Blinken set to visit ancient Saudi town

Al-Ula old town in Saudi Arabia

Antony Blinken has left Abu Dhabi and is going to meet Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi Arabian city of Al-Ula.

The Saudi crown prince now lives in Al-Ula during the winter. Last week, he met with some US government officials, like Mark Warner and Lindsey Graham.

Al-Ula is an old city from more than 2,500 years ago. It is near a place with water and trees, and people used to stop there when they were traveling to trade spices and silk a long time ago. Similar to the famous city of Petra in Jordan, this place also has detailed carvings and fancy tombs. It’s considered a special site by Unesco.

Blinken and other US officials chose the location for visits on purpose.

Before, Muslims were not allowed to go to the town because it was considered cursed by Prophet Muhammad. But now, Prince Mohammed wants to make Al-Ula a place for art and tourism as part of his plan to modernize the Arab kingdom by 2030. He wants to have festivals, hotels, and attractions built by westerners.


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