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Spend a day exploring the wonders of Mada'in Saleh

Mada'in Saleh is the first Saudi site to be taken under UNESCO’s wing in its World Heritage List. King Salman issued a royal decree to establish a Royal Commission in the province of Al-Ula to preserve it, confirming the importance of this historic area and to develop it to achieve the economic and cultural objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The area of Madain Saleh is about 14.6 square kilometres and has traces of human settlements from the Stone Age. With water, fertile soil and a strategic location on the roads leading to the great cultural centres in the old Near East, it has continued to attract settlements; archaeological treasures and ancient cities date back 4,000 years.

The city of Al-Ula is located between two large mountains and has fertile soil where palm trees, citrus and fruits are planted. Groundwater is available despite the great scarcity of rain.

On the mountain peaks on the outskirts of Madain Saleh, prehistoric artefacts were found that were mentioned in the Qur’an, confirming that Al-Hajjar was a busy and populated area inhabited by the Thamud.

A collection of Thamid, Lihyan, Southern Arab and Latin inscriptions attest to several settlements in the area, pertaining to the first millennium BC. More than 100 years ago, Frenchmen Antonin Jaussen and Raphael Savignac travelled to Al-Ula, undertaking the first serious archaeological research.

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