Mada'in Saleh and Al-Ula
Nov 16, 2012 9:58 AM
From Riyadh to Al-Ula, via Ha'il, it's 1,000km. We traveled at 160-200kph with no problem.
Medain Saleh Hotel & Resort, one of the the two hotels in Al-Ula, has burned down (pg. 335). If you call the phone number, you'll hear the message that says the line is no longer in service. The locals do not expect it to re-open, and there is some controversy over it's construction. Reportedly some of the building materials were more flammable than typically permitted.
The other hotel (Arac) seemed overly expensive. The Arac hotel sells the book by Al-Ansary (pg. 333) for SR 120, though it sells for only SR40 in Riyadh. Unfortunately, all of the Jarir bookstores in Riyadh seem to be sold-out as of Nov. 2012.
My group just camped about 200m off of the highway about 50km east of Al-Ula. Great star-gazing!
We got our permits at the Department of Antiquities in Riyadh at the National Museum. The process is informal, but only too 20-minutes. This was free.
I highly recommend Ahmed Al-Iman as a guide for groups with English speakers. Ahmed speaks fluent English and is very knowledgeable about the area, which included the old city of Al-Ula and a nearby mountain top in addition to Mada'in Saleh. I recommend adding Ahmed's name to page 335 of the tour book. His number is 054-320-1066.
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
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