DGDA starts work on ma­jor her­itage project

Arab News - - News Saudi Arabia - Arab News Jed­dah

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.

FASTFACT

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.

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