Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to develop AlUla into the world’s largest living museum by 2035. As part of Saudi Vision 2030, AlUla will be a major heritage, cultural, arts and adventure tourism destination.
AlUla’s masterplan was revealed at the 10th UN World Urban Forum, with visitors watching a series of interactive displays on the project.
AlUla, known for its natural beauty and archaeological diversity, will welcome 2 million visitors annually by 2035.
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) is responsible for protecting and promoting AlUla. RCU predicts the project will create more than 67,000 new jobs, almost half of them in the tourism sector.
AlUla will welcome 2 million visitors annually
AlUla's historic old town is just one example of how we're regenerating our urban past responsibly and sustainably, brick by brick, together with our community. Join us #WUF10 @UNHabitat pic.twitter.com/Mox2uvexp7
— الهيئة الملكية لمحافظة العلا (@RCU_SA) February 10, 2020
“The balanced development strategy places people first as part of a broader commitment to become an open living museum for the world and a global center for culture, heritage, arts and eco-tourism projects,” said Amr Al-Madani, CEO of RCU.
“We chose the World Urban Forum as a credible global platform to engage with the world’s leading developers and sustainability experts and share our plans for the long-term, responsible development of AlUla as the world’s largest living museum.
“By combining heritage with nature, we are transforming the cultural landscape of AlUla and establishing the county as a global tourism destination with a thriving economy and local community.”
Al-Madani also said that a new airport has been launched, as has Maraya, a “500-seat theatre and home for entertainment, business and celebratory gatherings”.
Saudi project will create more than 67,000 jobs
— الهيئة الملكية لمحافظة العلا (@RCU_SA) February 13, 2020
Approximately 80 percent of AlUla County will be protected, including cultural and natural heritage sites. RCU will work with the local community to ensure preservation and development.
“We invite experts from around the world to join us on our journey which means we learn and innovate together,” added Al-Madani.
“We see a clear road ahead as we attract investment and continue to protect, preserve, share and celebrate our heritage and nature with the world.
“Not only have we opened our doors to travellers benefiting from Saudi Arabia’s new tourist visas, we’ve also delivered the infrastructure that is central to growth.”
This month, AlUla hosted the first Hegra Conference of Nobel Laureates and DesertX AlUla, the first site-responsive outdoor art installation.