World Heritage is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity, and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Places as beautiful and unique as the Pyramids of Egypt, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, the Taj Mahal in India, the Grand Canyon in the USA, or the Acropolis in Greece are examples of the 1007 natural and cultural places inscribed on the World Heritage List to date. 

And now, Saudi is home to six of these natural wonders.

Hima Cultural Area

Found in the mountainous southwest of Saudi Arabia is Hima, one of the largest rock art complexes in the world. Situated along an ancient trade route, Hima is comprised of 34 archaelogical sites that feature inscriptions in a range of languages such as Arabic, Greek, Thamudic, and Musnad which have been carved into the rock-face. The carvings, which depict hunting, fauna, and fauna, are a time-capsule that gives us an insight into the diverse cultures and peoples that have inhabited this area throughout history.

Hegra, AlUla

Hegra, which sits deep in the desert of Saudi Arabia’s north-western Al-‘Ula region, is home to the ancient tombs of the lost civilization of the Nabatean tribes who settled the area in the 1st century AD. Visitors view four surviving necropolis sites, which feature 131 rock-cut tombs and ornamental façades carved into sandstone outcrops. 

Al Turaif, Diriyah

Diriyah is home to Al Turaif, the Al Saud families original seat, which was founded in the 15th century. The remnants of the mudbrick houses that were designed in the Najdi style architectural style and the history of the area dates back thousands of years. It was once a trading route, pilgrimage route, and meeting point for travelers and merchants from Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Al Ahsa Oasis

Al Ahsa is the archetype of a lush desert oasis which has been declared by the Guinness World Records as the largest self-contained oasis in the world. From hot and cold springs to historic mosques and sweeping panoramic vistas, this 6,000-year-old oasis is a microcosm of Saudi Arabia’s archaeological and ecological features.

Historical Jeddah

The heart of Jeddah is the historic old town, Al-Balad, where houses built from coral that are over 500-years-old can be found. The old town has been the subject of increased interest in recent years, and conservation has been carried out to preserve its unique history and architecture. According to local lore, Al-Balad may even be the resting place of Eve.

Rock Art in the Al Hail Region

Venture to the northern Hail region of Saudi Arabia, and you will find yourself surrounded by ancient rock art in the middle of the desert. Jabal Umm Sinman in Jubbah boasts rock inscriptions dating back at least 7,000 to 9,000 years to the Pottery Neolithic period. Home to some of the most prominent Neolithic rock art in the Middle East, various inscriptions and petroglyphs reveal human activities, clothing, animals, and weapons of the past.