Saudi Focus

Diriyah Gate project will turn Wadi Safar into the Beverly Hills of Riyadh.

Diriyah Gate project will turn Wadi Safar into the Beverly Hills of Riyadh.

Diriyah Gate project masterplan in spotlight

November 2019

Saudi-based Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) showcased the masterplan for its 7.1-million-sq-m mega project coming up on the western side of the capital Riyadh at a recent industry event in the kingdom.

The Diriyah Gate project is expected to host the world’s largest Islamic museum, and will involve the restoration of historic Wadi Hanifa with the planting of over one million indigenous Diriyah date trees, and the transformation of the Wadi Safar into a residential and hospitality district to become the Beverly Hills of Riyadh, said Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

Inzerillo was delivering his keynote speech at The Joy Entertainment Forum organised by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) in Riyadh.

The summit, which has been inspired by the kingdom’s Vision 2030, brought together entertainment heavyweights from around the world with the aim of discussing ways to foster a joyful culture and create a vibrant society, whilst building bridges with Saudi government and business officials.

Titled “There is Only One Diriyah”, Inzerillo’s presentation focused on the link between entertainment and culture, and the steps DGDA is undertaking with the direct leadership of Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to open the doors of Diriyah to the world.

Inzerillo said the Diriyah’s masterplan emphasises on the kingdom’s three goals – to preserve, develop and celebrate the much-loved home of Saudi culture.

Whilst culture and heritage will be evident throughout the project, Inzerillo also stressed the importance of entertainment and fun in the vision for Diriyah, which will be catered to with an array of sporting, hospitality and leisure activities.

Considered one of the kingdom’s most important historical sites and the capital of the first Saudi state, Diriyah is home to the Unesco World Heritage site of At Turaif, a mud-brick city that stands as the birthplace of the first Saudi state.

DGDA is expected to start work on the mega development shortly, following the approval of three detailed plans for the development of Diriyah by the Saudi Crown Prince. It will oversee the restoration of Diriyah and develop a number of major new historical and tourism assets including museums, academic institutions and edutainment facilities, as well as resorts, restaurants, wellness facilities and high-end retail outlets, he added.

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