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Updated April 2024

Saudi Arabia’s historic development city project and a part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the SAR 64 billion project known as the Diriyah Gate project will showcase the Kingdom’s rich culture and history of 300+ years by delivering unique, inspiring heritage experiences, educational and cultural opportunities, world-class residential living, and outstanding lifestyle offerings, including shopping, entertainment, and dining experiences.

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Keep reading with Wego to know more about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s historic development project, the Diriyah Gate Project.

Diriyah gate project Saudi Arabia

Renewed as Saudi Arabia’s historic development city project, the SAR 64 billion project known as the Diriyah gate project will showcase the Kingdom’s rich culture and history by delivering unique, inspiring heritage experiences, educational and cultural opportunities, world-class residential living, and outstanding lifestyle offerings, including shopping, entertainment, and dining experiences.

The historic city of Dirayah will become one of the world’s most prestigious lifestyle destinations for hospitality, retail, and education, as well as one of the world’s great gathering places.

Moreover, the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site, an iconic mud-brick city, and the home of the First House of the Al Saud family and the capital of the First Saudi State are at the heart of the development, preserved and restored for future generations.

 

Diriyah gate project objectives

Saudi Arabia’s historic development city project, the Diriyah Gate project, currently has four objectives, as stated on the Vision 2030 website:

  • Objective 1– Preserving and protecting the historic UNESCO site of At-Turaif and promoting Arab and national heritage, both locally and internationally, by creating an iconic lifestyle destination through inspiring experiences that celebrate Saudi Arabian culture.
  • Objective 2– Serving the local community through a multitude of initiatives designed to incubate an ecosystem of inspiration and empowerment, with improved employment opportunities and standards of quality of living for residents.
  • Objective 3– Contributing to Enhancing the awareness of the Kingdom as a tourist, cultural and leisure destination by activating heritage assets and hosting world-class cultural and entertainment events to grow local and international visitors.
  • Objective 4– Ensuring financial sustainability without compromising the preservation of culture and heritage.

Diriyah Gate project location

Diriyah is located on the northwest of Riyadh. It only requires around a 15-minute drive from the Riyadh city center, which is highly accessible for residents and tourists.

Diriyah Gate project completion date

The Diriyah Gate project is built in several phases. The first phase of the project was completed at the end of 2022. The project is expected to be completed by 2030, with new assets to be launched every year. The specific date for the completion of this project has not been announced yet.

Diriyah Gate project experiences

Exploring the historic destination

Besides contributing to Vision 2030, the Dirayah project will also offer enough opportunities for tourists and residents to explore the destination. They can take a stroll on the three-kilometre escarpment walk overlooking Wadi Hanifah or explore themed tourist trails connecting Diriyah’s districts. Moreover, the project will reveal five iconic gathering places, including King Salman Square and the Heroes Memorial Plaza.

The Restoration of the historic Wadi Hanifah will include beautifying and enhancing the historic palm groves and farms and providing new walking trails and picnic areas for the community to enjoy.

Featuring world-class academies and institutes

The Diriyah Development project will provide several opportunities for its visitors to learn and get inspired. As an emphasis on the heritage, culture, and arts of Saudi Arabia, the Diriyah Development will offer several world-class academies, institutes, and the King Salman University.

Cultural institutes specializing in Najdi architecture and mud-brick building, poetry, falconry, the teachings of Islam, local theatre, dance, music and culinary arts will also be featured.

A dining experience surrounded by culture and history

The Diriyah Square, situated at the heart of the project, will provide world-class lifestyle retail, leisure and entertainment options. This commercial center of DIriyah is expected to be open by 2024. As a new lifestyle experience in the Kingdom, Diriyah’s retail offerings will combine iconic global brands with traditional artisan shops and souks, set amidst an authentic Najdi village atmosphere.

With more than 100 restaurants, Diriyah will offer both local and international cuisine with casual and fine dining experiences in various settings, from urban squares to wadi vistas.

The Bujairi Dining Precinct

© Diriyah Gate Development Authority

As the first premier and authentic dining destination in Diriyah that was opened on 4 December 2022, the Bujairi Dining Precinct has hosted several international-scale events, such as Formula-E and Diriyah Seasons.

Bujairi aims to provide world-class dining in an authentic setting to international visitors. The Bujairi Dining Precinct is the first lively fine-dining setting that benefits from exceptional views over At-Turaif, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visitors can look forward to some of the unique and unparalleled experiences that are going to be provided by the Bujairi Dining Precinct, including:

The Boulevard

A bustling place filled with activities that accentuate its role as the central food theatre, the Boulevard is the backbone of the Bujairi Dining Precinct. Moreover, the area will also offer direct views of the Event Plaza and At-Turaif World Heritage Site.

The Gallery

A premium outdoor and indoor dining location with exclusive VIP Valet access, the Gallery acts as the host of year-round fine dining offerings enriched with dedicated art and culture spaces.

The Event Plaza

Home to iconic and inspiring performances and events, the Event Plaza will be the recognizable core of the Bujairi Dining Precinct.

Wadi Walk

The Wadi Walk and its breathtaking views of At-Turaif will serve as the main attraction of the Bujairi Dining Precinct.

The Amphitheater

The Amphitheater is a remarkable open-air performance space adjacent to At-Turaif that will host outdoor screenings and live entertainment,

Get a taste of authentic Saudi hospitality

Set against a backdrop of mesmerizing surroundings with unique hotels, integrated resorts, branded residences, and venues, the development will offer visitors a variety of premium and luxurious guest experiences. Around 38 hotels and resorts are expected to be built in Diriyah. Prominent hotel brands, such as Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt and Raffles, also planned to establish their property in this area.

Samhan Heritage Hotel

© Construction Week

Situated amongst the natural beauty of Bujairi and Wadi Hanifah, the Samhan Heritage Hotel is a natural palm grove. This hotel will soon be opened by the end of December 2023.

Ready to welcome guests across 141 guestrooms and suites, the Samhan Hotel is established in a Najdi style and features traditional interiors. The architecture and interiors employ traditional timber ceilings, adobe material finishes, and conventional Najdi patterns reflected in the walls, windows, doors, and fabric patterns of the hotel’s rooms.

The Samhan Heritage Hotel thus allows visitors to experience the Kingdom’s rich past elements by walking around the hotel’s passages and courtyards. Make sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, a five-minute walk away from the hotel, on your visit.

The most walkable neighbourhood

Lodged within Riyadh’s most walkable city, thoughtful community living, and within highly walkable traditional Najdi streetscapes, Diriyah is set to deliver a real-life experience of luxury lifestyle retail, breathtaking dining experiences, entertainment events and activated outdoor spaces.

Moreover, luxury residences, consisting of traditionally styled apartments, courtyard villas and townhouses, will also be developed, keeping in mind the latest international and local sustainable standards of 21st-century living.

Modern workplaces with an authentic touch

Immersed in the authentic Saudi experience from the past, the Diriyah community will provide unprecedented luxuries for professional and creative workers alike. Providing easy access to a range of traditionally styled residences, dining, hotels, lifestyle retail and cultural attractions, the community and working environment will encourage wellness and an energetic atmosphere.

Royal Diriyah Opera House in Saudi Arabia

Snøhetta has unveiled plans for the Royal Diriyah Opera House, a groundbreaking addition to the historic Diriyah area in Saudi Arabia. The design harmoniously integrates local cultural heritage and Najdi building traditions with the contemporary demands of a global music and performing arts venue. Set to open in 2028, the opera house serves as a focal point for the broader Diriyah redevelopment master plan, envisioning the transformation of the area on the outskirts of Riyadh into a vibrant cultural destination.

Spanning 46,000 square meters, the structure accommodates approximately 3,500 individuals across four distinct venues. The centrepiece is a 2000-seat opera theatre tailored for grand-scale productions. Complementing this is a 450-seat adaptable theatre, a 450-seat multipurpose theatre for smaller events and rehearsals, and a 450-seat shaded rooftop amphitheatre for outdoor performances. Supporting amenities, including cafes, retail spaces, and a visitor service pavilion, are strategically dispersed throughout the site.

 

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