-to-be-discovered masterpiece that is AlUla.”
Doronin was also enthused by the partnership. He said: “Many of our existing Aman destinations are located in areas of outstanding natural beauty and rich history. With the addition of spectacular AlUla, this takes us to 10 properties situated near or in UNESCO heritage sites, making it a fitting location for our first destination in the Middle East.”
The RCU told Arab News about the new elements Aman is bringing into the Kingdom that differentiates it from other brands. It said: “Aman is an experiential brand capturing the imagination of the global travel cognoscenti. They have an innovative approach where the experience of guests takes center stage in places that are off the beaten track.
“Aman works in a way of making visitors ‘get under the skin’ of their destination and learn about it in a personal, authentic way that doesn’t feel staged.”
The new resorts hope to be an attractive destination for residents of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region and the growing number of tourists from around the world.
“Our partnership with Aman will put the world on notice that we are open for business and help to encourage other global brands to partner with us,” the RCU said.
The first Aman property will be a spa resort with 30 luxury tents, situated within a serene and secluded mountain valley, close to many cultural and heritage areas in AlUla.
The second resort will be developed in an area that uncovers AlUla’s splendor and nature, strengthened with the hotel brand’s commitment to create an unparalleled experience to its guests in awe-inspiring locations.
Its third resort will explore a desert ranch with panoramic views of AlUla’s beautiful nature.
The design work on the three resorts is set to begin in the coming months, and they will welcome their first guests by 2023. 
The partnership falls in line with the RCU’s strategic plan to expand tourism in AlUla by welcoming top hotel operators, developers, investors and other business opportunities that will transform it into a destination for visitors from around the globe.


Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

Updated 23 August 2019
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Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

  • The museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture

MADINAH: Dar Al-Madinah Museum offers visitors the opportunity to view historical pieces associated with the Prophet’s life. It features artifacts that capture the history, heritage, social life and culture of Madinah.

The museum’s executive director, Hassan Taher, said that it aims to promote the noble values of the Prophet Muhammad, encourage a sense of belonging and capture the history, culture and heritage of Madinah. The exhibits start with the Prophet’s life and end with the Saudi era.

Taher said: “The museum carries out specialized research in Madinah’s architectural heritage. It contains a library of relevant books, research and magazines, all of which are accessible to researchers.”

He said that the museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture.

Taher explained that when preparing the museum’s narrative, it was necessary to reconcile temporal and spatial contexts so they created an added moral and intellectual value for the visitor.

He added: “There are around 2,000 artifacts in the museum’s exhibition halls. These include antiquities, extremely accurate models, handicrafts, manuscripts, documents, correspondence, old publications, postage stamps, photographs and artworks.”

One of the museum’s most valuable exhibits is a large collection of rare pieces associated with important moments in the Prophet’s life and the history of Madinah. 

These include various parts of the Kaaba, rare coins used in Madinah during different eras, ancient pottery, Islamic manuscripts, jewelry and collectibles from the pre-Islamic era.

Taher said that the museum has a professional team of guides who speak several languages, including English, Turkish, Urdu and Malay.