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 19th gathering. This cornerstone-laying event comes as the country continues its pioneering plans to welcome visitors from near and far, and underlines Saudi Arabia’s mission to showcase the cultural icon to the world as one of its great gathering places.
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, Diriyah is first and foremost, a place that is deeply important to the Saudi national identity and the Saudi royal family. It was at Diriyah that “Arabia” first became “Saudi” with the settlement of Imam Muhammed in 1744, and the heroic military defence of the city against successive invaders. This intimate inaugural event is meant to pay homage to the history, perseverance, and ultimate triumph of the Saudi state as it continues to grow into a major regional and global power.
The inauguration celebration of the Diriyah Gate project will include a world-class gala dinner, with food sourced entirely from Saudi farms, supporting the hard-working communities that sustain the nation. Attendees of this evening can also expect a magnificent performance by Saudi musicians and pyrotechnics. Guests will be given the opportunity to experience first-hand the historical stories of the Saudi people through At-Turaif’s costumed historical interpreters. The team is made up entirely of young, proud Saudi nationals that are passionate about their heritage, representing a bridge between the past and future.
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.”
Inzerillo 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 & created by Saudis in honour of the heritage of their forefathers. Interest in Diriyah, the land of kings and heroes, is echoing around the globe. We plan to break ground in January 2020 for Diriyah Gate, a mixed-use traditional urban community which celebrates the rich cultural history of Saudi Arabia. Diriyah Gate, Riyadh’s new global cultural and lifestyle destination, will be home to leading luxury and lifestyle retail brands as well as over 100 cafes and restaurants.”
The seven square kilometre giga project will become one of Saudi Arabia’s cultural and lifestyle destinations with places to gather, explore, shop, dine, live and work. Appealing to international tourists and local citizens seeking authentic and cultural experiences, the destination will celebrate the rich cultural history of Saudi Arabia. Amongst its many offerings, Diriyah Gate will 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 carefully located in historic and breathtaking surrounds. With five iconic squares, a Formula-E racetrack and even a 15,000-seat arena, Diriyah Gate will be alive day and night.
In the weeks ahead, locals and tourists alike can continue to enjoy Diriyah’s already established reputation for hosting events with renowned Saudi hospitality in the land of Kings and Heroes. Included within the epic events calendar is the hotly anticipated return of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on November 22-23rd and the iconic sensation ‘Clash On The Dunes’ heavyweight world title boxing match on December 7th.
Have you witnessed the heritage in this particular region of Saudi Arabia? How was the experience? Share with us in the comments section below.
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