7 sq km project will be home to a diverse collection of museums and galleries in addition to a cultural and educational experiences
The restoration and reimagining of Diriyah, a sweeping 18th century adobe city that once served as the capital and stronghold of the first Saudi state, will be officially inaugurated at a special November 19 gathering.
The cornerstone-laying event comes as the country continues its plans to welcome international visitors, and underlines Saudi Arabia’s mission to showcase the country to the world.
Construction work is due to start in January 2020 on a mixed-use traditional urban community which celebrates the rich cultural history of Saudi Arabia. Diriyah Gate will be home to luxury and lifestyle retail brands as well as over 100 cafes and restaurants.
The 7 sq km giga project will also be home to a diverse collection of museums and galleries in addition to a range of cultural and educational experiences. More than 20 world leading luxury hospitality brands, including Aman Resorts, will be located near a Formula-E racetrack and a 15,000-seat arena.
The celebration will formally inaugurate the new giga project known as Diriyah Gate, a cultural and lifestyle tourism destination for Saudi Arabia with a UNESCO World Heritage Site at its heart.
Located on the north western edge of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, it was at Diriyah that “Arabia” first became “Saudi” with the settlement of Imam Muhammed in 1744, and the military defence of the city against successive invaders.
The inauguration will include a gala dinner, with food sourced entirely from Saudi farms, plus a performance by Saudi musicians and pyrotechnics.
Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said: “There is only one Diriyah. Only this place can tell the story of the Saudi people and inspire new generations to commit to the dynamic vision of the future. This is truly a momentous time in this extraordinary country, and I am proud to lead a world-class team in the development of this historic site that is destined to become a global cultural icon and one of the world’s greatest gathering places.”
He added: “As the first home of the Saudi nation, it is important that Saudis are the backbone behind the success of Diriyah Gate, contributing to its unique identity. It is important therefore that the inauguration be designed and created by Saudis in honour of the heritage of their forefathers.
Included on the events calendar is the hotly anticipated return of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on November 22-23 and the Clash On The Dunes heavyweight world title boxing match on December 7.