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Snapchat brings Saudi UNESCO site to life with augmented reality

14 Feb 2020
 The Qasr Al-Farid tomb carved into rose-coloured sandstone can be seen in Madain Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage site, near Saudi Arabia’s town of AlUla. (File/AFP)
The Qasr Al-Farid tomb carved into rose-coloured sandstone can be seen in Madain Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage site, near Saudi Arabia’s town of AlUla. (File/AFP)
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Updated 14 Feb 2020
14 Feb 2020

Arab News, Dubai

Snapchat has collaborated with Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission of AlUla to bring the Unesco heritage site Qasr Al-Farid to life, by showcasing work from three artists using augmented reality (AR) via Snapchat Landmarkers.

Introduced in 2019, Landmarkers are the app’s lenses which enable AR experiences, transforming the world’s most iconic monuments in real-time.

During the Desert X AlUla art exhibition, which is running until March 7, Snapchat users will be prompted to find the icon of this landmark.

To activate the feature, visitors will have to point their phone cameras at Qasr Al-Farid. By doing so, they will be able to see the works of the artists Zahrah Al-Ghamdi from Saudi Arabia, eL Seed from Tunisia, and Lita Albuquerque from the US, over a six-week time span at two-week intervals for each.

“We are excited to have Desert X AlUla, the first international collaboration for Desert X, as part of Winter at Tantora festival” said Nora Aldabal, arts and culture programs director at the Royal Commission of AlUla, in a statement.

“Artists from around the world will showcase their art in the desert of AlUla, home to a series of fascinating historical and archaeological sites. Having Snapchat participate in this landmark event will bring the landscape of AlUla to life in an entirely new light, in a juxtaposition of modern technology and history.”

Al-Ghamdi said: “I am thrilled to be among the artists whose work will be uniquely displayed on Qasr Al-Farid using a Snapchat Lens.

“This amazing feature will transform my artwork into an interactive experience. AR has become an integral element that brings art to life and provides people with an unparalleled experience.”

 

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