Diriyah Gate CEO to Asharq Al-Awsat: Projects to Be Revealed in November
The execution of projects of Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) will begin in 2020, announced DGDA CEO Gerard Inzerillo, highlighting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s approval of three detailed plans for the development of Diriyah,
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said the Kingdom plans to announce the tourist visa by the fourth quarter of this year, pointing out that Diriyah will directly and indirectly create about 55,000 jobs by 2030 and include about 200 buildings that serve all activities and events.
Diriyah development projects will be launched in November this year.
Inzerillo also discussed challenges and hopes for the development of Diriyah Gate and the participation of Saudi youth in shaping the future of their country.
He asserted that the arrival of tourists will change the stereotype that some have about Saudi Arabia and its people, saying the Kingdom has a rich, generous and hospitable culture.
Speaking from his office in DGDA, the CEO announced that tourism in Diriyah will be available in the coming months, pointing out that the town will be a gateway to changing the country's image.
Diriyah is important because it represents the roots of society and the Kingdom and connects the people with their civilization and history, Inzerillo said.
The CEO indicated that three preliminary plans for the Diriyah project were presented to the Crown Prince, who also serves as head of the DGDA board.
Al-Turaif in Diriyah is a historic neighborhood and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dubbed as “the jewel”, Turaif is included in the plan along with the Hanifa historic valley and Es-Saffar, revealed Inzerillo.
“We have launched a global competition that includes the Kingdom and all the countries of the world to create stunning designs for the region.”
He noted that the community in Diriyah has priority in the development plan, pointing out that 11 percent of its employees are residents of Diriyah and over 80 percent of employees in the Authority are Saudi youth, over 30 percent of whom are women.
Crown Prince Mohammed is “very smart” about Saudi tourism and “very cautious” when it comes to the natural, environmental, geographic and conservation affairs, according to Inzerillo.
He reported that a 3.5 square kilometer area will be assigned to pedestrians where no cars will be allowed to enter.
“We will provide hundreds of events throughout the year with dozens of restaurants, cafes, and about 13 international hotels,” he continued.
Diriyah will also be the home of the world’s largest Islamic museum that was announced during the launch of Vision 2030.