DGDA starts work on major heritage project
Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) started the first phase of the biggest cultural project in the world at cost of SR75 billion ($20 billion), marking the start of a bold new era of construction for the city of Diriyah in Riyadh province.
Seven square kilometers of the historic city of Diriyah, just 15 minutes northwest of Riyadh, are to be transformed into one of the world’s foremost lifestyle destinations for culture, hospitality, retail and education.
Officials hope the destination attracts local and international visitors alike through its world-class entertainment and events.
In line with design, development and preservation standards, DGDA will create an environment that enhances Diriyah’s national and international relevance, including the preservation of the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site, which sits at the heart of the development. Careful restoration of historic Diriyah has been undertaken to create a living heritage site, which echoes the remarkable past of the first capital of Saudi Arabia.
Diriyah Gate draws on the influence of 300-year-old Najdi architecture, albeit newly adapted for 21st-century living. It will comprise the Kingdom’s most walkable collection of heritage and culture offerings including more than 20 Saudi cultural attractions. DGDA’s giga-project will feature an array of world-class cultural, entertainment, retail, hospitality, educational, office and residential areas, including more than 20 hotels, a diverse collection of museums, a bustling retail heart and more than 100 places to dine.
The project includes a series of outdoor plazas as well as a 3-kilometer escarpment walk offering views across the historic Wadi Hanifah.
The premier cultural and lifestyle destination will be home to a population of 100,000 and hopes to attract 25 million visitors annually — a place to gather, explore, shop, dine, live and work.
One of the first areas to benefit from the transformation is the Bujairi district. Over the coming year, Bujairi will experience a major upgrade that will significantly beautify the area, improve infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for the community.
In line with design, development and preservation standards, DGDA will create an environment that enhances Diriyah’s national and international relevance, including the preservation of the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site, which sits at the heart of the development.