Work commences on major heritage and cultural project in Diriyah

Once complete, the destination is set to attract 25 million visitors annually…

Located 15 minutes north-west of Riyadh city centre, a major transformation is taking place in Diriyah which will attract millions of visitors, not just from the country, but from the world over.

As of June 30, Diriyah Gate Development Authority started work on building one of the world’s largest cultural and heritage site.


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Once complete, the site will be one of the world’s foremost lifestyle destinations and home to a plethora of culture and heritage, hospitality, retail and education spaces and will be a key spot for world-class entertainment and events.

Part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, seven square kilometers of Diriyah will be transformed with architectural inspiration taken from the regions rich past. The value and aesthetic of the historic capital city will be kept in mind and the authority will create an environment that enhances Diriyah’s national and international relevance.

According to a press release, on completion, the 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 over 100 places to dine.’

It went on to state that the project will also include a series of outdoor plazas and 3km escarpment walk which will offer views across the historic Wadi Hanifah.

For culture vultures, Diriyah Gate will comprise of the Kingdom’s most walkable collection of heritage and culture offerings including more than 20 Saudi cultural attractions.

Diriyah Gate

One of the first area to be transformed will be the Bujairi district and several areas will experience upgrades that will significantly beautify the area, improve infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for the community.

Reflecting the history of Diriyah, there will be beautiful landscaping as well as bike tracks, horse bridle paths and natural shading for pedestrian walkways.

The area will also be home to Riyadh’s new premium dining hub, Diriyah Art Oasis – one of Saudi Arabia’s first art centres dedicated to contemporary art and Samhan Heritage Hotel.

The development will also focus on the renewal and restoration of two square kilometers of the historic Wadi Hanifah and enhancements will include the restoration of the historic palm groves and farms, new walking trails and picnic areas.

The project is also undertaking possibly one of the world’s most complex below-ground infrastructure projects to build three kilometers of tunnels and 10,500 car parking spaces.

Images: Diriyah Gate Development Authority