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  • Writer's pictureBillions Luxury Portal


Located amongst dramatic sandstone cliffs and the archaeological remains of Hegra, lies Habitas AlUla, a new community-focused eco-friendly resort in the rugged Arabian desert ..

Scheduled to open this year, Habitas AlUla, is a 100-room luxury eco-friendly resort

commissioned by the Kingdom in the desert canyons of Ashar Valley with an aim to steer the country away from its dependency on oil and open up it's tourism sector.

Working with Habitas, a new hospitality brand that began as a camp at the Burning Man festival, and now operates two resorts – one in Tulum, in Mexico, and another in Namibia, it's ethos it to redefine modern luxury by focusing on bringing like minded but diverse travelers together, who priorities human connection and experiences over the traditional luxury experience of five-star hotels.

With a focus to blend seamlessly into the desert surroundings of AlUla a UNESCO World Heritage site that houses the remains of the ancient Nabatean civilisation. Habitas AlUla promises to bring guests closer to the surrounding heritage and environment, taking an innovative modular approach utilizing 3D printed material to create all of its 100 capsule-style bedrooms and public spaces through the resort. The resort will also focus on light touch, sustainable tourism, hoping to emphasis experiential luxury through cultural exchange. This includes:

  • Sourcing local handicrafts for an authentic guest experience. To support this endeavour, Habitas will collaborate with the AlUla Girls School, a former girls-only school that was transformed into a lively hub for AlUla nurturing local artists and artisans. This joint effort is enhanced by Turquoise Mountain and the Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts, both of which already operate in the Kingdom to develop crafts markets and enable artisans from Saudi Arabia.

  • Training schools for local staff who will welcome guests to AlUla - their home - moving beyond the “us and them” nature of many tourist destinations to create an immersive cultural experience.

  • Developing local artisanal crafts as hotel consumables, creating local jobs based around local artisans, skills, and products. Habitas has already made a tradition of welcome bracelets as gifts for its guests in its other resorts, but also sourcing uniforms, furniture, candles all made using local sustainable materials by local artisans.

  • Showcasing local Saudi artists through collaborations and installations at the Habitas resort.

  • Localising food supplies by sourcing from AlUla’s farmers and setting up cooking classes led by local chefs.

  • Establishing community-tourist links through “meet and eat” experiences with residents and farmers, visits to schools, and local staff.

  • Promoting local conservation efforts by building awareness among guests/tourists of local sustainability and environmental causes.

In the first phase, 50 rooms will be unveiled in early 2021 with further phases scheduled for completion later on in the year.

According to Habitas CEO Oliver Ripley, "Its people, history and natural beauty are inspiring making it an ideal location for a Habitas property because “ the world, now more than ever, needs to create places to reconnect with one another and with nature”.


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