The exhibition is born from the cooperation between SCTH, the president of which is His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where it premiered in 2010; it is the second international display in the museum’s new cultural season. “Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia” investigates the cultural and historical heritage of the Arabic peninsula, featuring for the first time important archaeological pieces from the United Arab Emirates and significant artifacts from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The collection of rare finds aims to highlight the common heritage of the two nations and the Arabian Peninsula’s tradition of exchange, culture and civilisation. The exhibition path is organised into five chapters, covering early prehistoric settlements; maritime exploration; caravan trading routes that linked the region with Asia, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean; routes of holy pilgrimage emerging in the 7th century; and the social and economic developments between the 14th and 16th centuries that set the stage for the modern day region.
Alongside the exhibition, the museum hosts a varied cultural programme, including a performance by 80 artists from the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, India, Indonesia and China, talks, education workshops, guided tours, and a series of film screenings inspired by the exhibition.