Madain Saleh From Above
Behind the Shot
In late 2019, after years of fits and starts, controversy and compromise, Saudi Arabia was poised to open its borders to tourists from 50 countries, including the United States, as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative. The kingdom was already open to credentialed tourists visiting for religious pilgrimages, as well as foreign dignitaries and specially invited guests, but to those who just wished to visit as non-religious tourists, the doors were closed.
The Saudi Kingdom enlisted the help of Gateway KSA, an NGO that specializes in cultural exchanges, to bring Instagram influencers to the country as part of a multibillion-dollar effort to reform its image in the West