AlUla, the ancient oasis city in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, has announced 'Ducasse in AlUla', a collaboration with world-renowned multi-Michelin star chef, Alain Ducasse, marking the highly anticipated launch of the pop-up dining experience, set to open on January 20.

Lasting for a limited period, the restaurant is located adjacent to the ancient heritage site of Jabal Ikmah. The new venture blends sustainability with the flavours of Saudi Arabia, France, as well as the whole Middle Eastern region for a unique and memorable experience, a statement said.

Ducasse has entrusted one of his young protégés, Afonso Salvação Barreto, as the executive chef of the restaurant.

Nestled against the picturesque backdrop of AlUla’s iconic oasis palm trees, the upcoming restaurant will deliver a combination of local ingredients sourced from nearby farms and traditional flavours, with an exquisite French touch, redefining the luxury dining landscape of the city.

Phillip Jones, Chief Tourism Officer for the Royal Commission for AlUla said: “Representing a significant leap forward in AlUla's evolution as a premier culinary destination, Ducasse in AlUla is meticulously designed to captivate both residents and visitors alike.

“We have crafted the restaurant to not only introduce an unparalleled, refined dining experience to the city but also honour and incorporate AlUla's precious natural resources that have long nourished ancient civilisations and modern residents.”

Ducasse started his career in 1972 as a 16-year-old in France, before working for restaurants including Michel Guérard, Gaston Lenôtre, Alain Chapel and legendary chef Roger Vergé's Moulin de Mougins. Ducasse restaurants currently hold 20 Michelin stars worldwide.

Renowned for his exceptional prowess in the global culinary realm, the French culinary icon is creating a meticulous menu for Ducasse in AlUla that highlights the vibrant palette of flavours unique to AlUla.

Each dish promises to be a celebration of the region's cultural heritage, with an emphasis on integrating local ingredients and cooking methods into the finest French culinary traditions and savoir-faire.

Chef Ducasse said: “When I visited AlUla with my chef Afonso, we were curious to discover and impressed to taste produce from the local farms. You have these natural oases growing everything from the dates and citrus the area is famous for, to green vegetables of all sorts.

“The region is in the middle of an ambitious project to diversify the economy and create opportunities for the local community. The agricultural training scheme is offering help to local farmers to supply the ingredients of the quality and scale required for the increasing hospitality offer.”

In alignment with AlUla's commitment to sustainable development and preservation of its natural beauty, Ducasse in AlUla has been designed by French designer Aliénor Béchu and Donald Bovy from Volume ABC to blend with the surrounding environment.

The restaurant's architectural integration with the natural landscape reflects a deep respect for the region's allure and natural heritage, providing diners with an unparalleled dining experience that bridges history and innovation, a statement said.

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