Dar Tantora

The Egyptian artist reimagines multiple old buildings into a lavish boutique hotel.

AlUla selected Egyptian artist Shahira Fahmy to reimagine Dar Tantora, a landmark situated in AlUla’s Old Town. She was tasked with the responsibility of transforming 30 mud-brick buildings of the past into a modern boutique hotel, which she completed with aplomb.

Source: Dar Tantora

Fahmy, featured in the RIBA’s 100 Women: Architects in Practice, restored the buildings, giving its stones new life and reinvigorating one of the region’s most incredible sites to its best version yet. AlUla’s historic significance was perfectly captured by the Harvard Fellow, who embodied the principles of sustainability and authenticity in her work.

The Dar Tantora is lit in an enveloping candlelight hue, and utilizes the original irrigation and ventilation systems, but reworked to suit modern requirements. This setup enables minimal energy consumption, thereby having a positive impact on the environment. Thanks to the building materials, the hotel offers its inhabitants the same timeless history lesson it has been teaching them for years.

Situated in AlUla Old Town, Dar Tantora’s unique layout is a tribute to its location. There is a sundial at the entrance that tells the time to one and all. The duplex bedrooms are quite the sight, with bedrooms situated upstairs and living rooms below them. The hotel’s walls are full of exquisite murals exhibiting local life, festivities, calligraphy, and abstract art. One can spot students from AlUla’s Madraset Addeera showcasing their artworks.

In a world that is becoming more modern with every passing second, Dar Tantora is a refreshing time capsule that also never looks out of place in the present. A homage to AlUla’s illustrious history, this hotel is truly a gateway to eras bygone.

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Pranav is a writer and editor who always strives to weave stories and narratives with his words. He has written for multiple publications across a wide variety of beats. A keen opinion enthusiast, Pranav pursues the art of writing balanced pieces that explore every available POV before making his conclusion. In his free time, Pranav rages at his favourite sports teams and practices impressions.