Step inside a Living Museum
By Carolina Ramirez Herrera | Sep 23, 2020
There are few destinations that draw in a certain kind of traveler; those that thrive off the ancient mysteries of the so-called lost cities: Bagan, Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat, to name a few. More often than not, these curious yet conscious travelers prefer to learn through experience rather than judgment and are constantly seeking unchartered territories to explore. After months of lockdowns, isolation and travel restrictions around the world, now more than ever we are yearning for meaningful adventures to dive into.
Along the crossroads of the historical spice route that connected the east and the west, and home to the ancient Nabataens civilization, lies AlUla, a destination of global significance with 200,000 years of human history culture- and the latest home for the Habitas family. The once isolated region located in the northwest desert of Saudi Arabia has recently opened its doors to the world, where layer upon layer of human history and a wealth of natural beauty awaits to be explored.
Nestled among the captivating desert landscapes is Hegra, formerly known as Mada’ en Saleh, the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World heritage site. With its captivating rock formations reminiscent of neighboring Petra (without a tourist or selfie-stick in sight), AlUla is a place to embrace vastness in an immortal space-like region. A place where you are invited to wander the deserted lands of arabian wonder, touch the cold petroglyphs on the walls and lose yourself among the fiery sunsets.
Like all Habitas homes, AlUla will be deeply rooted in experiences of immersion and participation. One will encounter sacred rituals through the lens of those who have called this place home for centuries. Where the stars lend themselves to astronomy driven restorative yoga and wellness therapies are infused with local scents of jasmine, frankincense and the Taif rose. By tapping into the magical ecosystem of AlUla, experiences will be unlike any other; pushing both mind and body outside of their comfort zone.
Whether trekking through the dramatic walkways of yellow and orange grand rock formations that make up the Whispering Canyons or marveling at the melodies of the oud or moving to the rhythms of the riqq, it is the human connection with the heritage and people of the region that make AlUla an untapped reserve of magic and beauty. Through learning, one can shift their perspective in which you see this evolving Kingdom.
Forever intellectually curious and environmentally conscious, Habitas AlUla is designed to coexist with nature and seamlessly blend in with the backdrop of the blood-red ochre and sandstone. Rooms are made from ethically sourced, organic materials and all structures can be easily disassembled leaving no trace on the environment. Sustainability is of the utmost importance; with discovery of rare places of natural beauty comes great responsibility.
Travel is an incredible gift to create greater compassion and understanding in the world between different people and cultures.
In recent years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has quietly been experiencing a creative renaissance. Today, AlUla has served as a backdrop for a number of art-driven events attracting world-class musicians and creating cross-cultural dialogues between artists to an even more breathtaking stage. Maraya, which means “reflection” in Arabic, is a mesmerizing piece of art, whose mirrored walls are designed to create a visual extension of the awe-inspiring AlUla landscape.
Until now AlUla, a gift from antiquity, has been the modern world’s best-kept secret. For those craving new perspectives and the unknown, Habitas AlUla welcomes you home December 2020.
“We believe that luxury is something that cannot be bought or sold; rather it is a feeling that exists in the experiences and memories we create with others. We call this luxury for the soul.”