The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) and the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, SAUDIA, have signed a SAR 4 million memorandum of understanding (MOU), including joint marketing and promotional activity to ensure AlUla is in everyone’s minds as a year-round destination for Saudi residents in 2021.
The MOU was officiated by Melanie De Souza, Executive Director Destination Marketing, RCU and Hazim Sonbol, VP sales, SAUDIA at SAUDIA’s Jeddah headquarters.
The partnership activity commenced on 26 January 2021, and coincides with AlUla’s first-ever destination brand campaign, The World’s Masterpiece, which also launched on 10 January and runs through to April targeted at KSA and GCC markets.
SAUDIA is the only air carrier providing scheduled services to AlUla. Currently, the airline offers eight weekly flights from Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh (nonstop and direct from each destination):
- Riyadh (4-times-weekly) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
- Dammam (2-times-weekly) on Thursdays and Saturdays
- Jeddah (2-times-weekly) on Thursdays and Saturdays
The flights are already available for purchase either as stand-alone or all-inclusive packages with air tickets, accommodation, transportation, and tours available for booking at www.saudiaholidays.com.
Marketing activity includes co-branded outdoor and digital marketing in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam, in-flight entertainment, promotions through SAUDIA’s Alfursan loyalty programme, airport and ticket office branding, and promotion of AlUla packages through Saudia Holidays.
Melanie de Souza, Executive Director Marketing, RCU said she is delighted to be working with the national carrier on AlUla’s first domestic campaign and expects this is the first of many great campaigns together, especially following the recent GACA announcement that international flights to and from the kingdom will resume in March.
“SAUDIA is a key partner for AlUla as we open the destination for first domestic and then international tourism when flights resume. The World’s Masterpiece is a brand campaign targeting our vital Saudi market, and we’ve had very positive feedback so far,” said de Souza.
While phase one of the campaign is about winning Saudi audiences’ hearts and minds, de Souza says the next phase will be more tactical.
“We need to establish AlUla as a destination that is open all year round with our heritage sites and select adventure and nature activity being available through summer and spring. With SAUDIA’s partnership and support, we will communicate this through a multichannel programme,” said de Souza.
SAUDIA Vice President Passenger Sales, Mr Hazim Sonbol said: “It’s a great moment marking the beginning of the partnership with The Royal Commission of AlUla to position AlUla as a historical and cultural destination within the kingdom which is a milestone towards achieving 2030 vision.”
AlUla packages have been available for booking with Saudia Holidays since 24 January and include a choice of one, two or three nights. For all information and bookings, including access to heritage sites and adventure experiences, please visit experiencealula.com.