After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the international art exhibition Desert x AlUla is making its way back to the Kingdom for it’s second year.

What is Desert x AlUla?

The exhibit is taking place in the historical city of AlUla, and is being organised by curator and art historian Reem Fadda; Co Founder and Managing Partner of AR Art Advisory Raneem Farsi; and UK-based curator Neville Wakefield. The main vision for this year’s show is to bring voices and artistic creativity from all around the world – allowing them to share their visions in this massive event.

Where is Desert x AlUla?

AlUla is a city located 1,100 km from Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. Throughout the past few years, the Kingdom has managed to turn this piece of historical land into the Arabian peninsula’s hotspot, and has quickly become a bucket-list destination for many.

The Royal Commission of AlUla’s main goal in collaborating with Desert X – a not-for-profit, site-specific, contemporary art exhibition that is held in the Coachella Valley in California – is to create engagement and dialogue amongst artists, locals and tourists. This perspective stands side-by-side with the Kingdom’s efforts to build a strong with-holding within the arts for the 2030 vision.

When approaching Nora Aldabel, the arts and creative planning director at the Royal Commission of AlUla, to learn more of the commission’s vision with this exhibition, she said: “AlUla values arts and creativity as essential and transformative layers for enriching society, economy and quality of life. By 2035, AlUla will be home to 15 landmark destinations for culture, heritage and creativity, each designed in careful dialogue with the region’s unique natural landscape, including museums, galleries, research centres and arts districts. The heritage, legacy and character of AlUla must be protected and preserved; with initiatives like Desert X AlUla, we are crafting the next chapter in AlUla’s history as a cradle of artistic inspiration, transfer and expression.”

When is Desert x AlUla?

The event will be open for visitors from 11th of February, to the 30th of March, 2022. It will include the artworks of 15 artists from all around the world, showcasing their most curated masterpieces. With artists such as Claudia Comte from Switzerland, Shadia Alem from Saudi Arabia, and Khalil Rabah from Palestine.

This year’s theme “Sarab” captures the true essence of the desert, combining modernity and culture into one. These artists have put a lot of effort and time into creating pieces that examine the true nature of the desert itself and what humans have done to further develop these lands.