Located just outside the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, Diriyah, is the ancestral home of the House of AlSaud and the founding place of the First Saudi State in 1727. Situated at the heart of Diriyah, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif holds a special place in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the birthplace of the Kingdom and cradle of Saudi culture.
As part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy, the Diriyah Company has a unique and inspiring mission to transform the historical site of Diriyah into a global hub for culture, heritage, and tourism. Built from mud bricks in the Najdi architectural style typified by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 14 square kilometer development is part of a USD 63.2 billion giga-project.
Diriyah, City of Earth, will be a thriving community and the Kingdom’s historical, cultural, and lifestyle destination, proudly showcasing to the world Saudi Arabia’s three centuries of history through heritage, cultural, education, retail, and dining experiences for residents and visitors.
Diriyah Company is one of Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects, wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF). The Chairman of the Diriyah Company is His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.
KEY FACTS AND FIGURES
On completion, the development is projected to accommodate more than 100,000 people including professional, hospitality, and retail workers, residents, students, and visitors.
Diriyah will contribute US$7.2 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP. It will create 55,000 jobs and aims to attract 27 million visitors a year. Diriyah is critical to the Vision’s successful pledge to raise tourism’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP from 3% to 10% by the end of the decade.
38 global brands will join Diriyah’s world-class hospitality offering, including the Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, Anantara, and others.
Diriyah Company is focused on sustainability and has been awarded the internationally renowned USGBC LEED precertification at the platinum level.
Over 1,600 people make up the Diriyah Company, with over 86% being Saudis. Diriyah Company has been named one of the top 10 Best Workplaces in KSA for 2023, following on from achieving one of the Best Workplaces in Asia in 2022.
At-Turaif is the birthplace of the Kingdom. Hand-built from the mud surrounding Diriyah, it embodies the three centuries-long story of Saudi Arabia. It is a symbol of Saudi identity and was a cradle of civilization for cultures across the Arabian Peninsula. With the iconic Salwa Palace, a towering mudbrick structure that now defines the Diriyah skyline, At-Turaif grew to become the First Saudi State’s centre of authority and unifying power in the wider Arabian Peninsula. It assumed increasing historical and cultural significance amidst Diriyah’s growth into a cosmopolitan site of intellectual exchange and artistic expression and cultural cohesion. It was first inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
Located within Diriyah’s vibrant heart, Diriyah Square will be one of the Kingdom’s largest shopping destinations, at 186,000 square meters, with more than 400 iconic lifestyle retail, luxury brand, and dining offerings, all designed in the traditional Najdi style. It will be a brand-new lifestyle experience for the Kingdom and the wider region.
Bujairi Terrace contributes to the vision for Diriyah by bringing together restaurants from across a variety of global culinary traditions, including four Michelin-starred restaurants, and welcomes them alongside the best examples of local Saudi cuisine to create a city that regains its status as a center for cultural exchange. Saudi brands ground the offering in the local culture. These include Maiz, which offers authentic Saudi food from each of the Kingdom’s 13 provinces, Sum Plus Things, and TAKYA the first Saudi-owned fine dining restaurant serving Saudi cuisine. Bujairi Terrace also These sit alongside international brands such as Angelina, Sarabeth’s and, Villa Mamas.
The valley of Wadi Hanifah fringes the western edge of historic Diriyah, historically, fertile farmlands surrounding the banks of the valley of Wadi Hanifah provided a source of water, food, and shade for its inhabitants, protecting them from harsh desert conditions, and this saw flora and fauna flourish. Diriyah Company has restore 3 sq km of palm groves and created new parks with wellness spaces, recreation, and eco-tourism attractions in the historic Wadi Hanifah. The project aims to improve the quality of life for locals and visitors with an active lifestyle focus.
- In December 2022, the Diriyah Company celebrated the permanent opening of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, one of the country’s most important historical sites and a symbol of Saudi identity.
- Visitors to At-Turaif can engage in a variety of cultural and historical experiences. This includes guided tours in multiple languages, immersive theatrical experiences that bring visitors back in time to experience At-Turaif during the First Saudi State, demonstrations of Diriyah calligraphy, the Saudi coffee experience showcasing the serving etiquette rooted in Saudi Arabia’s culture of hospitality, and the mudbrick making experience to learn more about the architectural marvel of Salwa Palace and At-Turaif.
- In addition, there are performances such as the Al-Ardah sword dance, As-Samri which combines traditional poetry, rhythmic music and dance, and the Arabian Horse show, allowing visitors to witness the majestic Arabian Horse live in the horse ring and discover what makes them so special Saudi Arabia’s story.
- Visitors can also enjoy daily evening light shows at Salwa Palace, the ruling palace of the First Saudi State, and workshops about Diriyah’s iconic decoratively painted doors. There are also a variety of premium dining options available in Bujairi Terrace, including traditional Saudi dishes and international flavors.
- In the entertainment sector, Diriyah has already been host to the Formula E race five times, most recently in January this year, championship boxing matches and hosting the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale.
- From a sustainability certification standpoint, Diriyah has recently been awarded the internationally renowned USGBC LEED precertification at the platinum level, demonstrating their commitment at all levels to sustainability best practices. Diriyah have also enrolled in Saudi Arabia’s own sustainability certification program: MOSTADAM, which is directly linked with achieving the Vision 2030 objective of improving quality of life for all Saudis.
- In terms of hotels, Diriyah Company has announced 38 global brands who will join their hospitality offering, most recently in December 2022, signing 16 new global hotel brands for the first phase of hotel construction which will feature an interpretation of the local landscape and traditional Najdi design themes, offering visitors a more evolved Najdi design experience.
- Diriyah Company also opened the Kingdom’s most anticipated premium dining destination Bujairi Terrace in December 2022. It hosts Michelin-starred restaurants and leading Saudi brands.