Saudi crown prince launches master development plan for AlUla
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Saudi Crown Prince launches master development plan for AlUla

Saudi Crown Prince launches master development plan for AlUla

It will be implemented in three phases until 2035, with the first phase set to be completed by 2023

Saudi Arabia Alula

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a masterplan to sustainably develop the historical area of AlUla.

The plan called ‘The Journey Through Time’ was unveiled on Wednesday, April 8, by the Crown Prince, who also serves as the chairman of the Royal Commission for AlUla.

It will be implemented in three phases until 2035, with the first phase set to be completed by 2023. Upon completion in 2035, the Royal Commission aims to create 38,000 new jobs, with AlUla contributing SAR120bn to the kingdom’s GDP.

The masterplan envisions five districts spanning 20km across the heart of AlUla to serve as waypoints on the ‘Journey Through Time’. The five districts include the AlUla Old Town, Dadan, Jabal Ikmah, Nabataean Horizon, and Hegra Historical City.

Each of them is a cultural landmark and will offer unique experiences and cultural offerings to visitors. Fifteen new cultural assets including museums, galleries, and cultural centres, are planned as part of the masterplan.

Also, 5,000 room keys will also be added, with each district offering its tailored blend of living and hospitality options, ranging from hotels and eco-tourism resorts to exclusive lodges and canyon farms carved into the sandstone rocks.

The Kingdoms Institute, one of the plan’s flagship components, will serve as a global hub for archaeological knowledge and research dedicated to the cultures and civilizations that have inhabited this area for more than 7,000 years. These include the ancient kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan and the Nabataeans, who built the city of Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The masterplan also offers several sustainable mobility solutions, to minimise road congestion and noise levels. A scenic roadway as well as bicycle, equestrian, and pedestrian trails will be built.

The historical tramway will connect AlUla’s International Airport to the five districts.

The plan also includes new community-driven services, amenities as well as cultural and educational facilities to promote the development of local tourism, cultural and agricultural economies for AlUla. The plan has provisioned for the sustainable development of AlUla’s agricultural community too.

Two flagship projects of the masterplan – the Kingdoms Institute and the Cultural Oasis will reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment to offering the world a viable model for protecting, preserving, and contributing to the world’s cultural and natural legacy, said a statement issued by state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Contributing to the Saudi Green Initiative, the regeneration of AlUla is underpinned by a strategy to rehabilitate the land and reverse the course of desertification in the area. Enabling a major expansion of AlUla’s green and open spaces up to 10 million square meters, 80 per cent of AlUla Province is also being designated as nature reserves with key flora and fauna reintroduced, as well as the conservation of wild animals.

This will be achieved through income generated by welcoming two million visitors annually, offering over 9,000 hotel keys in total.

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