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Culture and heritage in the spotlight this weekend as Tantora Celebration launches new

Winter at Tantora season at AlUla

Three-day celebration includes music, dance and traditional produce

Other diverse activities in AlUla include hot-air ballooning, trail walks, fashion and farming

The eagerly awaited Tantora Celebration, a three-day experiential event connecting visitors to the rich culture and heritage of the AlUla area, is taking place this weekend, kicking off the annual Winter at Tantora music and cultural festival.

The Tantora Celebration takes root in this generations-old cultural event, where AlUla’s winter planting season is initiated by the shadow cast by a sundial in the Old Town. The epicentre of this year’s celebration of memory, character and community, will run from December 22 to 24.

Experiences including traditional performances, multimedia immersion and the harvest of local produce curated to share the stories, sights, sounds and tastes inspired by this seasonal highlight. The celebration will be at an epic scale engaging over 200 performers, and a live orchestra performing a blend of local and regional musical scores.

Traditional local produce made of dates, citrus and coffee will decorate the road, and as part of celebrations to mark 2022 as the Saudi Year of Coffee, visitors will be able to enjoy the famed AlUla hospitality with local coffee and dates, and giveaway bags.

More in store with Winter at Tantora

Visitors to AlUla will also be kept entertained by a broad range of activities on offer over the weekend as part of the fourth edition of Winter at Tantora.

An intimate concert featuring beloved Arabic superstar Majid Al Mohandis on December 23, part of a high-profile series of concerts featuring Mohamed Abdo (December 30), and Assala Nasri (January 13) has already sold out. While other A-list stars still to be confirmed for future dates.

However, music will still be in the air on December 22 and 23, in a collaboration between Royal Commission for AlUla and the Ministry of Culture - the Saudi Music Commission, members of the Saudi National Band take to the balconies and rooftops of the Incense Road of AlJadidah for a series out spontaneous performances that are inspired from the Saudi Music between 70s and 90s, in a one-off setting that will allow the performers to ‘speak’ to each other through music in a unique and playful way. “Shorfat AlJadidah” music performance shows will run from 9 pm to 10 pm on December 22 and 11 pm to 12 am on December 23.

Visitors will be able to take to the skies and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the unique landscape of AlUla through hot air ballooning experiences in a 15-minute tethered balloon experience or a 45-minute untethered balloon experience, depending on weather. Tethered hot air balloon experience is also offered in the neighboring oasis of Khaybar.

For those who prefer to stay on ground level, local rawis (storytellers) are also on hand to offer insights into the deep history and resources of the area on two-hour guided tours of the heritage oasis trails of AlUla which offer the chance to enjoy a peaceful stroll in a picture-perfect location lined by mudbrick houses, ancient city walls and lush farms.

AlUla is also the place for a spot of retail therapy this weekend. The Ashar Valley Fashion is set to host a series of luxury retail pop-ups featuring top brands including Samer Halimeh, Assouline, Michael Cinco, Azza Fahmy, Vianney Halter, and The Terrace by L'opera also sculpture Anchar Basbous. Set against the stunning landscapes of the Ashar Valley, these pop-ups promise a sensory and memorable shopping experience with exclusive items and designs inspired by AlUla. The hourly experience will run from 4pm to 11pm starting Friday December 23 and runs until March 23.

AlUla's dining scene is heating up with the arrival of new restaurants and big-name brands, including Mamzel, which has made its way from Marbella in Spain to the canyons of AlUla, and Awna restaurant, which is set against the carvings of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra. In addition to these, there are many cool local spots emerging in the AlUla Oasis and trendy cafes popping up in AlJadidah. With a range of options from casual eateries to fine-dining restaurants, foodies will be spoilt for choice in AlUla.

Eco-gardening is also in the spotlight with interactive three-hour micro-ecosystem free workshops on Friday and Saturday, focusing on vegetable gardening, plant nurseries and composting. The sessions offer an immersive learning experience with the chance to walk around the gardens and observe the diverse animals traditionally found on farms including turkeys, chicken, peacocks, sheep and goats. The experience runs until the end of March 2023.

Show timings for the Tantora Celebration are from 6-7pm, 8-9pm and 9.30-10.30pm from December 22-24, with tickets priced at SAR 80 for adults and SAR 20 for children. Tickets for all activities for Tantora Celebration and Winter at Tantora can be booked at Follow @alulamoments and @experiencealula for more information and further announcements.


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