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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Tourism & Hospitality | Tuesday 8 September, 2020 6:43 am |

New book features landscapes, ancient sites, illustrations of Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

The destination of AlUla, in collaboration with publisher Assouline, announced the September 2020 release of a luxury immersive book of photography and illustrations titled, “AlUla.”
With stunning images taken by renowned photographer Robert Polidori and interpretive illustrations by multidisciplinary artist Ignasi Monreal, “AlUla” virtually transports readers to the city, giving them a glimpse into its rich history and local culture.
Available in Assouline’s exclusive Ultimate and XXL formats, this oversized luxury volume is a celebration of human milestones and natural wonders. The Ultimate format is available in blue and beige covers, and the XXL format is available in blue and black boxes.
Nestled deep within the vast desert of northwestern Saudi Arabia, AlUla is known as a cultural oasis and living museum with more than 200,000 years of human history — from Paleolithic hunter-gatherers; civilizations such as the Nabataeans, Dadanites, and Romans; Muslim pilgrims on their way to Makkah and Madinah, and trade caravans traveling the Incense Route; to present-day communities who mingle and exchange cultural ideas with global travelers.
AlUla is home to many relics, archeological wonders, and contemporary sites to see, including Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra, dating back to the Nabataean Kingdom. Modern landmarks include the Maraya Hall, an award-winning, multi-purpose concert and entertainment venue that is also the Guinness Book of Records’ largest mirrored venue in the world.
Each page of this luxurious book delves into the destination’s ancient mystique, where innovators and artists lived and journeyed through its exceptional landscapes, leaving traces of their language, culture and way of life.
Images and illustrations captured in the book feature the monumental tombs carved into the outcrops of Hegra, Elephant Rock, and the many petroglyphs (or rock art) showcasing the animals that inhabited AlUla thousands of years ago.

Polidori began his career in the mid-1980s, when he photographed the Restoration of Versailles, and has since documented sites across the globe.
He has twice won the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography and has published over a dozen photo books. He has held major solo exhibitions in important galleries, and his work is featured in the collections of many prominent museums around the world.
“AlUla is just amazing and unparalleled,” said Polidori. “I try to render what I call an emblematic image usually showing its entirety through its details and vice versa. I tried to give a timeless image.”
Monreal is a multidisciplinary artist born in Barcelona and currently based in Rome. He works in various media including painting, design, creative direction, and film.
He created Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2018 campaign — the first of its kind to be fully digitally painted — for which he was short-listed for a Beazley Designs of the Year award. Since then, he has worked with brands such as Bulgari, Four Seasons and Airbnb, among others.
Polidori and Monreal share more of their experiences in AlUla in a video, which provides a look inside the book through select photos and illustrations.
For more information and to purchase, visit Assouline.com.


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