Construction work begins on Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate heritage and culture project

Project team was also recently expanded with the addition of Princess Deena Nahar Al Saud

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority has announced that it has begun work on the Diriyah Gate project. The project will transform a seven sqkm old town near Riyadh into one of Saudi Arabia’s foremost historic cultural destinations.

The mixed-use cultural and heritage development will showcase 300-plus years of history by delivering heritage experiences, empowering education, world-class entertainment, outstanding lifestyle and vibrant shopping and dining, a report from Arab News said.

The project is said to be inspired by At Turaif, the Unesco World Heritage Site that is the birthplace of Saudi Arabia. It will anchor a vision for the future on a jewel from the Saudi past and bring together the country’s foremost collection of culture, lifestyle, learning and hospitality, the report said.

Senior officials noted that while many countries in the world have halted construction work and put projects on hold due to COVID-19, Saudi Arabia continues to move forward with its giga-projects, including the homeland of its forefathers, Diriyah.

“The investments in massive upgrades and infrastructure are continuing despite the economic climate. We have literally begun work in the world’s largest cultural and heritage development. There are economies that are still thriving, and Saudi Arabia is one of them. Irrespective of COVID-19, it is business as usual and the focus is on Vision 2030 and realizing Vision 2030,” said Danielle Ainslie, CMO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

On completion, the Diriyah Gate project will boast the world’s largest Islamic museum and will see the restoration of the historic Wadi Hanifa, with the planting of over one million indigenous Diriyah date trees. The project will also see the transformation of Wadi Safar into a Beverly Hills style residential and hospitality district, the report stated.

Princess Deena Nahar Al Saud recently joined the project as senior director of brand strategy and experience. She is said to have an extensive background in business development and a passion for branding, design and experience, and previously worked with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage where she was a key member in the tourism visa team and led the ‘Open Hearts, Open Doors’ tourism visa launch event.

“Being in close proximity to At Turaif always leaves me speechless. The walls surrounding Salwa Palace are extraordinary, and I am grateful to have started a journey that will showcase Diriyah to the world,” the Princess said.

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