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Winter at Tantora returns to AlUla

  • Multi-award-winning recording artist, Lionel Richie confirmed to perform at the state-of-the-art Maraya Concert Hall as part of the festival
  • Exclusive festival announces it will return on 19th December with world-class performances, attractions and activities; tickets on sale now at
  • Themed “A Timeless Celebration in a Timeless Place”, festival showcases Saudi history, heritage and culture

AlUla, Saudi Arabia, 19th September 2019: Following a successful debut in 2018, Winter at Tantora, the cultural festival celebrating incredible art, music, culture and history against the timeless backdrop of AlUla, will return on December 19th with an exciting new line-up of performers, experiences and events. The festival, which runs until March 7th, invites arts and culture aficionados from around the globe to enjoy and experience a unique event that is rooted in AlUla, home to Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site; Hegra.

Lionel Richie, the Grammy and Oscar-winning recording artist, is confirmed as one pf the headline acts for the second season, with more announcements to follow over the coming days. One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Lionel Richie is expected to enthrall the festival audiences with his extensive repertoire of music, which includes chart-toppers such as “Endless Love” and “Hello”.

Now in its second year, the Winter at Tantora festival features an array of activities and excursions for fans of music and culture as well as adventure seekers, history lovers and sports enthusiasts. The festival will also host the AlUla Balloon Festival, vintage aircraft flights, the second largest endurance horse race in the world, culinary experiences curated by Michelin starred chefs, traditional souks as well as luxury brand pop-ups. Complementing this will be tours of ancient sites over 2000 years-old that will be brought to life using state-of-art AR technology.

Last year, the inaugural festival greeted over 37,000 visitors from around the world over 10-weeks and hosted household names such as Andrea Bocelli, Yanni, Majida El Roumi and Lang Lang for sell-out performances. Building on this success, organizers, are extending this year’s festival by two weeks and are expecting over 40,000 visitors to experience the rich display of culture and heritage on offer.

Within the Winter at Tantora festival and inspired by AlUla’s tradition of marking the change of seasons, will be the Tantora Festival which celebrates the start of winter. Promising a feast for the senses, visitors will enjoy the authentic essence of AlUla from the traditional souk, art and performance theatre through to enjoying local delicacies. Nowhere else in world can stargazers take in the constellations like they can in AlUla and see them as past civilizations did, unpolluted by modernity.

Positioned as “A Timeless Celebration in a Timeless Place” the festival has four themes:

  • Reimagining Heritage
  • Cultural Oasis
  • Adventure and Discovery
  • Secret Escape

Reimagining Heritage offers visitors the opportunity to witness ancient cities brought to life, not as monuments of the past but living communities, showcasing how past civilizations lived in the ancient cities of Hegra and Dadan. Guided by expert storytellers, the Heritage Sites Experience and Living Immersion tours gives guests the chance to be transported to the thriving sites of Hegra and Dadan and participate in local rituals. Visitors will be invited to use the very latest in tech-innovation such as augmented reality, video projection and imaging technology to recreate an atmospheric and informative experience unlike any other seen in the Kingdom. The festival also brings cultures together through the medium of food – from the hot pot of street food at the Winter Park to the regional delicacies on show at Wadi AlQura market.

Cultural Oasis will bring international stars from around the world to performat the state-of-the-art 500-seat Maraya Concert Hall. Constructed to emulate a mirage emerging from the ancient rocky landscape, the concert hall is wrapped in walls of mirrors that shimmer into the horizon creating a feast for the eyes. Here, guests will enjoy performances by musicians, from the worlds of recording, opera and classic music. Also, not to be missed are the art installations and exhibitions offering immersive experiences such as the Kandinsky Exhibit, a collection of the Russian master’s unique abstract works and Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room as well as luxury brand pop-ups alongside locally produced crafts.

Adventure and Discovery brings a dose of adrenalin to the festival. The Vintage Aircraft Experience is a high-flying adventure offering bird’s eye views in vintage aircrafts dating to World War 2. For a serene glide through the skies, the AlUla Hot Air Balloon Festival is calling on guests to be part of a 100-strong flotilla of hot air balloons at sunrise or indulge in a solo flight at sunset. Guests can also watch from the sidelines as over 200 riders from across the globe attempt to navigate the 120km course as part of the Fursan Endurance Race, the second biggest endurance race in the world

Secret Escape provides an exclusive and high-end journey into fine dining with Michelin-starred chefs curating bespoke experiences for the visiting gastronome. Set within a site of immeasurable historic significance, Secret Escape offers the only experience of this kind in the world.

For the discerning traveler the Winter at Tantora Festival offers an unmissable array of culture, activities and experiences in an enthralling setting.

AlUla… A Timeless Celebration in a Timeless Place!

The Winter at Tantora festival will take place from December 19, 2019 – March 7, 2020 in AlUla, Saudi Arabia. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit  

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