Mada’in Saleh; Saudi’s First UNESCO World Heritage

Having lived in Saudi my whole life, I am proud to say that we have an amazing array of archaeological site that are worth visiting.

I hope Saudi opens up for tourism soon so others can explore and discover that Saudi has a lot more than just sand dunes, camels and oil.

Here is Mada’in Saleh; Saudi’s first proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to 1st Century AD.

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Mada’in Saleh, also less known as Al Hijr is a pre Islamic archaeological site that is also mentioned in Quran and the Bible. It is located 22 km from Al Ula.

The Nabataeans were believed to be the first inhabitants of Mada’in Saleh and the ones who carved sandstones and built the 130 homes.

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Here are some places to visit and things to do in Al Ula other than Mada’in Saleh

1. Lion Tombs – The tombs were evidence of the 2,600 years f settlement in Al Ula. Some of them have a neat craving of lions above the tombs which are believed to keep the deceased safe.

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2. Viewpoint – Watch the sunset by going to one of the highest points you can find and overlook the quaint little town of Al Ula.

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3. Elephant Rock – There are many rock formations in Al Ula, the Elephant Rock is probably the most famous one.

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4. Visit a Farm – A street fruit vendor that was selling oranges were kind enough to take us to his beautiful farm filled with date plantation, orange trees, fluffy camels and plenty of places to hike.

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5. Hike – Al Ula is surrounded by so many sandstones, pick any and start climbing!

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6. Old City – Visit the old walled city that was found in 6th century.

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7. Hejaz Railway Museum

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If you’re not travelling during summer or do not have any plans over the weekend, it’s about time to start exploring Saudi Arabia 😀


A Yemeni/Indonesian who knew nothing outside Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; now craving to explore other cultures, traditions, and way of life.

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