AlUla, Saudi Arabia: The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Culture has announced the full programme for Saudi Arabia’s inaugural AlUla Future Culture Summit, taking place from 25-27 February.

Set in Daimumah, where contemporary art, nature and heritage come together in the scenic heart of the Cultural Oasis, the summit brings together 150 global cultural leaders, including His Excellency Rakan Altouq, Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Minister of Culture; Lise Macdonald, President of L’ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts; Laurent Le Bon, President of the Centre Pompidou; and international artistic director and curator Akiko Miki, to address culture’s most pressing issues.

Expanding culture’s role in advancing societal progress and fostering lasting positive change, RCU and the Ministry of Culture present 3 days of panel discussions, immersive performances, workshops, and guided exploration of AlUla’s remarkable cultural and physical landscape. Highlights include panel discussions on geopolitics and culture, a fireside chat between H.E Rakan Altouq and Laurent Le Bon on the future of museums, performances by Saudi performance artist Balqis Alrashed, and excursions across the region, including visits to Wadi AlFann. Taking place during the third edition of the AlUla Arts Festival, under its new banner of Art Unframed, the programme includes visits to festival highlights Desert X AlUla 2024 and More than Meets the Eye at Maraya.

Held under the theme 'Cultural Landscapes', the inaugural Summit explores the role of landscapes in shaping cultural evolution and the impact of nature on the places we inhabit. Structured around three core sessions, it explores a number of key cultural topics. Fertile Terrains focuses on cultivating innovation and regeneration in culture, addressing the harmonious relationship between nature and cultural activities; Creative Grounds examines policies for growing the cultural economy and enhancing creative entrepreneurship; Impact Harvests delves into global cultural production's impact on local cultures, emphasising inclusivity and community empowerment.

The Royal Commission for AlUla and the Saudi Ministry of Culture proudly embraces its mandate as a nexus of creative collaboration and cross-cultural connection, celebrating the spirit of collaboration that brings the AlUla Future Culture Summit to life. AlUla is a landscape regenerated by the arts, rejuvenated through cross-cultural dialogue with our esteemed partners. With profound gratitude, RCU honours its Saudi and international Arts, Creativity, and Knowledge partners, including KAUST, Misk Art Institute, King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Centre Pompidou, and L’ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts.

Jason Harborow, Vice President of Culture of the Royal Commission for AlUla, says “As we embark on the inaugural AlUla Future Culture Summit, we are thrilled to gather cultural leaders and practitioners from across the globe to share knowledge and creative expression in the remarkable landscape of AlUla. The group we've assembled promises dynamic discourse and innovative ideas that will shape the future of our cultural landscape here in Saudi Arabia and around the world. I eagerly anticipate the transformative conversations and collaborations that lie ahead.”

Attendance at the event is on an invitation-only basis. For more information, please download the AlUla Future Culture Summit app available in the Android and Apple app stores.


About RCU

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) was established by royal decree in July 2017 to preserve and develop AlUla, a region of outstanding natural and cultural significance in north-west Saudi Arabia. RCU’s long-term plan outlines a responsible, sustainable, and sensitive approach to urban and economic development that preserves the area’s natural and historic heritage while establishing AlUla as a desirable location to live, work, and visit. This encompasses a broad range of initiatives across archaeology, tourism, culture, education, and the arts, reflecting a commitment to meeting the economic diversification, local community empowerment, and heritage preservation priorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 programme.

About Arts AlUla

The creation of Arts AlUla within The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) is a commitment to crafting the next chapters in a millennia of artistic creation – celebrating cultural inheritance, presenting the art of our time, and shaping a future propelled by creativity.

AlUla has long been a consistent and ever-evolving hub of cultural transfer. It has been a place of passage, a crossroads for trade, and home to successive civilizations who carved, sculpted and inscribed their lives into the landscape. The work of Arts AlUla seeks to preserve this legacy: fuse the old with the new; the local with the international, keeping the arts central to the spirit of AlUla as a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage.

Arts AlUla will bring to fruition a series of new initiatives, projects and exhibitions. The artwork curation will speak to RCU’s vision for the continued development of AlUla’s contemporary art scenes: positioning the arts as a key contributor to AlUla’s character, the quality of life for its local community and the region’s economic future.

Arts AlUla focuses on transferring the talents of the Saudi nation and the local AlUla community into meaningful long-standing social and economic opportunities. This is a key part of the Journey through Time masterplan bringing together the 15 different landmark destinations for culture, heritage and creativity across AlUla.

About Saudi Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture was created on June 2, 2018, by Royal Order A/217, under the leadership of His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the Kingdom’s first dedicated Minister of Culture. The Ministry is responsible for the Kingdom’s cultural scene on a local and international scale, and it is keen to preserve the Kingdom’s historical heritage while striving to build a prosperous cultural future in which various kinds of culture and arts flourish. The Ministry has a crucial role to play in delivering Saudi Arabia’s ambitious transformation program, Vision 2030. Its goal is to contribute to building a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.

For further information and interview requests please contact:
Nachwa Alolwani