AlUla Camel Cup’s Heritage Village fuses traditional and modern, sporting and cultural, and elemental and opulent

  • Hailah Al Enezi, 60, weaves goods from camel, sheep and goat wool, a skill passed down from generation to generation in her family
  • She said, “It’s a legacy, it’s a legacy, and I would never let those traditions die.”

ALULA: The AlUla Camel Cup has a traditional Heritage Village at the newly designed AlUla Camel Racing Venue that blends tradition and modernity, sport and culture, and elementality and opulence.

Under the auspices of HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), the inaugural AlUla Camel Cup advances to its final on Friday, where the main prizes will be awarded.

However, the AlUla Camel Cup, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) as part of the AlUla Moments calendar in association with the Saudi Camel Racing Federation (SCRF), is far more than just sport and encompasses aspects of AlUla’s rich history and culture.

Hailah Al Enezi, under her label Bint Albadiyah – Girl of the Desert – sells traditional woven goods such as Sadu rugs, rugs, cushion and cushion covers, and decorations for abayas and camels at the Heritage Village’s Al Qafila Market.

The gifted AlUla-born 60-year-old, who also helps train youth in the traditional arts, began her work at the age of 12, with the techniques she learned being passed down from her mother, who also learned from her mother .

Al Enezi, who uses camel, sheep and goat wool in her work and whose daughter helps her, said: “It’s a legacy, it’s a legacy and I would never let those traditions die. We have a rich gift in our country and I will always share my knowledge with anyone who wants to learn.”

She added: “Events that RCU organizes, like the AlUla Camel Cup, are very important to AlUla. In the Heritage Village we get space to sell our goods. Camel racing is part of our heritage and culture, but just as important as camel racing are our traditional arts and crafts.”

Al Qafila Market offers an eclectic mix of locally made souvenirs and handicrafts.

Hanadi Abu Kasheem, also born and raised in AlUla, showcases her brand Abaq – meaning ‘essence’ – at Al Qafila Market, selling handmade items such as soap, creams, candles, lip balm and henna.

The brand has been around for a year after becoming self-taught through online learning. She was particularly pleased that she was recently able to create a dream soap with the essence of a goat’s milk.

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Abu Kasheem said: “This is my passion. The AlUla Camel Cup is very good. I’ve already had many visitors from outside of AlUla buying my products.”

Just across the Al-Qafila strip in Heritage Village, 30-year-old Bayan Saud, also from AlUla, sells pottery like coffee cups and decorative vases of her own brand, Bayan. She spent two years perfecting her craft at the Madrasat Addeera, the art school in AlUla’s old town.

Saud said, “It’s my passion and an integral part of our culture. I find that a lot of my work is bought by the younger generation who are picking up on the traditions of the past. It is very interesting to be able to sell our products to people from all over the world at the AlUla Camel Cup.”

The Heritage Village also offers immersive experiences such as observing live camels and learning about their incredible feats and attributes, camel monument painting, henna, calligraphy, sand bottling and sand art areas.

To dine in the beautiful surroundings of the village, there is plenty to choose from, from burgers to traditional Saudi dishes and snacks such as popcorn, ice cream and kunafa.

People from far away from AlUla have also come to present their creations.

Designer Salhah Al Shahrani’s Therahdresses label specializes in beautifully embellished abayas. Originally from the green mountains of Abha but now in Al Khobar, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to trade the green mountains for the desert mountains of the Hijaz for the big event. Her 15-year-old cousin, Rand Baniali, put a smile on the face of the AlUla Cup contestants by modeling three different and spectacularly designed outfits a day during the AlUla Camel Cup – one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

Al Shahrani said: “The AlUla Camel Cup was so good and the Heritage Village such a good addition.”

Whether you’re interested in camel racing, the Heritage Village or both, there’s still time to be one of the lucky entrants in the AlUla Camel Cup, the pinnacle of camel racing. Single day tickets for the event priced at 50 SAR are still available at:

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About the AlUla Camel Cup

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Under the auspices of His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla, celebrates and preserves the inaugural AlUla Camel Cup, celebrated by 14 camel races, during Saudi Arabia’s traditional pursuit against the stunning backdrop of AlUla’s new Horizons rises.

Set in the splendor of outstanding human and natural heritage, the AlUla Camel Cup is an ode to the rich cultural heritage of an ancient sport and a tribute to the camel and its central role in AlUla’s own rise.

With a grand prize pool of 80 million SAR, the AlUla Camel Cup is the pinnacle of the Saudi Arabian camel racing season and crowns a true ‘Champion of Champions’. Each day welcomes a different type of race that will test the speed, power and endurance of these remarkable ‘ships of the desert’.

The AlUla Camel Cup also features an arts evening featuring global and local artists across multiple media and a cultural market featuring AlUla-inspired food and crafts.

A unique, beautiful fusion of modern and ancient, sport and culture, elemental and opulent, the AlUla Camel Cup is a special and meaningful event that sets the heritage of the kingdom in motion by offering an exciting display through the ages.

About AlUla Moments:

AlUla Moments is AlUla’s new home for events. Launching in late 2021, the brand introduced four new festivals to celebrate and unveil AlUla’s stories, uncover its secrets and celebrate local and international cultures. With 7,000 years of human civilization and home to some of the most sophisticated ancient kingdoms, AlUla is no stranger to social gatherings and cultural celebrations.

The four festivals featured were Winter at Tantora, which returned to celebrate heritage, culture and music alongside the AlUla Skies, AlUla Arts and AlUla Wellness Festival.

The festivals offered a variety of experiences in the fields of art, culture, music, nature, wellness, equestrian sports, culinary art and astronomy. All celebrated the culture, history and legacy of AlUla and the civilizations that once called the land of AlUla home.

In 2023, AlUla Moments presents five major festivals and six branded events including Return of Winter at Tantora, AlUla Wellness Festival, AlUla Arts Festival, AlUla Skies presented by SAUDIA, AZIMUTH, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2023 and the Festival of Ancient Kingdoms.

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About AlUla:

Located 1,100 km from Riyadh in northwestern Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of exceptional natural and human heritage. The vast territory, covering 22,561 km², includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient heritage sites dating back thousands of years to the reigns of the Lihyan and Nabataean kingdoms.

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The most famous and recognized site in AlUla is Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 52-hectare ancient city, Hegra was the most important southern city of the Nabataean kingdom and is made up of 111 well-preserved tombs, many with ornate facades, carved out of the sandstone cliffs that surround the walled urban settlement.

Recent research also suggests that Hegra was the southernmost outpost of the Roman Empire after the Romans conquered the Nabataeans in AD 106.

In addition to Hegra, AlUla is also home to ancient Dadan, the capital of the kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan, considered to be one of the most developed cities of the 1st millennium BC. on the Arabian Peninsula. There’s also Jabal Ikmah, an open-air library with hundreds of inscriptions and writings in many different languages, and the old town of AlUla, a maze of more than 900 adobe houses that have been built since at least the 12th century, and the Hijaz -Railway and the Hegra Fort, key locations in the history and conquests of Lawrence of Arabia.

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About Thomas Lyte:

Thomas Lyte is Royal Warrant Holder as Silversmith and Goldsmith to the late Queen Elizabeth II. A contemporary luxury brand that is turning a traditional industry upside down, they have quickly earned a reputation as world-class designers and makers of exquisite, bespoke cutlery.

Passionate about bold design in precious metals, Thomas Lyte specializes in custom commissions for both private clients and leading organisations, and has unrivaled credentials in the sporting world and elite international sporting trophies.

Thomas Lyte in particular is responsible for many of the world’s most celebrated trophies including the Emirates FA Cup, Rugby World Cup, AFC Asian Cup, FIFAe World Cup and Ryder Cup in golf and has forged relationships with some of the biggest and most successful renowned partners in professional sports.

The talented team at Thomas Lyte’s London-based silver workshops make the imaginable possible. Combining the latest technologies with centuries of knowledge, they are known for our stunning designs, superb craftsmanship and unparalleled service.

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