Over the last two years, Al-Ula has been making headlines for a number of reasons: from being the location of the upcoming Al Sharaan Nature Reserve, a 925-square kilometer location that will house the region’s rare flora and fauna, as well as a luxury project designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel; to being a destination for rock climbers from the region and beyond due to its extraordinary terrain and rock formations. Now, Al-Ula is in the news once again, this time as the location of headquarters for the Saudi Arabian Hot Air Ballooning (SAHAB) Federation.
According to Arab News, the newly-established base opened this week to an elaborate show to mark the day, with seven hot air balloons captained by pilots from around the world taking to the skies above Al-Ula. The opening of SAHAB’s headquarters follows the inaugural Hot Air Balloon Festival that saw 100 balloons fly above the location of Winter at Tantora, a cultural festival that was held in Al-Ula from December 20, 2018 until February 9, 2019 and had international acts such as Andrea Bocelli and Yanni.
Al Maraya Venue - Al Ula
As reported by the news site, Amr Al-Madani, the newly appointed president of the SAHAB Federation and CEO of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula (RCU), said in a statement, “Hot air ballooning is the perfect activity to accompany the peace, serenity and extraordinary beauty of the Al-Ula landscape. The launch of the SAHAB Federation’s headquarters in Al-Ula is a commitment to enable and grow an exciting hobby in the Kingdom. With a mission to develop the Saudi aerostation industry in all its forms, we look forward to providing a platform for meaningful experiences in the Kingdom’s skies for adventure enthusiasts and families alike.”