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Saudi Arabia Signs Agreement With Europe’s Biggest Hotel Group

A quick search online for tourism destinations in Saudi Arabia will often bring up Al Ula as a top suggestion. This region, rich in heritage, landscape, culture, and more, has been the focus of the Kingdom over the last three years. Al Ula has been working diligently on offering locals and visitors an ongoing calendar of festivals, concerts, sport events, and various other attractions unlike any ever witnessed in the country’s history. This week, the Royal Commission of Al Ula has taken another major step in bolstering its tourism and entertainment offerings by signing a resort agreement with Accor. 

Known as Europe’s biggest hotel group, Accor will be working with the Commission to expand and operate the already existing Ashar Resort located in the Ashar valley, some 15 kilometers from Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Under the Banyan Tree brand, the hotel group will focus on sustainability while developing an additional 47 units (bringing the total to 82 high-end villas) that offer a mix of one, two and three-bedroom spaces. Accor will also bring to the resort a luxurious spa, a fully equipped gym, various swimming pools, and several restaurants.  

From the spectacular Winter At Tantora festival to the nation-wide Seasons calendar of events, hiking and climbing trails to nature reserves and hot air balloon festivals, Al Ula has been focusing on building its image as a cultural, heritage, and nature destination.  

Estimated to be about 5,000 years old, the stunning region is spread over 22,000 square kilometers of golden sandstone and oases (roughly the size of Belgium). Renowned for its archaeological remnants, some over 2,000 years old, this ancient city is now building a future that not only celebrates its past but provides job opportunities and entertainment options for generations of Saudi Arabians.   

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