The restoration and re-imagining 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 on November 19.
This cornerstone-laying event comes as the Kingdom 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, reported the Saudi Press Agency.
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.
This one-of-a-kind celebration will include a world-class gala dinner, with food sourced entirely from Saudi farms, supporting the hard-working communities that sustain the nation. Attendees 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 Saudi nationals.
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 and created by Saudis in honor of the heritage of their forefathers.”
“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 kilometer 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, along with five iconic squares, a Formula-E racetrack and a 15,000-seat arena.