Madain Saleh: Saudi Arabia’s
archaeological heritage opens to tourism

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced plans to develop the incredible archaeological site of the Madain Saleh tombs in an effort to grow its tourism sector.

Al-Ula, a region home to the ancient Nabataean city and UNESCO World Heritage Site Madain Saleh, will be developed for tourism after an agreement was signed between France and Saudi Arabia. The kingdom plans to protect and promote the site, while developing sustainable tourism in the area.

Hegra, which is the original name of the Madain Saleh, was the southern Nabataean capital, while the well-known Petra was the northern capital. For thousands of years the entire region was a trade passage and crossroads for many cultures. Today, the region is home to 131 ancient tombs, some of which are carved into the rock faces.

Saudi Arabia has started opening its tourism sector and for that purpose it has created tourist visas for travelers. In the past, visas could only be obtained for pilgrims, business purposes and for those with family in the country. Moreover, the kingdom plans to relax strict religious laws in some beach resorts especially dedicated for tourists.

Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage is very important, and the kingdom’s will to open the country’s  tourism sector will greatly help people around the globe to see these amazing sites and have some rest in the country, which is the only country in the region with coastline both at Red and Arabian Seas

With information by Lonely Planet

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