UNESCO named Mada’in Saleh a World Heritage site in the year 2008. It is now located deep in the Saudi Arabian desert. In its 1st century heyday, this vital city of the Nabataean Kingdom was a key trading post for merchants. The once nomadic Nabataeans lived in mud-brick dwellings long washed away, but they housed their dead in elaborate mausoleums carved from these sandstone monoliths. It is reported some 111 exquisitely preserved tombs survive today.

History of extinct Thamud Tribe, Lehyan Tribe and Nabataean Kingdom lived in Al-Ula and Madain Saleh. Muslims believe that the Thamud tribe was punished by Allah for its idolatry, thus the destruction of the inhabitants during pre-islamic days. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) , wary of a relapse into idol worship, exhorted his followers never to sleep, eat or pray in the tombs shadows.

Today, this is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Saudi Arabia.

For more information, please visit http://www.madainsaleh.net/

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Mada’in Saleh Saudi Arabia UNESCO World Heritage site