A vibrant hub, home to arts, culture, and a dining destination
AlUla, Saudi Arabia – : AlJadidah – AlUla’s new arts, culture and dining precinct has expanded with a new look and introduced a slew of new eating and shopping to visitors. Last year, AlJadidah, meaning new town, was transformed into a pedestrian-only destination, with four main distinct areas all decorated with community driven urban streetscapes and murals. This year, with the addition of the newly invigorated Incense Road section, connecting AlJadidah to Old Town, the offering in this new buzzing thoroughfare will attract locals and visitors alike.
Centrally located in the ancient desert city of AlUla, North West Saudi Arabia, AlJadidah offers a wide variety of shops, restaurants, galleries, an arthouse cinema, an open-air roller rink, art and music schools, and more. Now home to six distinct public spaces – Art Square, Gathering Square, Muayada Square, Qanat Square, Oasis Quarter and the newly introduced Incense Road, AlJadidah is the place to be this winter in AlUla.
Incense Road was the most important commercial trading route in ancient times, connecting the southern and northern Arabian Peninsula. Now, inspired by the Incense Road, AlJadidah’s new thoroughfare of the same name has been transformed into an all-new leisure and retail experience, helping to bridge AlJadidah with AlUla Old Town. It’s the perfect place for visitors to enjoy a morning cup of coffee at COYARD or indulge in the healthy salad and sandwich bar of PPL.
In retail, visitors will love perusing the local Saudi brands along this stunning new precinct. New retailers include urban streetwear specialist 1886; handmade leather shoes and accessories, Tamashee; high quality bespoke abayas, jackets and Farwahs, Abadia; fine and tailored jewelry as well as the popular welded chains at The Annex; bespoke perfumes bukhor, candles, body creams at Surge; and of course the AlUla Gift Shop offering quality official AlUla branded souvenirs.
During the evening’s shoppers and diners will be in for a treat as the Saudi National Music Band will be performing throughout the night from the balconies of the old houses along the Incense Road in ‘From the Balcony to AlUla’.
Incense Road joins the already established public spaces from AlJadildah’s launch last winter, but each square has been improved and embellished with new experiences.
Art Square offers a place for AlJadidah’s flourishing art scene to thrive, hosting two major art centers Athr Gallery and Design Gallery. Visitors can stop by and see how these galleries played a pivotal role in building both the contemporary art scene in Saudi as well as the local art scene in AlUla. Art Square also features the new music hub that will immerse its guests in traditional music. With bi-weekly live performances, as well as group and individual music classes on a variety of instruments, the music hub has much to offer for residents and visitors alike.
Gathering Square is located in the middle of AlJadidah precinct. This gathering location has plenty of outdoor shaded seating for people to enjoy a nice meal or a cup of tea in a relaxing outdoor area. In addition, the Gathering Square is home to Madrasat Addeera, where visitors can learn about traditional arts and crafts of AlUla, with free weekly workshops offered by The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts on a wide variety of topics, for all ages and skill levels. Also currently on offer are workshops on silkscreen printing in celebration of the forthcoming exhibition FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla. Cinema Elhoush, is also returning this year. Each week the outdoor cinema will bring a new theme and feature Saudi first releases, world-class films, and old favorites at this hub of cultural exchange. Also returning, down a laneway off Gathering Square is Base & Boon, the nail spa and salon that continues to offer a range of high-end beauty services to visitors and locals in AlUla.
Muayada Square is where visitors can enjoy an amazing array of dining and street food experiences. Bringing sweet and savory eats, new to AlJadidah this year is WOOP! with its delicious waffles, ice-cream and juices and Nine for soft-serve ice-cream, artisanal coffee and snacks at Backburner and a range of other food trucks like BySkirt for wagyu burgers and Shawarma Wrappers. With an outdoor area with traditional Arabic seating, Muayada is ideal to enjoy a quick bite with family and friends and then wile away the hours into the evening at Baroque – offering specially made mocktails using local flavors.
Qanat Square sits on the edge of AlJadidah, on the way to AlUla Old Town. Here visitors will find the beautiful open space of Qanat Square where they sit and enjoy a coffee under the shade of the trees.
Oasis Quarter connects AlJadidah to the lush green farms of AlUla Oasis, with hidden gems scattered around this peaceful area. Visitors can walk the Oasis Trail, have a picnic under the shady palm trees and enjoy the palm swings. Tucked between the gardens of this oasis are hidden unique experiences, with tea time at Oasis Tea Café, where mint is picked fresh out of the garden for each cup. Abu Jameela Café serves local coffee from his family-owned spot or Waha Tea where visitors can pull up a deck chair and look up at the stars overlooking the oasis. Specialty coffee micro roaster, craft chocolate maker, and an in-house bakery – Meraki – is new to Oasis Square this year while popular eateries Somewhere, serving middle-east and Mediterranean food and pizza joint Circolo, as well as La Pazzia coffee and Shisha can also be found here