Saudi-based Diriyah Gate Development Authority has kicked off work on Diriyah Gate, one of its most ambitious developments that will see it transform a 7-sq-km old town near capital Riyadh into one of the kingdom’s foremost historic cultural destinations.
Inspired by At Turaif, the Unesco World Heritage Site that is the birthplace of Saudi Arabia, Diriyah Gate will anchor a vision for the future on a jewel from the Saudi past and bring together Saudi’s foremost collection of culture, lifestyle, learning and hospitality, reported Arab News.
The mixed-use cultural and heritage development will showcase 300-plus years of authentic history by delivering heritage experiences, empowering education, world-class entertainment, outstanding lifestyle and vibrant shopping and dining.
While many countries in the world have halted construction work and put projects on hold due to the pandemic, Saudi Arabia continues to move forward with its giga-projects, including the homeland of its forefathers, Diriyah, stated the report, citing senior officials.
“The investments in massive upgrades and infrastructure are continuing despite the economic climate,” remarked Danielle Ainslie, the chief marketing officer. “We have literally begun work in the world’s largest cultural and heritage development,” she stated.
Ainslie considers work on a giga-project during this time as a “great global message.”
“There are economies that are still thriving, and Saudi Arabia is one of them. Irrespective of Covid-19, it is business as usual and the focus is on Vision 2030 and realizing Vision 2030,” she added.
On completion, Diriyah Gate project will boast the world’s largest Islamic museum and also see the restoration of historic Wadi Hanifa with the planting of over one million indigenous Diriyah date trees along with the transformation of the beautiful Wadi Safar into a Beverly Hills style residential and hospitality district, they added.
The project is well on its way with a new addition to the team: Princess Deena Nahar Al Saud recently joined as senior director of brand strategy and experience.
Princess Deena, who has an extensive background in business development and a passion for branding, design and experience, had previously worked with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage where she was a key member in the tourism visa team and led the “Open Hearts, Open Doors” tourism visa launch event.
She described Diriyah as her favorite location in the city, a space that she said “holds beautiful stories of the past and reminds me of our nation’s inspiring future.”
“Being in close proximity to At Turaif always leaves me speechless. The walls surrounding Salwa Palace are extraordinary, and I am grateful to have started a journey that will showcase Diriyah to the world,” she added.
From luxury and fine dining to local restaurants and food halls, Diriyah will provide something for everyone to enjoy, remarked Ainslie.
Diriyah’s history and landscape has attracted many visitors over the years, and as the kingdom opens its doors to the world the tourist site is a must-see, she stated.
Creating free public spaces for all to enjoy, just as London has its Hyde Park and New York has its Central Park, Diriyah will have its own free public space, with researchers investigating the history of the area and staying true to the landscape, planting authentic plants that historically grew in this area, she added.
TradeArabia News Service